Doerte and Dave Schuldt doing some kick and glide on the Iron Horse Trail after the descent from Stampede Pass.  

Stampede Pass Nordic Tour 3,700'

Trip Report

Wenatchee National Forest

 

January 29, 2006

 

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I had always wanted to ski to Stampede Pass and visit the historic Meany Ski Lodge. I managed to get Doerte, Beck, and Dave to agree it might be fun.
Stampede Pass-
"100 Best Cross-country Ski Trails in Washington"
by Vicky Spring & Tom Kirkendall More Washington cross-country skiing

Open to: all uses
Surface: groomed for snowmobiles
Rating: more difficult
Round trip: 10 miles
Skiing time: 4 hours
Elevation gain: 1,300 feet
High point: 3,700 feet
Best: December - March
Avalanche potential: low
All this is true except the "100 best part" Vicky and Tom must of written this prior to this fine area becoming a snowmobile nascar track. It is certainly no place for skiers! Beck managed to get some snowmobilers to give us some information and we were the first skiers they had ever seen. I caulk it up to a learning experience. A few snowmobiles is okay, but 100's is not that much fun. This tour is not recommended unless your senses are broken.

Our team, Dave Schuldt, Doerte Mahanay, and Mike Beck, after the descent on the Iron Horse. We were very happy to finally be away from the noise and exhaust of the snowmobiles.
Snowmobiles are not allowed on this section of the Iron Horse.

 

The Tour-

We parked in the skiers section of the Crystal Springs Sno Park. (Groomed Trail Permit required) From the snowmobile ghetto parking area we carried our skis a short distance and then skied through the trees to meet the main road at a wide intersection.

We headed up Road 54, crossing the groomed Iron Horse Trail at 1/4 mile. Anyone who has been here before will gladly get on the safety of the Iron Horse. It is wonderful ski back to Hyak, about 8 miles one way.
Soon the road divides. The right is road 5484. We stayed left with Road 54 as it swings east, starting the long climb to Stampede Pass. To access the Mountaineers Meany Hut, take the very next left. This was actually are destination, but we were not aware of this turn.

We climbed steadily to the powerline clearing at 1 1/2 miles. At this point, the road begins a short series of switchbacks, where we had excellent views of the Yakima River Valley, Amabilis Mountain, and the Keechelus Ridge area. The powerlines were very noisy. Near the 3 mile mark there is another major intersection, as Road 41 to Easton branches left.

Stampede Pass Road heads to the right and carves across the steep, forested walls of Mosquito Creek valley. There are two roads on the right; the second one, Spur Road 332, connects with Road 5484. (This spur can be used as a loop back to the start.) At 4 miles the road crests the unpretentious summit of 3,700 foot Stampede Pass.

The recent Nordic Clinic presented by PSIA Level 3 Instructors Karel Zikan and Eli Holmes.
It was an excellent clinic. We did some drills, practiced new technique and had a lot of fun! We were all better skiers at the end of the day.
John Sargent, Eli, Doerte, Joe, and John. Karel and Mike are off somewhere.
 

 
How did Stampede Pass get it's name? -

The Northern Pacific Railroad finished a railroad across Stampede Pass (using switchbacks in the steepest sections, where the train actually had to reverse direction several times) on June 1, 1887. They decided to found a new city on Puget Sound rather than build all the way up to Seattle at greater expense and delay. The new town was called "Tacoma". Stampede Pass got its name because in the early 1880's, while the railroad was being constructed, a new foreman arrived who promised to work everyone much harder and get the most out of them. The entire crew quit on the spot and stampeded back to Seattle!

Meany Hut History-

In 1927 the Mountaineers Club president, Edmond S. Meany donated 54 acres of land southwest of Martin to the club for a ski hut. Martin was the railroad station at the east end of the Northern Pacific tunnel near Stampede Pass and the area where the Hut was built was originally the site of Tunnel City, the construction camp during the building of the Stampede Pass Tunnel. The Stampede Pass location was chosen to permit ski tours along the cascade crest from Snoqualmie Pass to Mt. Rainier. Although somewhat lower than Snoqualmie Pass, the eastern Cascade slope usually affords drier snow and better skiing. Meany Ski Hut was dedicated in 1928. It has since been enlarged at least twice.

Ski Patrol Race by Lowell Skoog -

http://www.alpenglow.org/skiing/patrol-race-2004/index.html

 


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