Amabilis Mountain

     Terrific conditions for a ski trip. With the forecast for a winter storm today we decided to head up early and try to beat the storm. Near I-405 an accident blocked 3 lanes. Beyond Preston a big snowmobile trailer tipped over and managed to block 3 lanes. I'm glad we were early. The backups were still short. We arrived at Cabin Creek and were on our way by 8:45. I was amazed to see no ski prints since the light overnight snowfall.

     I had heard that the Amabilis Road is now groomed up to the junction and this proved to be true. With the smooth grooming we made great time. We reached the junction in 50 minutes. On the way up we took the right road. It had been recently compressed by snowmobiles and there was still no need to break trail. After a long traverse the road makes one switchback. At this point we took off on Gary's detour. A narrow road goes off to the right and after gaining 150' it deadends. We now headed off cross country to gain the last 500' to the ridge top. The snow was great. We had good grip but didn't sink in far. The wind remained almost nonexistent which was good since it was very cold.

     At the ridge top the road had snowmobile tracks on it. It was not as pristine but it made for easy travel. Gary took a route through the trees to avoid some of the road. Near the summit we stopped in the trees for lunch. It was now 20 degrees and after about 15 minutes I was more than ready to get going. We were now in the clouds and it was hard to find the correct route. We found where the lower road we left reached the ridge. Gary led us through the trees until he found the correct road once again. From there it was a fun section along the ridge top slowly dropping down.

     At 12:27 we reached the end of the summit ridge and started the descent to the junction. At the end of lunch we met two skiers. Coming down the road we passed two more. All the way up and half way down and we only saw 4 people on a Saturday. We reached the junction, losing 900', in 13 minutes. From there we were on the nicely groomed road all the way back. It was easy skiing. We passed 6 more people on the final leg for a total of only 10 all day. At 1:01 we were all the way back to the start. The final 4 miles dropped 1900' and took only 34 minutes.

     The whole loop was 10 miles with 2300' gained. With the bad weather forecast I chose not to take my camera. That was a big mistake. There were no fresh tracks ahead of us. The trees were heavily laden with fresh snow. Those were some of the best photos I have not taken. Oh well. Next time I take the camera.