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iandow

[TR] Mt. Hood - Bennett Pass - Bennett Pass Sno-Park 12/22/2015

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Trip: Mt. Hood - Bennett Pass - Bennett Pass Sno-Park

 

Date: 12/22/2015

 

Trip Report:

This was my first time to Bennett Pass Sno-Park. Mt Hood has gotten a ton of fresh snow this week, so I wanted to go for a solo randonnee ski tour. I left Portland at 5:30am, got to the parking lot at 7, and was the first one there. The road to Mt. Hood Meadows passes Bennett Pass Sno-Park.

 

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The hike in took about 45 minutes.

 

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My destination was a northwest facing clearcut, about 1.5 miles from the parking lot.

 

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You can see Mt Hood Meadows ski resort from here.

 

All morning I could hear the explosives from Meadows avalanche control, so I performed a quick and dirty Rutschblock test to gauge slope stability. This slope was only 30 degrees, but I did it mostly for practice, and although the snow was about 4-5 feet deep, I found no clear slab layers.

 

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According to my watch, the slope was .25 mile long and descended 500 feet. It took me about 5 minutes to ski down and 30 minutes to hike up (45 minutes the first time). Our regional Mt Hood snow experts are reporting lots of fresh powder, but the snow I saw was actually pretty thick. The elevation of Bennett Pass is about 5000 feet, so I'm sure the snow is a lot lighter and drier at 5500-6000 feet and higher. That's what I saw at Timberline last week, too.

 

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I did three laps, then headed home. The road out is just barely steep enough to ski down. On my exit, I saw three more AT skiers and a pair of nordic skiers hiking in, so I'm glad I got there early.

Edited by iandow

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Dig the report. Surely this isn't secret or anything but the first rule of earning your turns in the limited terrain that isn't the South side of Hood is to keep them to yourself or keep them so vague only those who already know, know...

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Bennet Pass has been a well-known go to area for xc and AT skiers for decades. The more people that know about this the better. There are no other places to ski besides south side Mt. Hood and Teacup and Timothy Lakes so might as well stop looking and go to one of these areas. ;)

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