Paulina Peak Nordic Ski, March 20, 2024

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Charley
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Paulina Peak Nordic Ski, March 20, 2024

Post by Charley » March 25th, 2024, 11:21 am

This ski trip isn't through such a wild, awesome landscape as that of my recent Tam MacArthur Rim trip viewtopic.php?f=8&t=31257&view=unread#unread, but does offer even more expansive views. We counted 20 volcanoes from the summit!

The route http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=7748586 would be suitable for hardy snowshoers, but would be very long. We find that this area gets less volume of snow and melts out sooner than other snowy destinations to its west, so in the spring, it may be possible to drive higher, park at the lake, and snowshoe up the route of the summer hiking trail.
Paulina Peak 2024 Route.png

We started at 10 Mile Sno Park, and quickly discovered that the "Viewpoint" Nordic trail had blowdown and little snow:


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So we skied up on the groomed snowmachine road to the lake. The roads had iced up very firmly overnight so, in spite of the very gentle gradient of the climb, the lake offered a nice break from constantly slipping backwards. Maybe I'm just not good at skiing???


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A mile or two up the snowmachine road from the lake to the peak, we started getting big views that made the climb worth it:

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And a few miles more, we got to the wide summit. The best views were actually of the craggy subpeaks of this exploded shield volcano:


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The farthest view was Mt Adams, 174 miles to the North, while Mt McLoughlin showed up on the southern horizon, 101 miles away.

The descent was a leg burner: we double poled the 3.7 miles back to the main lakeside road in 34 minutes!

Once back in the crater, we decided to ski the Nordic and Hill Loop trails, which gave us a break from the hot sun:


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Trying to find the most expedient way down, we accidentally passed by Paulina Falls. This was worth the very short side trip, and we thought it was hilarious that Klindt Vielbig fails to recommend it in his chapter on the area:

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There's a winter-time resort up there that might be of interest. Be aware that the area is very popular with snowmachine users. We had the summit to ourselves, but a weekend trip might be extremely noisy!
Believe it or not, I barely ever ride a mountain bike.

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drm
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Re: Paulina Peak Nordic Ski, March 20, 2024

Post by drm » March 26th, 2024, 10:13 am

Thanks for the report. After a summer visit years ago, a winter trip was long on my list, but one reason I never did it was the likelihood of a lot of snowmobiles. I guess timing is everything.

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Charley
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Re: Paulina Peak Nordic Ski, March 20, 2024

Post by Charley » March 26th, 2024, 9:11 pm

drm wrote:
March 26th, 2024, 10:13 am
Thanks for the report. After a summer visit years ago, a winter trip was long on my list, but one reason I never did it was the likelihood of a lot of snowmobiles. I guess timing is everything.
Yeah- I'm not sure what exact patterns the motorized crowd follows, but I do know that weekdays are less busy!
Believe it or not, I barely ever ride a mountain bike.

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