Beacon practice above Blewett Pass. It was a gorgeous day!

Blewett Pass Pass Ski Tour 5,960'

Backcountry Trip Report

Wenatchee National Forest, WA


February 12, 2006


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On this trip we were part of Gary Brill's Level II Avalanche Class. There were 10 of us total, divided into two groups for the day. Doerte, Ira, and I from the WAC, and Suzanne and another Mike. We rarely saw the other group. We parked just over Blewett Pass toward the North where a Snopark Pass was not required.

It hadn't been snowing so our expectations were crust. We focused on snowpack analysis, route finding, and group dynamics. Gary said that since the snow was not that great, the day would consist of more touring.

Blewett Pass is known to be a favorite area for snowmobilers, but they are not in this area, East of the Pass. We rarely heard them, amid a series of lovely trails amid the pines, firs, and larches. In the shaded and sheltered areas we found lots of surface hoar.

Our group, digging pits and measuring the snow depth at the end of the avalanche slope.

Because of the stable snow, and low avalanche danger we looked at the snow a lot, and imagined what it would be like under harsher conditions.

Doerte leading the team up to the notch. The Cascades, and two avalanche slopes coming down from Diamond Head can be seen behind.


We worked our way South to the notch East of Diamond Head. We skinned up the windward side where the snow was very shallow. The views were fantastic! Mount Stuart, and Glacier Peak towered above the rest of the Cascades. We hoped when we got to the notch we would enjoy some lunch, a rest, then get to ski! Gary pushed us on until he found an interesting gully full of powder where we dug a quick pit.

Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center

Ira Rushwald and Gary Brill skinning up to the notch.

Finally, weak from hunger, we gained the Haney Meadow Ridge about 6,000' and stopped for a break, and some snacks.


We finally reach the lunch stop! About 3 pm!

Mike, Ira, Doerte, Gary, and Mike enjoy the view of the Stuart Range and Mt. Stuart.


We finally were able to take the skins off and ski on some nice power for 1,200' before it became crusty and difficult. We skied along the forest roads back to the car, arriving at 6 pm. A wonderful day, educational, and good fun.

There was once a ski hill on Blewett Pass!

Blewett Pass Ski Hill
(years unknown)
Vertical Drop:
Top: 4,971'
Lifts: Rope tow
Note: 34 miles north of Ellensburg, 27 miles from Cle Elum on U.S. 97.
Parking facilities
Warming Hut

There are also reports of UFO's in the area:

10 Miles, 1,900', and 8 hours.
Thanks to Gary Brill for an excellent Level II Avalanche Class!


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