Brian Sather and Tesmond Hurd give winter driving advice, news from Tollgate sheriff, redneck angel fail, OR sales tax, and plowing.

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Inversion Tollgate

Up high the inversion has been playing havoc, while down low things are stagnant and cold. We've been in this pattern for a while but it should break down soon. The wind has been ripping up high in the Blue Mountains, as I found out both this weekend and again today. At the top of Spout Springs it was going 30+ and well above freezing. Snow was being transported rapidly too, what there is of it. I was seeing much for loading because what is there is too consolidated so it is just blowing around and filling in some low spots. People have been making the most of the snow over the weekend at Tollgate. Don't bother nordic skiing at Horseshoe Pairie unless you want to try staying in some truck tracks...  
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Boulder Creek Basin Backcountry Ski

This route will put you on a ridge with several options, in some big and technical terrain. At the top, the NE side will have some cliffs and couloirs into the E. Fork West Eagle Creek drainage, the SW side is some lower angle tree skiing into Jim Creek, and the SE is an open slope and bowl into the Boulder Creek drainage. You can continue on to access the Copper Bowl deeper in. Continuing on the ridge from the terminus of the displayed route could get technical with cornices and some exposure as the ridge becomes more knife-like, so perhaps a safer approach to Copper may be a gentler slope just to the east of Boulder Creek, but then you will be abandoning some good ski terrain on the way...  
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Jubi Lie Lake

With literally no snow on the ground, I didn't think I was going to be out the same day as last year when the La Grande Ride trio reined down on Bone Springs last year. However, my superior forecasting skills last week knew there would be dump of snow over the weekend, and sure enough Brian and I were able to hit up the snowmobile today! We found half the amount of snow at Jubilee Lake as we did a year ago today, and we didn't bother going on to Bone Springs. As I responded to Summerville to meet up with Brian, there was carnage all over Hunter Road. A car had hit an elk, and you could see where others ran off the road within a few hours of my passage. Once again, "ODOT Condition A" was working...  
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