The east side of the North Cascades has been very fortunate this season with good early snow. Here is the latest:
Nordic: Methow Trails has groomed all of the Nordic trails around Mazama. The best conditions can be found in the open meadows. Sections of trail that are under trees have less snow and do not have classic tracks in most cases. Conditions are about as good as you could hope for in November although, to be honest, it isn't awesome - just pretty good. More snow in the forecast for this week though...
Roads: Highway 20 is still plowed 7 miles west from Mazama to Silverstar gate. The snowmobiling is easy cruising all the way to Rainy Pass.
Harts Pass is well packed but the gate at the bottom is closed and requires a tight move to go around with a sled and there is a downed tree that also requires a tricky move. Dead horse point is no problem.
Backcountry Skiing: Pretty good coverage for skiing although it isn't hero snow out there. 42" base at WA Pass and 40" at Harts Pass. We still have the rain crust up to 6,300' and west aspects were wind affected. Best skiing is on east aspects and protected north aspects. You will find 3-4" of low density snow on a firm base above 6,300'. We have had temperature inversions so its been above freezing over 6,500'. People are still coming back with grins from early season turns.
Ice Climbing: I haven't had any direct reports from climbers yet but Gate Creek looks to be in which leads me to suspect the Standard and Czech Gully could be in as well. It has stayed below freezing on the valley floor for about a week now which should create some good ice.
Let us know if you have any good information for us to share.
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