PORT ANGELES, WA (March 1, 2009) – Two feet of new snow and a part-time ski hill seemed too good to be true. So, with Hurricane Ridge only open on weekends and a hankering for more of the deep winter conditions we had ridden at Baker over the past couple days, I jumped in Byron Bagwell’s Volvo at 5am Saturday morning bound for the Ridge.
Accompanied by Sky Risvold, we made it just in time for the opening of the road into Olympic National Park and gained 5,000 feet in fifteen minutes before arriving. As it turned out, only a small rope tow (grab onto the rope and hold on…bring your glove protectors) was open, with a variable snow season keeping the t-bar off the backside shut down. But, the rope tow accessed a series of small peaks with an easy bootpack up wind-blown ridges, all dropping down to the road below, where some friendly Mervin employees led us to knee deep pow through playful gullies and a few rides back to the rope tow in the back of a pickup.
With a place to stay, a covered mini-ramp, and a pizza dinner at Ski School Director Lori-Lynn Gray’s home, it was pretty easy to get into the Port Angeles state of mind and prepare for another day of hiking around the Ridge…which, thanks to a southerly flow, turned into a day of building jumps in oncoming rain.
Thanks go out to Lori, Stan, Evan and the rest of the crew up at Hurricane Ridge. The weather might not have been perfect, but the hospitality certainly was.
01 Byron Bagwell
02-03 Sky Risvold