NW Seattle Ski Trip

It does not snow very often in Seattle. The last time I was able to do a cross country ski trip from my home was ten years ago. We had a few inches of snow to start the week and a bigger storm was coming in on Friday. We had 3.5" when I checked at 11:30 pm. I tried to ski and I scraped pavement in a few places and found the wet snow stuck to my skis. Really stuck. I had a couple pounds of snow covering most of the bottoms of both skis. After a couple blocks I gave up. In the morning I went outside to find 7" on my car and 6" on the sidewalk. Time for another try. In December 2008 I managed to ski north for a five mile trip. I headed north again. The snow was much better than the previous evening. Where a few cars had gone through the packed snow was still deep enough that my skis did not scrape pavement.

I found other folks out walking and a few others on skis. I started at about 200' above sea level. The route slowly ascended. At 80th St NW the road was mostly bare with some slush. I gently walked across with ski on. 85th St is twice as wide and it was all packed snow. Very easy to ski across. I saw a few cars in the distance but traffic was very light. With the two main east-west streets behind me I just had a grid of residential roads to ski. I stayed on 6th Ave NW on the way north. At Holman Road//NW 100th St I stopped. Holman Road was slushy but mostly bare. This is a main drag with businesses all along it. I retraced my route to 92nd where I turned west to check out 8th Ave NW. It had one lane plowed in the middle with snow on half of each lane. I had a short downhill back to 6th Ave NW.

I headed south to 87th NW. My last chance to head west before hitting 85th. I skied to 11th where the road turned only right or left. Left to 15th where the side sidewalk was shoveled bare. I backtracked to 87th and continued north to 90th. That road goes through to 15th NW. I turned around at 15th and took 90th back to 6th. This route had the best downhills of the day. Not very steep or long but the best of the day. Back on 6th it took me most of the way home. South of 80th there were more tire ruts and they were deeper. It won't be long before bare pavement will begin to show through. I took one more short side trip to 3rd NW at 70th. It's a main N-S route and it had not been plowed. Still just packed snow. On the other side the road climbs to Greenwood Ave and traffic cones blocked the road. A lot of folks were sledding down the hill. 65th St is much steeper and longer and it will certainly be closed for the snow and full of sledders.

By 10:10 am I was home with five miles done. The morning snow was largely untracked or at least in great ski shape. Wind picked up after I finished. Another plus for the early start. As I said, we get very little snow in Seattle. Ten years is a long time between neighborhood ski trips. It may be that long until the next one. When there is enough snow I have to take advantage of it.

Getting Started
Ski Level View
Untracked Snow
Just My Track
Another Skier
Crossing 85th St
Packed Down Tracks
Holman Road
Reaching 8th NW
Better Snow Conditions
Residential Skiing
Turn Around At 15th St
Snowy Tree
Sledders On 70th St
3rd NW Is Not Plowed
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2019