How about a fourth report on Skogan Pass?! I knew Chuck was somewhere on the trails above me because Alaric and Maya told me, but he must have been coming down on the Skogan Loop as I was heading straight up the pass.
This is the trail with the biggest number on Risto’s Hill Pain Score. By a long way. It’s rated at 360. Whiskey Jack, which gives me heart palpitations, is a measly 115.
I was thrilled to see that Jeff had groomed all the way to the summit but I wasn’t too sure if I’d be able to ski 600+ metres of elevation. Luckily, at the Ribbon Creek trailhead, a couple youngsters, Jan and Dan, started asking me questions about the trails, and they decided to follow me up Skogan Pass. Their “social facilitation” pulled me along for most of the way.
When we reached the junction with the Skogan Loop, I told them about the great sight-seeing on the Loop, which I had no intention of doing, and we parted ways.
I was pleasantly surprised there was very little wind at the summit. The descent was wonderful on the good snow conditions and grooming. The Screamer has a bit of dirty snow on it, but even at high speed I was able to thread my way through on the clean snow.
To give you some perspective on the relentless elevation gain of this trail, it took me exactly 120 minutes of moving time to ascend, and only 40 minutes to descend.
Where the trail parallels the Nakiska road, there are a few rocks to watch out for. It’s always like this in thin snow. You can avoid them easily on the way up, but I removed my skis for the short 20 seconds required to get past them.
I talked to some snowshoers at the Marmot junction who were lost. They were about to go up Skogan Pass, thinking it would take them to the Ribbon Creek parking lot. They seemed like nice people so I pointed them in the right direction.
I discovered too late that Jeff had groomed Stoney Trail otherwise I would have parked at Stoney trailhead and skied up Stoney trail and Ruthie’s. It’s probably 400 metres shorter, too. Check Jeff’s comment on the Groomer’s Reports. You may be able to give him some feedback.
Lower Skogan was skiable with no rocks, just some dirty snow, but also two large ice flows in the usual place. There’s enough snow on the edge to ski through them without taking off your skis – for now.
Last summer, I biked to the Skogan summit from Dead man’s Flats. I’ve included a couple photos in the gallery.
Thanks for all the trip reports today(total of 21 so far, must be a record). Everyone who has submitted a Trip Report in the past 365 days is invited to the Trip Reporters Appreciation Party tomorrow(Sunday). Come and see and talk to the real-life Chuck, Helen, Alf, Ray, Mary, …Looking forward to seeing everyone!