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Heather Ridge Ski Tour

An easily accessible backcountry ski tour at Steven's Pass, Washington.
id_2279743
Difficulty: Unknown
Length: 1.6 miles
Duration: Unknown

Overview :  The Heather Ridge Ski Tour is an accessible tour right off Highway 2 at Stevens Pass just across the road from the ski area. The tour... more »

Tips:  Bring your winter essentials, avalanche beacon and rescue gear, especially if you plan to enter one of the northern bowls. Full HD 3D ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start of Tour

Drive to Stevens Pass and park on the north side of the road. The trail begins at the north side of this lot at the base of the power lines that run along it edge. Follow the old, steep forest road that starts heading to the west up the slope then begins to switchback regularly as you exit the dense woods which make up the first portion of the... More

2. The Ridge Ascent

After 300 feet of elevation gain, the trees begin to open up to the broad open forest glade that makes up the main slope of Heather Ridge. The trail switchbacks up the slope through the steepest pitches of the ridge.

3. The Crest of Heather Ridge

Upon re-entering the treeline at 5000 ft elevation, the pitch of the climb begins to flatten out. Continue heading north-northwest toward Skyline Lake basin. Cross along the north side of Skyline Lake to the northwest towards the ridge line summit.

4. Summit Ridge

Once on the ridge top, you can traverse SW or NE to pick your descent back to the lake and lower ridge or you can drop down the back bowl into the Nason Creek drainage. For the half day tour, ski through the trees back to the lake. Follow the slowly descending crest, bearing southeast back to the main run along Heather Ridge.

5. The Northwest Bowl

The northwest bowl below Sky Mountain and Tye Peak has substantial avalanche terrain below 4500 ft. If you ski down into the bowl, the trees become more dense below that level so the best runs are from 5200 to 4500 feet. Climb back to the ridge and return to the southeast back to the lake.

6. The Glade

This SE facing slope had the best terrain for descending on skis or a snowboard. The trees on widely spaced and the views are superb on a clear day. The snow quality is best when the sun has not yet crusted the snow right after a fresh snowfall. Ski along the right side of the uptrack and be sure to avoid the steep, avalanche-prone faces along ... More