Oct 15, Chinook Pass

Kevin boots up from highway 410, Chinook Pass

Greg and I missed the powder dump about a week ago.   Greg still needed to get some October turns, and with no precipitation in sight, we thought we might as well enjoy the sunshine.   We considered hiking up to Green Valley at Crystal, but the idea of driving to 5,400' convinced us to try Chinook.  Snow was looking a little thin, but there was snow on the ground at the parking lot.  We hiked around to our usual spring, north facing slope, and were pleasantly surprised to see pretty good coverage.  Snow was firm, but softening in the sunshine.  We took four laps and called it a day.  We both agreed that we had never worked so little for October turns.  Pretty nice to step out of the car and have snow in October.

Greg skins up the slope

fall corn snow

Day 1 of the new season!


Oct. 13, Rocky Top - Yakima

Kevin navigates the rocks, below the summit of Rocky Top.
Francine had been hearing news of some new trails being built on the hillside above Yakima.   We usually hit Yakima in the spring and head for Cowiche Canyon.  This new area "Rocky Top" is just south of Cowiche canyon.  I believe the bulk of the trail was built this spring.  We ended up doing an 11 mile lollipop loop.  Weather was perfect and we enjoyed blue skis.   As always, whenever considering riding in the Yakima area, check the wind forecast, before you make the drive.  High winds can suck the fun out of these areas.   I brought the hardtail and would have really appreciated some rear suspnsion.  The trail is quite "fresh" and will take some time for the bumps to smooth out.  Not to mention, there are a lot of rocks.  We did a clockwise loop, and generally rode the entire perimeter of the area.  Singletrack starts from parking area, on the Wholly Moses trail - to Green Harvester - to Orange Harvester - then stayed left and left to climb up towards the summit of Rocky Top.  After a steep initial descent, the trail gets more interesting as it works its way along the edges of the area.  Of course, would be much more fun with a bike that has rear suspension.   Nice loop, needs some more usage and work to smooth out the rough spots, but nice to see something new getting built.

Oct 10, Devil's Gulch

Always a hellacious climb.   Trailhead parking lot was open, contrary to reports of road being washed out.  We parked two miles down the road at an open gate, due to reports that the trailhead was still inaccessible.  Trail was in awesome shape, other than a few side creeks had run big during the last rain event.  Quite a bit of erosion at the three stream crossings.  We rode up devil's gulch until it intersected with the mission ridge trail.  Went a couple of miles further, but whimped out and didn't go to the top, about another mile.  It was pretty chilly, the clouds were moving in, and our legs were wearing thin.  Ended up with 25.6 miles including the additional 4 miles on road.   Downhill was a treat, but you definitely pay for it with a grunt of a climb.

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