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Mt. Rainier, WA – Finding Paradise

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Tim Black Season Edit – ‘14-’15 Season Rewind

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Mt. Rainier, WA – PaRADise in June!

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Happy Birthday U.S.A. & TNT jr.!!! – Rampart Skiing and Fireworks

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23
Jul
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Jade Lake as seen 7/23/15


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (of 5) Trail run to Jade Lake, WA. First I need to mention there are two Jade Lakes in the Alpine Lakes of Washington (one is located in the Necklace Valley and the other which this post refers to is at the base of Mt. Daniel’s North face). To access this adventure, head for Roslyn, WA and head toward Lake Cle Elum, which will lead you to the Cle Elum Valley Rd. Once on Cle Elum Valley Rd., take it to the very end (driving past Tucquala Lake aka Fish Lake). At the road’s end you first two trail heads (TH), one for the Tucquala Meadows/Cathedral Rock access and the one you’ll want to take, the “Hyas Lake/Deception Pass TH” (trail #1376). This run will be apx. 22 miles round trip, so if you are doing a day hike be sure to get a super early start.

 

The run starts out with a rare Cascade 3+ mile almost totally flat warm up, which rolls by a beautiful meadow, Hyas Lake before an easy grade of switchbacks that leads to Deception Pass (5 mile point). I ran most of the grade as the weather was perfect, taking a short 5 minute break to eat and hydrate. At Deception Pass trail junction, you will see a sign for Marmot Lake that veers off to the left(trail #1066). The trail rolls nice and mostly flat for 10 minutes or so, with some small uphill grades, before you descend into a beautiful basin, 1.5 miles past Deception Pass, where Hozzbizz Lake sits (you can’t see the small lake from the trail, but I hit it on the way back with a small side track of 15 minutes max). As you pass Hozzbizz Lake you will start to climb out of the basin with an easy grade of switchbacks that becomes a super long traverse of just over 2 miles (the grade is a perfect slight uphill grade- making me think the trail builders for this one were on the “A” team). 2.3 Miles past Hozzbizz Lake basin you will come upon another junction for Marmot Lake (to left) or straight to Lake Clarice. Take the left trail to start climbing, again, perfect switchbacks for .7 of a mile which will lead you to the NE shore of Marmot Lake.

 

Marmot Lake as seen 7/23/15

Marmot Lake as seen 7/23/15

 

Once at Marmot Lake, look for the most beaten down trail that heads to the left/South. After skirting the lake for apx .5 of a mile, you will come upon a somewhat steep talus field/drainage that leads up to No Name Lake.

 

Marmot Lake as seen 7/23/15

No Name Lake as seen 7/23/15

 

The talus scramble (which is roughly .3 miles, has a fair amount of kairns (maybe too many as some lead you to the center of the talus field), as you climb the main scramble trail works to the climbers’ left for the most part. Once topping the talus, the trail becomes a beautiful heather/huck easy grade (for apx another .3 of a mile), rolling to the right of No Name Lake and gaining a little vert leading to the first epic view of Jade Lake (which sits below Mt. Daniel’s Little Lynch Glacier).

 

Marmot Lake as seen 7/23/15

Jade Lake and the Little Lynch Glacier as seen 7/23/15

 

The grade down to Jade Lake is an easy run, which will provide for an epic destination/lunch break! Usually on my long trail runs, break at my turnaround point for no longer than 15 minutes, however at this EPIC lake I found myself hanging out for at least 45 minutes, if not more. Being a skier and not an ultra trail runner, my time from the TH to Jade Lake was apx 4 hrs and the return was around 3.5 hours. Stoked to have made it here finally, and can’t wait to get back… Maybe next time will be for a few nights ;-)

 

Marmot Lake as seen 7/23/15

Break time at Jade Lake, as seen 7/23/15


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17
Jul

 width=Our most recent trip up to Mt. Rainier in search of a little Paradise, was very rewarding in a number of ways. 1st, just to get out with some of the finest people, one could know, in a mountain setting is hard to beat. Especially when the weather turned out to be perfect, without any bugs or heat to mention. 2nd, when it’s following a terrible snow year, as the PNW saw this winter of ‘14-’15, and the corn snow skiing far exceeded all of our expectations. Third, but I could keep going more great reasons, the day was capped off with a perfect swimming tarn and some of the finest mountain beer known to man, Dru Bru! Perfect August like ski day, that actually took place this July 6th, 2015! We all hope our August turns will give us some of the same soft perfect suncups (that Silas dubbed “A cups”, which is now the new alphabetical size rating system for those late season suncups, this new rating sytstem can only make me think of the terrifying, frozen bombshell “DD suncups” Adam and I found at midnight on the Westside of Rainier last month)!

 

Below is our day all wrapped up in a short vid… Pic above credited to me :-) TNT


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16
Jul

 width=Sweet season edit from our bro Tim Black, who made the best of a really tough season in the PNW, which included a month long trip to Japan! Check out his “2014-2015 Season Rewind”, then if you’re in the PNW, THINK SNOW instead of Super Bowl show!!!

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09
Jul

Today’s National Weather Service El Nino Advisory announced that there is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, and around an 80% chance it will last into early spring 2016. Many weather models are predicting a strong El Nino at its peak strength for the U.S. With record temps in the PNW, we are not surprised. But the idea of another PNW winter like the last one is so very, very depressing to say the least. Given the outlook for warmer temps this winter, we might have to stick to the high backcountry for good skiing. Stay tuned.

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09
Jul

Black Diamond, Inc announced today that – on behalf of its subsidiary brands, Black Diamond, PIEPS and POC -it is issuing a voluntary recall for all JetForce avalanche airbags in order to carry out a required firmware update. Their recall notice states that in a limited number of cases, system malfunctions have resulted in involuntary shutdown and/or failure to deploy. These malfunctions can be resolved by a firmware update at their global service centers. There have been no accidents or injuries resulting from these malfunctions. This firmware update, and the shipping to and from service centers, will be done at no cost to customers. All users and retailers of first generation Black Diamond, PIEPS and POC JetForce Avalanche Airbag packs should immediately stop using and return their pack(s) using the link below.

SUBMIT A JETFORCE RECALL REQUEST

How To Identify Affected Units

All JetForce Avalanche Airbag Packs sold between November 15, 2014 and July 7, 2015 should be returned to one of their global service centers. These units can be identified by a manufacturing date code printed on a label located inside the front pocket. Units bearing date codes from 4275 to 5077 are subject to this recall. The affected units were sold under the following model names:

 

  • Black Diamond Pilot 11 JetForce Pack
  • Black Diamond Halo 28 JetForce Pack
  • Black Diamond Saga 40 JetForce Pack
  • PIEPS JetForce Tour Rider 24
  • PIEPS JetForce Tour Pro 34
  • POC Thorax 11 Backpack


Recall Return Procedure

Please follow these steps to complete a recall:

  1. Click here to initiate a return.
  2. Follow the instructions provided to return your pack to one of their service centers, using the provided pre-paid shipping label.
  3. Your JetForce pack will be inspected, the firmware updated, and the pack tested to ensure proper function of the system. Black Diamond will then return the pack to you at no cost.

When updates are complete, you will receive a shipping confirmation and tracking number for the return shipment of your JetForce Avalanche Airbag pack.

 

For additional information, see FAQ below, or contact Black Diamond directly at service@jetforcerecall.com or at 800-775-5552.

JETFORCE RECALL FAQ

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07
Jul

 width=Yesterday, the gang met up for a late start to get some July skiing in on Mt. Rainier (out of the Paradise parking lot). Where we were all pleasantly surprised on the awesome cool breeze (all day), no bugs, and fantastic corn. As we skied the steeps, in the Simpson stash, we all kept wondering if it were better than our June ski (in the same area). Not stoked for the massive receding of the glaciers (for what ever the excuse people are arguing about in the media), but it is sure happening right in front of our monthly visiting eyeballs. That being said, we all felt blessed yesterday as we shralped some amazing July corn. Below is look back to our June 16, 2015 ski day which was quite similar (minus the epic breeze), with Adam Roberts, Tara and Carl Simpson, along with myself. Good times and fun edit and pic above (skier/TNT) provided by Carl Simpson!

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04
Jul

 width=Quite a different Fourth of July this year of 2015, wild fires around the state (which seem to be mostly under control), super hot heat wave blasting the PNW, a year with almost NO low elevation snow (to speak of- giving us views of the high alpine lakes as seen in left pic… Lake Lillian as seen a few days ago), and yesterday on my trail run from Hyak to Snoqualmie Pass (via Rockdale and the PCT) I noticed the trails are very overgrown making it hard to see your next step on the talus). The big talk today, for most in the PNW is the threat of fire due to wild fireworks, so that being said I’d like to share up last year’s Hyak fireworks display which follows a short hansSOLO ski into the front yard (which shows how much snow we should have right now in the Cascades. Also, like to give a BIG birthday shout out to my son Trevor (my fourth of July buddy who’s initials are also TNT, but seem to fit him better!!!

My thoughts last year as I watched the fireworks from the Rampart Ridge zone… “O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming, and the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air”, gave proof that all my Hyak friends were down there… Below “Rampart Ridge”. Live to FREEdomski another day!

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30
Jun

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It’s gonna be a tough year to link up the year round skiing here in the PNW, as we have said goodbye to the skiing on Snoqualmie Pass in late April. Our 2014 Solstice gathering happened at our Silver Peak stomping grounds with almost 40 other skiers, this year the choice was to head up on the North side of Rainier to get some skiing in on the Russell and Flett Glaciers. A handful of us would make the trek into the park via the Mowich Lake entrance, with the goal of an epic sunset and some smooth skiing. Well, the sunset didn’t disappoint (as usual) but the skiing wasn’t very good, except on the steep aspects. All in all it was another great trip with great friends (even if it took a bit to connect with everyone). This is an epic day hike, if you have never been, which I highly recommend. Head for Observation and/or Echo Rocks which is roughly a 13 mile round trip.

 

Below is a video of our little adventure this past June 21, 2015. photo credit above / Adam Roberts

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26
Jun

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I’ve fallen a little behind on my edits, letting them get stacked up since our mid-May trip to Mt. Daniels with Chris Olson, Jeff Rich, Tara and Carl Simpson. I got the call from the gang for a trip up to Mt. Daniel, which I couldn’t pass up, as this one is fairly close to home. To access Mt. Daniel, you head out on the Cle Elum Valley Road via the sweet, little city of Roslyn, WA (which is also known as the set of the long running tv series “Northern Exposure“. We all headed out the evening of May 19th for a little car camping fun, and to get an early start on the Cathedral Pass trail, which would lead us to “skinable” snow apx 5 miles into the hike. We did have to carry the skis over Cathedral Pass, and were back on the snow just before Peggy’s Pond. We all were quite surprised to see how much snow was in this zone as our own “stomping grounds” were almost totally snow free. It was a big day that finished off with a little pond skimming over a hella deep pond that was sitting on the toe of the Hyas Glacier. Good times, as always with this fun loving mountain crew!

Below is a look at the BIG day on Mt. Daniel….

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18
Jun

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This is a look at last year’s trip up to the Russell Glacier, where Adam Roberts and I had a different goal rather that all of the R & R that took place. This is an epic zone, for amazing views. If you aren’t a year round skiier, I still highly recommend doing this hike from Mowich Lake campground to Spray Park (and beyond), you won’t be disappointed! I originally pulled this video down because of a typo, and never got around to the re-edit, so see if you can find the mistake ;-) Live to Ski Another Day, and bring on the Summer Solstice!

 


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