Open Everyday: Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm Friday 9-6, Saturday 8-6, Sunday 8-5 Phone 509-996-2515

Local Conditions

April 29, 2017

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May 2017 - Spring is Slowly Setting In!

May 2017 in the Methow Conditions Update
Spring has been slow to arrive in Mazama but the forecast is calling for high pressure and warm sunshine next week.  Here is the latest:
  • Highway 20 is closed 7 miles west of Mazama at the Silverstar Gate.  Crews have made it to within 2 miles of WA Pass and are predicting they will open the highway for Memorial Day weekend.
  • Road bikers will have access to the highway beyond the gate Friday-Sunday but the DOT is requesting people stay out while they are working.
  • Backcountry skiers can easily access Silverstar from the gate or will need to ride up the highway with their equipment.  We have not seen a true spring consolidation as of the end of April so expect crusts and punchy snow until we see a proper melt-freeze cycle.
  • Climbers have dry conditions at Fun Rock, the Matrix, Goat Wall, Europa, and the Chewuch crags.  There is no easy access to the alpine climbing on WA Pass while the highway is closed.
  • Hikers are limited to south aspects and lower elevations.  Good options include Spokane Gulch in Mazama, Driveway Butte, West Fork Methow, Pipestone Canyon, Sun Mountain, Patterson Mountain, etc...
  • Roads are still closed to Goat Peak and Hart's Pass.
  • Mountain Bikers have good conditions at Lewis Butte/Riser Lake, Sun Mountain, the nordic trails around Mazama and lower sections of Virginia Ridge.  Buck Mountain and Rendezvous Basin still have snow but may be ready in the next couple weeks.
  • We are doing a La Sportiva running shoe Demo with Cascade Endurance.  Check out the fleet on Friday evening May 5 and try them out on a group run 9am Sunday May 7 at the Goat's Beard

As always, give us a call if you have questions or updates for us.  We hope to see lots of you for the Sunflower Relay May 6!

April 02, 2017

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April in Mazama

Spring is in sight but still a bit in the distance.  Here's what's happening around Mazama and the Goat's Beard this April:

Cascade Endurance will join us in a La Sportiva running shoe demo.  Shoes will be available to demo Friday evening May 5 during the Sunflower Relay packet pickup. 

Cascade Endurance will then do a free group run with the La Sportiva demo shoes on Sunday April 7 at 9am from the Goat's Beard.  Runners of all abilities are welcome.  This is just a fun chance to stretch your legs, demo some shoes, and meet new friends.

WSDOT will begin clearing Highway 20 on April 10.  We expect them to make quick progress and open the highway to the Silverstar gate that week.  However, they have predicted a late opening beyond the gate.

Backcountry skiing will be available from the Silverstar gate which may give some corn turns on Delancy if you get up there soon.  Silverstar will also be an option before the gate opens.  We have a few pairs of backcountry rental skis for sale at the shop including a pair of DPS Wailer 112 Pure 3 178cm with Dynafit bindings and BD skins for $1099!

Bikers will be allowed to ride the highway beyond the gate only on Friday-Sunday this year.

As of April 2, we still have snow on the ground in Mazama and today is the last day Methow Trails will groom the nordic tracks.

Climbers have been seen at Fun Rock and I'm also guessing The Matrix is climbable in the sun.  Both crags may have some dripping sections but we are close to climbing season!  You would need snowshoes to reach the matrix and I'd bring a tarp to keep your things out of the snow.

We will remain open everyday from 9-5 during this season of transition and we are receiving new clothing and gear for summer activities each week.  Stop by or give us a call if you have questions about conditions around Mazama!

 

 

February 08, 2017

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Mid-Winter 2017 Update

Update for February 2017
Well it was fun while it lasted but the DOT finally stopped plowing Highway 20 west of Mazama to Silverstar Gate.  The highway is now closed at the Early Winters gate a couple miles west of the Mazama Junction.  Here is the latest update:
  • Highway 20 closed at Early Winters so skiers wanting to ski along the highway corridor will require a snowmobile, North Cascades Mountain Guides, or a lot of stamina.  Guided trips can be set up through NCMG at www.ncmountainguides.com
  • As of February 8, all low-land/front country skiing is in good shape.  Give us a call to get more information but Cougar Mtn, Aspen Lake, Sandy Butte, etc... are all skiing well with good coverage.  If you didn't bring your gear, we have an excellent selection of fantastic AT skis, boots, skins, etc... Rental packages start at $65/day.
  • The Methow Trails nordic trails are in fantastic shape with perfect grooming daily.  See the grooming report at www.methowtrails.org.
  • This ice climbing season saw the ascent of the Goat's Beard (WI 6) by two more parties.  We think that is about 10-12 people who have now climbed our namesake!  It isn't in condition now but several of the other climbs along the Goat Wall are still in shape.
  • Mazama now has 4.7 miles of Fat Bike single track.  Stop by for rentals ($35 for half day and $45 for full day)
  • NC Heli is in full operation and can give you a truly amazing ski experience.  Check out www.heli-ski.com for more info.
December 18, 2016

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The Holiday Season 2016 Update

The backcountry skiing is fantastic and more snow is on the way for the valley floor Nordic skiing!  Here are the details - visit www.goatsbeardmountainsupplies.com for more info or call us at 509-996-2515

Backcountry Skiing -

  • The North Cascades around WA Pass have a 50+ inch base with fantastic surface conditions.  The temperatures have been cold which has helped preserve the quality.  Stability has been good and local skiers have been getting after some great lines.  Forecast is calling for warming temps and for more than a foot of snow by Tuesday December 20.   Be sure to check the NWAC site for avalanche danger information.
  • Hwy 20 is still being plowed to Silverstar Gate 7 miles west of Mazama and the road is smooth and fast.  For those without snowmobiles, you can skin up the highway to Cutthroat Lake area or, better yet, contact North Cascades Mountain Guides for a tour!
  • We have a great selection of AT retail and rental gear from Voile and DPS skis to bindings from Dynafit, G3, and Fritschi, and boots from Scarpa, Arcteryx, and Dynafit!  We also mount bindings, mold boots, and fill BCA canisters.

Nordic Skiing -

  • Methow Trails has been grooming at all trailheads excluding the Winthrop Town Trailhead.  Conditions are best in the open meadows and at Cub Creek.  With a foot of warm snow forecasted this week, conditions should be improving valley wide!  Check the Methow Trails site for updated information at www.methowtrails.org.
  • Classic skiers can also go to Klipchuck 3 miles west of Mazama off Highway 20 for a semi-groomed loop or ski west on Highway 20 from the Silverstar Gate.

Ice Climbing

  • Ice conditions are almost as good as it gets in the Methow Valley for the moment.  The Standard is fat and was climbed above pitch 3 for a possible 1st ascent Saturday December 17.  The Goat's Beard is almost in - see image - but with temps warming, it could be short lived.

Other winter activities

  • Skating is open at the Winthrop Rink
  • Harts Pass road is open to snowmobiles
  • Fat bikes will find great trails at Pearrygin Lake State Park as well as in Big Valley and Gun Ranch.

As always, we encourage you to support your local businesses.  We have an excellent selection of clothing and equipment for all your winter activities.  When you support us, we can help you enjoy the Methow Valley and the North Cascades!

 

November 23, 2016

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June 06, 2016

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Conditions for June = Hot and Melting Fast!

We have had an unusually warm and dry spring which is melting the snow quickly.  Some high country trails are ready for the adventurous but some need more time.  Here are the details:

  • Harts Pass Rd is still closed at the trailer turn around about 9 miles past Mazama and 10 miles before the Pass.  We still have no scheduled date for the USFS to clear the rock debris from the road but stay tuned...
  • Blue Lake, Rainy Lake, and the Maple Pass loop are still snow covered and are not "hikeable".  People have certainly hiked them on snow but the trails are hard to follow and the snow is still around 25" deep and soft.
  • Cutthroat Lake Trail still has snow but is the most "hikeable" as the trail is relatively easy to follow.  Expect snow after the first .5 miles.  For those continuing on to Cutthroat Pass, expect some patchy snow above the lake but deep snow towards the top.
  • Goat Peak Trail is dry for the first 3/4 mile with nice flowers.  Snow starts when the trail goes into the trees and is still around 2' deep which makes following the trail difficult.  There is a small cornice of snow at the false summit and snow along the ridge to the lookout.  We recommend bringing trekking poles and a sense of adventure.
  • Cedar Creek is dry and the logs have been cleared for 5 miles with snow before Abernathy Pass.
  • Robinson Creek is snow free for several miles towards Hart's Pass but there are many downed trees.
  • West Fork of the Methow is dry but the avalanche debris at mile 1.7 has still not been cleared.  Hikers can possibly get past the stacked logs but stock and bikers will want to avoid this trail.
  • Driveway Butte trail is mostly snow free with nice flowers towards the top but expect many downed trees.
  • Climbers on WA Pass and the Wine Spires will experience snowy approaches but dry routes.  
  • The sport climbs at WA Pass is Spire Gully and Ice Box Corridor are coming into condition - just in time for this heat!  Climbers left side of the gully is still seeping.  Stop by for the Mazama Granite Miniguide for info on these routes.
  • Snakes have cleared out of the Matrix (and gone to adjacent neighborhoods :))  Some great routes there with information in the Matrix & Europa Miniguide.
  • Bike trails at Rendezvous Basin, Buck Mountain, and Sun Mountain are in great shape.  Check out the Woodpecker Trail at Sun Mountain!

As always - stop by or give us a call with any questions or tales of your adventures in the North Cascades.  And please remember us when thinking of your next gear or clothing purchase!

April 21, 2016

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Spring is Here and It's Time to Play!

This is always a special time of year when the North Cascades Highway opens.  Skiers will flock to Washington Pass for easy access to some spectacular terrain, bikers can ride along 5' tall snowbanks, alpine climbing can be combined with ski descents,  and the local hiking and climbing in Mazama is ready.  Here are the latest conditions:

  • Highway 20 will open Friday April 22 at 11am to both east and west bound traffic.
  • Skiers will find lots of snow above 4000'.  No parking lots will be plowed yet so be prepared to line up along the snowbanks for the Birthday Tour.  Access to Silverstar from Silverstar Creek may include a bit of dirt but mostly skinable to the summit.
  • Alpine climbers can find great ski access to the Early Winter Spires.  There is nothing better than skiing back to your car after climbing the South Arete on South Early Winter Spire!
  • Mazama crags like Fun Rock, The Matrix, Goat Wall are mostly dry and  ready for climbers.  Prospector crag has a few seeps and Restless Natives will stay wet for a while longer.
  • Hikers will need to stay low but they will be rewarded with Spring Beauties and Balsam Root flowers.  Dry hikes include Cedar Creek to the falls, Monument Creek, West Fork of Methow (for first couple miles), Spokane Gulch, Community Trail, and, of course, trails down valley like Pipestone Canyon, Lewis Butte, Patterson Mountain, etc...  Hikes that are NOT accessible include Goat Peak, PCT, Maple Pass, Cutthroat, and other trails above 4000'.
  • Mountain Bikers will find dry single track at Riser Lake, Sun Mountain, and most of Rendezvous Basin.  Buck Mountain is too wet to ride.
  • Hart's Pass is has 87" of snow according to the Snotel Site.  The gate to Harts Pass is closed at the trailer turn-around 10 miles below the pass.  However campers will find dry spots at River Bend and Ballard campgrounds.

The Goat's Beard will be open daily from 9-5 and we have a great selection of new gear, footwear, and clothing for Spring.  Stop by for any questions or just to visit after the long winter away!

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