WELCOME TO THE HOME PAGE OF THE ELLENSBURG XC SKI CLUB!
Ellensburg is located in central Washington State, on the east slopes of the Cascade Range. Our club members are primarily interested in various forms and degrees of "back-country" skiing. We are not a track-skiing or racing club. We have hundreds of miles of logging roads, trails and off-trail ridges and valleys just "out the back door". Although the Cascades are famous for "Cascade Concrete", here on the drier,colder east slopes we usually have no trouble finding great snow both during mid-winter and in spring. Good skiing can extend into May or even June.
At present, the club has suspended meetings (as well as dues). Club activities are coordinated through our message board which can be found at:
Our message board may be read by anyone but requires registration in order to post messages.
Check out the links on this page for weather and avalanche forecasts, maps, route descriptions and lots of other useful ski info.
Contact the club by e-mail: email@example.com
Feb. 22, 2017
La Nina is no more. The weather wonks have announced that we're now swinging back to an El Nino weather pattern. Good by to the cold powder of the last couple months. But there's lots of snow in them thar hills. Skiing on groomed trails will continue for at least another month and spring skiing in the back country could be quite good come April/May.
Feb. 6, 2017
What a winter it's been? Cold and snowy since mid-December. And nothing but fluffy light snow; no "Pineapple Express" events dropping Cascade Concrete on the mountains. Our last storm, just now wrapping up, brought 3' or more of new snow to Snoqualmie Pass, 96" now on the ground. The storm brought our total snow depth at Blewett Pass to 43", up from 30" of a few days ago. And it's cold, light powder, not slop! You can check snow depth and temps at Blewett Pass by visiting the Blewett Snotel site and highway webcam page (both listed below).
Dec. 6, 2015
After a somewhat anemic attempt at early snow, our winter snow pack has finally started to take shape. Recent snow depth measurements taken along the Cascade crest are encouraging, although generally below average for both depth and water content for this time of year. Here are a couple of very interesting and helpful weather/snow info. sites for skiers wanting to keep abreast of winter snow accumulation and weather.
1. http://www.skimountaineer.com/CascadeSki/CascadeSnowNWAC-TenDay.html This is a really comprehensive aggregation of hour-by-hour weather and precip. info.for many locations around Washington State.
2. http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/snow_map.html This is the home page for a series of interactive maps put up by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). These maps provide easy clickable access to Snotel sites all around the west including, of course, WA State. There is lots of well-presented hourly info. here on precip., snow depth, snow water content, stream flow, etc.
Here it is, 1.5 years on. Nothing has been posted during all that time. It is a stark commentary on the 2014-15 ski season. The WA State Climatology Office puts it this way:
In summary, the winter of 2014-15 featured record-breaking warmer than normal temperatures with near-normal precipitation. The warm temperatures caused much of the precipitation to fall as rain instead of snow in the mountains and there are drought concerns for nearly half of the state at the time of this writing. The combination of much warmer than normal ocean temperatures off our coast, and El Niño that is likely to persist into next winter, portends increased odds of warmer than normal temperature through the remainder of the year. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will provide updated forecasts as conditions evolve.
The Climatology Office outlook for the coming ski season is not encouraging.
What does this mean for Washington in the coming months?
The CPC three-class October-November-December (OND) temperature outlook has increased chances of above normal temperatures for the entire state, with chances of warmer than normal temperatures highest for the western half of the state. For OND precipitation, there are elevated chances of below normal precipitation statewide, with higher chances of drier than normal conditions in eastern WA.
The outlook for November-December-January (NDJ) is very similar: there are increased chances of above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation statewide. For precipitation, there are higher odds of below normal precipitation in eastern WA, while the Olympic Peninsula has equal chances of above, equal to, or below normal precipitation.
All we can do is sit back and wait to see what happens. Get your skis waxed up and be ready to take advantage of whatever ski opportunities present themselves in the coming months.
A Snopark Permit Reminder!
A Snopark permit is required at all WA State Snoparks. If you park in a Snopark without a permit displayed in the lower left corner of your windshield you very well may find an expensive citation slipped under your wiper blade when you return from your tour. For more information on Snopark permits and the Snopark system, check out: http://www.parks.wa.gov/winter/trails/ Permits may be purchased either on-line or at local outlets (listed on the website).
WEATHER AND SAFETY LINKS
(NWAC has just up-graded their site. It is now THE one-stop shop for info. on mountain weather and avalanche forecasts. Check it out !!)
Ski Trail Maps
Please visit our "Maps" page.
SELECTED SKI LINKS:
Scottish Lakes High Camp