Nov 3, 2013

Shelter with a View

We've had backcountry skiing on the mind this winter, but some crazy weather patterns didn't bring enough snow to do much until a few weeks ago, but then the avalanche danger has been uber sketchy.

Well before we could know what this winter would bring we went on a search for a cabin rental for us and a few friends. Last year we spent a few days at the Hemlock Cabin at the base of Mt. Bailey, but when looking this year the weekends were already booked.

We had designs to head to the yurts in the Wallowa Mountains, but the drive was just too far for a quick weekend trip.

So we looked to Mt. Hood. Kirk and I had been to the Tilly Jane cabin before, and its perch on the north-eastern side of the mountain near tree-line could offer up some sweet skiing in the right conditions.

Unfortunately the conditions the week of the trip were extreme. Several reports were specifically asking skiers to not go into the backcounty around Hood, and after staring at the Northwest Avalanche Center forecast for long enough, we decided to go somewhere else.

Where to???

We decided to check out Mountain View shelter on the west side of Three Finger Jack.

The shelter can be quite popular due to the amazing 360 degree views. It sits on a ridge line with snow-topped peaks all around; the shelter is quite a change from your average dark hole of a cabin. Lots of windows, sleeping platforms and an efficient wood stove.

Not a bad day for a tour
Looking back towards the Three Sisters

Why not build a snow couch?
When the stove is fired up it gets quite toasty inside
It was a beautiful weekend to be in the backcountry, even if the snow conditions sucked.

We hope to explore more cabins for winter ski trips over time; I'm particularly interested in several of the fire tower look-outs in the area.

When in doubt, go somewhere new!

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