Winter Outing, Lolo Pass Sun. Mar. 7th, 2021 Trip Report

I didn’t get any takers for this trip, not surprising considering spring skiing conditions and Sunday Covid vaccination clinics. David had been watching the Snowgoers webpage for grooming information, and it looked like the groomer had gone down Pack Cr. Rd. within the last few days, so we drove both our vehicles up and left one down below, on the Idaho side, at the Crooked Fork Bridge. There had been a slight dusting of snow over night which smoothed out the groomed trails some, but we didn’t get a fast run down tho the Moose Pass/Loop bridge. When we got down to where the roads separated, the most recent grooming went up towards Moose Pass (to the left) while the right road that goes down to Powell -Pack Cr. Rd. had not seen any grooming in a long time. There were snowmobile tracks, but in the warm days they had set up into crusty icy lumps that were impossible to get a snowplow going in. We debated, we could continue and hope that if the day warmed up, and was sunny, the snow would soften up before we got to the steep downhill part, but even if it did, it would only be in the sunny spots with crusty icy conditions still in the shade. And… low clouds were starting to come in -so no sunny day, all day. We decided to, instead, ski up towards Moose Pass and maybe get some down hill in on that route. Fortunately we didn’t go very far up before stopping to eat lunch and turn around, as there was no fast down hill in the offering, the snow just wasn’t fast. The lack of fast snow made for good traction as we were slogging back up the road to the visitors’ center. I was dragging, not only because we had come dressed warmly for an all down hill trail and now we were climbing under a sunny blue sky with puffy white clouds, but also because I was realizing this may be the last Lolo Pass ski of the season. By the time we got back to the parking lot the clouds had moved in again and it was starting to spit snow. It was snowing in earnest as we drove back over the pass with both our vehicles. It’s been an extraordinary ski season, now the shoulder season is upon us.

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