Stampede Pass and Lost Lake

The early biker gets perfect snow. Sometimes.

Even if 7 am does not count as particularly early, it was still sufficient for enjoying perfectly groomed, crusty snow for a couple hours.

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Sunshine after 3 months of dreary weather.

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Perfectly peaceful.

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Easily rideable.

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This is luxury snowbiking. Even detailed maps are placed at key intersections.

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After my last exploration of this area in soft snow and windy/white-out conditions, I was more than thrilled by the blue skies, evergreens covered in white puffs, and by the views of jagged mountains near and far.  Wherever the snowmobiles have gone off-track, there are usually good views. This one did not disappoint.

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I knew I had left my sunglasses at the car, but figured I could squint a little and survive. I did both.

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Not long afterwards, a ‘hurry up and wait’ kind-of group of snowmobilers passed multiple times. I understand: tough to ride past views of Keechelus Lake with the Cascades.

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Too pretty.

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“Ridge-line” riding.

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After catching up with the snowmobilers -again-, I decided to race them on the downhill. Even at 20 F, the sun made it feel decent in my skimpy windshirt as I flew downhill 3 miles at an average of 18 mph. I never saw them again.

The Lost Lake loop had interested me since the map says “intermittently groomed”. It was perfectly groomed, except for a short section on the north end.

The next climb was a good warm-up from getting chilled on the downhill.

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Almost 10 am and the snow’s still crusty.

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Elevation was gained, and where snowmobile tracks zigged and zagged up the side, even better views were had.

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A short break at the top, before more stopping for pictures made the downhill almost as slow as the uphill.

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Geeking out with a cell phone camera.

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Lost Lake below.

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Then, I approached what looked like a minor avalanche, but there was an even bigger bunch of ice blocks behind it. I am pretty sure that must be the reason why I hadn’t met any snowmobilers in the last hour, as the lower bunch of ice looked impassable to a snowmobile.

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No sooner had I walked across the area, when a snowmobiler came from behind, stopped, and with a ‘beep beep beep’ backed-up and drove back up.

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The Lost Lake shoreline glistened in green – though the picture didn’t come out right. Still pretty.

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