Trail update With Chris Sabo
Winter trails are still fairly icy and crusty. There is a chance of snow at mid to high elevations, which would improve conditions greatly.
Wanoga Snoplay Area
Safety is a concern when the slopes get icy and fast. Last week there were at least two ambulance runs up there. If it is icy, folks should consider not even sledding — try some other snowplay on the flat terrain areas instead. For those that do choose to sled on icy days, start lower on the hill than usual to avoid ending up in dangerous situations, like sliding into cars in the parking lot or trees in the woods. Always wear a helmet when sledding. Watch out for other sledders and bystanders. Be aware that other sledders may not always be in control of their sleds.
The Second Annual Central Oregon Drag Races are taking place Saturday and Sunday at Wanoga Snowmobile Sno-park.
The parking area will almost certainly reach capacity early in the morning with contestants and spectators. Edison Butte is recommended as the overflow choice, but last year it also reached capacity quickly. Expect both parking areas to be full by noon. As a reminder, if you head to Dutchman for snowmobiling fun, the limit for length of trailers is 40 feet.
With colder temperatures expected this week, the trails may be back to frozen conditions. As usual, on a warmer day be aware that the trails may be muddy, and if they are, avoid using them to keep from damaging the trail tread.
Snowshoers, skiers and boarders headed up to Tumalo Mountain should be prepared for stormy conditions at the summit.
There is potential for substantial snow accumulation in the high country this week. That could lead to instability in the snow during the new storm cycles. Don’t let your avalanche guard down. Be sure to do adequate snow stability assessments and avoid heading into situations where there are concerns or doubt about stability in the snowpack. Go with adequate avalanche equipment and skills.
Sno-park snow depths:
Virginia Meissner: About 14-26 inches
Swampy Lakes: About 34-42 inches
Wanoga Snoplay Area and Sno-park: 26-32 inchese_SClBWanoga Snowmobile: 32-40 inches
Dutchman Flat: About 84-90 inches
Crescent: About 18-20 inches
Edison Butte: 24-30 inches; watch for rocks and low-snow hazards
Upper Three Creek: 12-20 inches; watch for low-snow hazards, icy for the first mile of the trail
Ten Mile Sno-park: About 10-12 inches