Local Conditions

November 10, 2017


November 2017

Conditions Update for Mazama as of November 18, 2017

Highway 20 is closed for the season.  This means Mazama is back to that quaint hamlet at the end of the road!  Time to switch gears and start thinking of winter - here's what we know:

There isn't currently enough snow to nordic ski anywhere on the valley floor and Methow Trails is not grooming yet.  Hoping for some snow in Mazama just before Thanksgiving - keeping our fingers crossed for a bunch!

Highway 20 will remain open to the Silverstar Gate 7 miles west of Mazama.

Highway 20 has enough snow over the pavement to ski and snowmobile as of November 18.  It is thin down low and gets deeper and better as you approach Cutthroat.

Good backcountry ski conditions were reported after this last storm although coverage was thin at the lower elevations.  Another foot or two should open a lot of terrain and that is what is in the forecast for this week!

It will be worth digging in the snow after the next storm event as we have had a shallow snowpack with cold temperatures and some crusts that may have facets buried.  The next storm looks to be warm and wet which could stress the lower density layers below.

Fat biking is prime on most valley trails including the Community Trail, Jack's Trail, and even places like Buck Mountain.  Call for rentals!

Spokane Gulch, Driveway Butte, and Cedar Creek have been the local's choices for hiking with minimal snow coverage.

The Goat's Beard has been gearing up for winter and we have the latest in backcountry skis, boots, bindings, and avalanche packs.  We offer a 15% discount on package purchases and free mounting if you buy the skis or bindings from us which is a $60 value!  If you do a price comparison, you will find we complete very closely with online sales!

And Micki has selected an amazing assortment of clothing this winter.  Stop by to see the super fun Kari Traa line from Norway!


July 16, 2017


Summer 2017

Summer 2017 is in full swing and all is well!

All trails are open and free enough from snow for hikers and bikers.

  • Maple Pass has some snow on the Rainy Lake side of the loop but is highly recommended!
  • Harts Pass Rd and the PCT and other trails are in great shape and flowers are blooming!
  • Cutthroat Pass is mostly free of snow and is open for mountain bikers!
  • Blue Lake is snow free and inviting for a dip!
  • West Fork of Methow is ok to Trout Creek but is overgrown beyond the broken bridge.
  • All access to climbs on Spires on WA Pass can be done without axes or crampons.
  • Bring bug spray - mosquitoes are out!

Stop by the Shop for gear, clothing, and information for your next adventure!

April 29, 2017


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


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


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


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