I heard rumors (aka whining on facebook) of a massive snow dump in the Cascades while I was in Norway, so JK and I decided to cross-country ski up Amabilis Mountain on Sunday. Apparently we should have done more research, since there was barely any snow for the first 1.5 miles and the white stuff we encountered the rest of the way was hardly fit for skiing (although I could just be saying this to cover up my lack of skiing skills).
I was also totally unprepared for how deliciously warm it would be. It was amazing! I rolled my pants up (and cursed myself for wearing my black ninja clothes instead of a t-shirt) and went on to stockpile enough vitamin D to last me all week.
After optimistically putting our skis on and dejectedly having to take them off again about seven times due to the random whims of the pathetic snow cover, we got annoyed and decided to forge ahead, snow or no snow:
Once we hit continuous snow, the rest of the trip was a breeze. This little mountain has a lot of views for minimal effort. We soaked up some more sun at the top while eating cowboy cookies and taking in the scenery.
Skiing back down was like trying to push myself forward through some sort thick, gloopy paste, but (miraculously!) we made it back to the car without a single fall.
This was a great little cross-country ski tour even for a novice (I fear I am forever entrenched in this category); it’s a gentle uphill all the way, which fortunately also means it’s a gentle downhill on the way back. According to my GPS, our loop was 11 miles with 2,500 feet of elevation gain.
Park at the Cabin Creek Sno Park (you need a groomed trails pass in the winter when there is actually snow that can be groomed). North of the freeway, ski (in our case, walk) Forest Service Road 4826 until you get to the sign for Amabilis Mountain/FS 4822. After two miles or so, you get to a junction; both roads lead to the top.
As if the day wasn’t good enough already, we stopped and had phở on the way home. Aah, Washington, how I have missed you.