The recent plowing of highway 20 and sunny spring weather opened up a large area of easy access backcountry skiing this month. The Birthday Tour is an extremely popular one-day backcountry ski adventure in Washington State's Washington Pass.
Four skiers from Bellingham Mountain Rescue and a few friends saw stellar weather in the forecast last week and took the opportunity to ski the Birthday Tour. The hardest part was finding a place to park in the very popular Washington Pass area, as many skiers headed for the backcountry.
Leaving a car west of the pass, we started at the Blue Lake trailhead and skinned up to the col south of Early Winters Spires. The rugged scenery was spectacular with a fresh coat of new snow. The thin clouds allowed a perfect panorama of the distant peaks.
Snow made for great skiing above 6700 feet. It was a little bit mushy below that. It was the first time any of us had done the route but it was definitely unlikely to be the last. We discovered a fantastic new playground!
--Jeff Reis, AAI Backpacking Guide