Although snow has been slow to arrive this year, winter is in full swing here at Cascade Backcountry Alliance. We’ve achieved a lot in the last several months and have even more exciting projects planned for the 2023-24 season.
We’d like to kick off the season with an update on what we’ve been up to since last spring.
New ‘Backcountry 101’ Series Helps New Users Get into the Backcountry
We’ve launched a new series of educational guides we’re calling ‘Backcountry 101.’ The goal of this series is to help anyone who’s new to the backcountry find out what they need, where to go, and how to have a good time.
As more downhill skiers and snowboarders try backcountry touring for the first time and more hikers try out snowshoeing, we hope our guides can be a resource to make the transition easier.
Our first three guides are out now and more are coming soon:
Avalanche Awareness Class at Wonderland Gear Exchange
CBA board member Will Russack taught a free Avalanche Awareness class for NWAC earlier this month at Wonderland Gear Exchange in Seattle. This introductory class provides an overview of how to access avalanche and mountain weather forecasts, recognize basic signs of avalanche danger, and manage risk in avalanche terrain.
Glacier Creek Road Reopened for Access to Mt. Baker’s North Side
Glacier Creek Road, which was closed from 2021-2023 due to a washout, has now officially reopened. We want to say a huge thanks to everyone who joined our letter-writing campaign last season. Your help was crucial in drawing attention to this access issue.
The road is currently open with a one-lane bypass, but the Forest Service has committed to a more permanent fix with a $1.2 million investment. This is a huge win for winter and spring backcountry access on the north side of Mt. Baker.
Whitepine Road Sno-Park Tentatively Approved by Washington State Parks
In collaboration with Cascade Meadows Camp, CBA proposed a new Sno-Park at Whitepine Road, east of Stevens Pass on Highway 2. The new Sno-Park would increase the amount of public parking along this road and improve access for skiing and snowshoeing in the Chiwaukum Range.
Our proposal was tentatively approved by Washington State Parks, which operates the Sno-Park program and agreed to fund snow removal. We’re currently working with the Forest Service to get final permission for the Sno-Park and hope that it will be available for recreation during the 2024-25 season.
NWAC’s New Avy App Offers Forecasts on the Go
NWAC released a free mobile app called ‘Avy’ that lets you check forecasts and submit observations on the go. If you haven’t tried it yet, the app is pretty slick and ensures you always have the latest forecast when you head into the mountains.
Coming Soon: CBA Community Survey Results
Thanks to everyone who took our first community survey this fall! We received nearly 400 responses and have been excited to learn more about the winter users that CBA represents.
Keep an eye out for a detailed summary of the survey results coming soon!
Looking Forward to Another Great Season
We’re actively building partnerships and working on projects to expand access and better meet our community’s needs. We have a great season ahead of us thanks to your support—stay tuned for more updates!