Beaver Mountain offers a variety of aspects to ski, with the due west facing slopes containing sections of well spaced burned trees on moderate angled slopes. However, accessing Beaver Mountain in the winter requires a snowmobile, as it's located roughly 7 miles from the Loop Loop North Summit Sno-Park. Beaver Mountain can be approached from a couple different areas, however the pass between Beaver Mountain and Buck Mountain on West Fork Road / Forest Service Road 42 provides an ideal spot to park your snowmachine. Ascend the ridge to the north, and look for an ideal spot to drop down the west slopes into the valley.
Tim has been scouting out the terrain around Loop Loop Pass, and noticed a couple of burn areas around Beaver and Buck Mountain that offered some nice gentle skiing. After procuring me a free ticket at Loop Loop Ski Area for some hot laps to warm up, or freeze given the cold temps, we headed back to the Sno-Park and hopped into his side by side tricked out with tracks, and made our way towards Beaver Mountain.
This was my first time in a side-by-side, and I have to say, it was a convenient way to travel. There was enough room for the three of us, a dog and all our gear. Arriving at the pass between Beaver and Buck Mountain, we parked the side-by-side and geared up. Coverage looked good, and there was some lingering powder on top of a solid crust.
We slowly ascended the mellow ridge, picking our way through the trees. As we progressed higher, we came into the burn zone. Most of the burned trees were still standing, however there were some completely burned out partial trees, and there was very little sign of shrubs and smaller vegetation lurking under the snowpack.
Around 5,600ft, we reached a bench and decided to ski down. At the very top, the trees were a little dense, so we skied to the right where it opened up a bit. The skiing was nice and consistent, with recycled powder on top of a stout crust, but did require some occasional tight turns between the trees. Stony, Tim and Jamie's dog, enjoyed chasing after us down the slope.
We skied down just above the hairpin turn in the forest road, and transitioned back into skin mode. We decided to proceed a little farther north up a sub ridge, as the trees looked a little more spaced there. After skinning about 800 vertical feet, we reached the ridge, had a quick snack, and got ready for our descent.
It was a nice mellow ski down, with a little more space between trees on this run. The snow quality and consistency was the same, and we were able to lay in some nice gentle turns. I joked with Tim that I was having a hard time getting photos of him because of his camo outfit...
Back at the hairpin turn, we decided to call it a day, and proceeded to skin up the road back to the side-by-side. On the way, we noticed a moose galloping through the valley below us. The moose seemed to be coming in our direction fast, but changed course a couple of times before finally heading up Buck mountain. A short while later we saw another moose in the valley; my first time seeing moose in Washington State.
Back at the side-by-side, we cruised out the forest service road, stopping in a sunny spot for Tim to whip out his stove and reheat some amazing leftover pasta. It was a fun day, hanging out with Tim, Jamie and Stony and getting to explore a new area.