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Happy Thanksgiving – May the Good times FLOW

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Crystal Mtn., WA – POW Day, Take 2!

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Crystal Mountain, WA – Yesterday’s Conditions

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Snoqualmie Pass, WA – Mid Nov. Conditions Report

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27
Nov

 width=Easy come, easy go, all in just a few days… So, may the good times start to (once again) FLOW! Thought I’d put the running shoes away for the year, but yesterday I found myself putting them and the waterproof clothing on, just like Crispin’s fine boy Geebs (seen to the left, making good use of his dad’s tire bags). I then headed down Denny Creek for Franklin Falls. The rain has washed a lot of the ice and snow off the trail making it somewhat safe to get close for a pic (which wasn’t the case this time last year – needing crampons). Franklin Falls was epic, making me think a run down to check out Snoqualmie Falls could be worth while too. As you can see from the pic below, it was well worth the drive down to the city of Snoqualmie, to finish off my micro runs for BIG waterfalls. If you do make it out to Snoqualmie Falls, I recommend walking down the the river via the somewhat newly redesigned trail and boardwalk, as it is far easier/safer, than the old route, for all members of the family to get in a beautiful “pre-turkey feast” walk.

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Below is a short video I put together of our new snow being washed away by the 10 inches (or so) of rain that we have received in recent days (which is still coming down hard). However, the weather experts are calling for the snow level to drop below the Cascasde’s lowest pass elevation this Friday night. Think cold snow!

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25
Nov

 width= Take 2, because this one looks like a different version of yesterday’s video that was filmed on 11/23, but it’s actually YESTERDAY’s grand ski day, had by Jeff Rich, Hugh Gren, Tara and Carl Simpson. Thanks to Carl, we can enjoy it too, via his sweet short vid below and the pic to the left with a signature. Think cold snow!

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24
Nov

 width= Here’s a quick conditions video report from yesterday (11/23/14), where Carl Simpson skiing was skiing with friend (and super fun guy), Hugh Gren on the freshly covered slopes of Crystal Mountain! A good start this past weekend, that makes me think about the song everyone’s been singing for months now, “It’s all about the BASE…”

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22
Nov

 width= A short little “Mid Nov. Conditions Report” showing how conditions can change in a blink of an eye. First, a few clips of Crispin Prahl, Eric Roose and crew, getting in a little rare high alpine lake skating action, during the very tiny window that doesn’t always open (this was back on and around 11/13). The weather has been high and dry ever since, until this current system pushed in Wed/Thurs. Giving me my first surprise this past Friday morning (11/20/14), waking to the brown grass of Hyak, half cover with a little fresh snow. By the time I was hitting the sack Friday night, I was thinking my trip earlier that day up and over Summit West to access Lodge Lake, might have been the last time traveling the Cascades in tennies until June?!? :-) Let’s hope that is the case! Today, I had a thought of heading up to Summit West to see if my FAT boards could make the 8 or so inches of new snow seem like a little more. Also, I had watched earlier this Fall, the Summit’s new, bad ass, snowcat mowing attachment take the brush under PC chair down lower and cleaner, than I have ever seen. So go figure, as I was sitting on the fence “to ski or not to ski”, my good buddy, Silas Wild pulled me off to the side, of “skiing”, with a phone call letting me know he and Crispin were passing through North Bend heading for Summit West. That did it! 30 minutes later we all were walking up the hill with skins on, to kick of the 2014/2015 Snoqualmie Pass ski season! The skiing was better than we had expected, making me look forward to tomorrow. photo credit/ Eric Roose, alpine skater/Crispin Prahl

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21
Nov

 width=The video below was taken this past Monday (11/17/14) up on Mt. Rainier’s Muir Snowfield and down into the Nisqually Chute (which is starting to fill in nicely, by the fantastic looking ski that Hugh Gren, Tara and Carl Simpson had on the steeps). I like the sweet angle at 1:40 seconds where Carl swoops above the chute while Hugh is laying tuns 30 feet, or so, below. Hopefully it won’t be long ’til we are all skiing right at home, as I see light snow falling outside our Central Cascade Snow Trooper home base, that sits at 2,600′ above sea level. THINK BIG snow, ’cause it’s time to GO!

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19
Nov

Wild timing, Sting posting up the USGS map of recent tremors at/near six Pacific Ring of Fire volcanoes. The only other time we covered activity at that many volcanoes in a single post was when two time World Champion skier, Chris Davenport, slayed 15 in 14 days. We’ve been hoping our friend would come back for more. Well, today, the Snow Troopers are beyond stoked to announce that big mountain legend, Chris Davenport is set to return to Washington for Subaru Vertfest at Alpental, Feb. 14-15, 2015. Subaru Vertfest is fast becoming the largest national backcountry festival in America. Its Monika Johnson Memorial Rally randonee race is attended by world class athletes who describe the course at Alpental to be one of the nation’s most challenging. It is also the nation’s only rando race with a heavyweight “Clydesdale” (220 lbs & up) division sponsored by the Snow Troopers. Last year, 140 hard cores and fun loving AT friends tested their mettle against Alpental’s steep slopes for ultimate AT glory. This year, they will do so in the presence of one of the world’s greatest ski mountaineers, Chris Davenport. Do not miss this opportunity to meet the legend in person, hear about his Ring of Fire tour (details to follow), get expert advice on Kastle & Scarpa gear and maybe ski a lap. Chris’ presence will certainly be a highlight of Vertfest and a highlight for all Snow Troopers. He was the first person to ski all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000+ ft peaks in less than a year and has skied all over the world including Mt. Everest, Antarctica, etc.  Chris’ adventures have been chronicled in his book Ski the 14ers and Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America. You can see and learn more about Chris in his Faces of Dav web series currently showing on Red Bull TV (New Episode #4 tomorrow) (a ‘must see’ for all aspiring athletes and snow enthusiasts alike) and >30 Warren Miller and Matchstick Productions ski films.  Save the dates, spread the word, join all Alpentalics and Snow Troopers in welcoming Chris Davenport to his first Subaru Vertfest, Feb. 14-15, 2015. Chris is looking forward to meeting everyone. Subaru Vertfest is presented by Outdoor Research and supported by Alpental and Pro Guiding Service, with proceeds going to the Northwest Avalanche Center. Live to ski another day!

 

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14
Nov

 width= This past Monday (11/10/14) Jeff Rich and Adam Roberts got a super late start leaving Bellingham for some turns on Heliotrope Ridge, but still managed to rally up for two solid “hot laps”. Short edit below of their day below that Jeff Rich put together. (photo credit/Adam Roberts, skier/Jeff Rich)

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11
Nov

The Rampart Chair is getting closer everyday, as the temps and the white curtain starts to lower on Mother Nature’s Fall color show. Today was quite cold with high winds, but that didn’t stop the lift team and heli operators from getting all of the timber off of “Blow Down”. Once the fallen trees are gone this will make for some great wide open steeps (that happens to have a lot of BIG stumps which of course means lots of BIG air on the the way down :-) ). Super stoked to see the years of planning and hard work our very good friend Trevor Kostanich ramrodded for The Summit at Snoqualmie, coming together, one base area at a time. Thanks Summit Team for kicking ass! Below is a short video our friend Jerry Hanley just put together with our good friends and Summit marketing gurus, Karter Riach and Guy Lawrence. Check it, then come and ski with us this Winter!
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10
Nov

 width= Here’s a last minute choice to head down to Mt. Rainer and meet up with a handful of friends along with a grip of PNW ski/skinners in the Paradise parking lot this past Saturday (11/8/14). WOW, as we pulled into the Paradise parking lot, that seemed to be already half full around 8:30 (or so), all you saw were skis and packs on the ground behind every rig (wish I would have taken a pic). We fell in line, put packs and skis on the ground too, said a few hellos, then up the hill we went. Jeff Rich, Zack Jessel and James Fletcher charged up to Camp Muir under 2hr30min, so I opted to swing climbers left to get a shot of them, then join for the main target, the Nisqually Chute(s). The skiing on Muir was really fun, but the perfectly cooked corn that we chowed down the Nisqually Chute was by far the best. Below is a rough video and edit of Saturday’s walk in the park that Jeff Rich and I put together.

On a side note it is always fun to meet new friends within our mountain family that is really quite small. This happens almost every time out to a popular zone, like yesterday when we parked next to the “Two Katies” (as Silas has dubbed them). We were commenting on one of the “Katie’s” sweet downhill/rando boots ;-) , I asked if she raced. No, was the reply but her husband is a racer. I asked his name, and it turns out I was talking to one of Stings long time World Cup friend’s wife, Katie Macartney. Katie’s husband is local Crystal ripper, Scott Macartney, who happens to also be a 2 time Olympian, 12 year speed skier for Team U.S.A, and even 3 time Arctic Man champ, yeah you can say he likes to go real fast. Katie had mentioned Scott was already on the snow down at Copper, passing along some of his “World Class” knowledge. Hope we can catch him out one of these days… Just like Saturday’s slopes that were perfectly groomed by mother nature!

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06
Nov

 width= Below is the 2014/2015 Dalbello Sherpa 5/5 I.D. randonnee boot review from this past SIA show. A lot of thought has gone into this boot, that I happen to use year round on or off of the lifts to drive my beefiest skis through the super deep pow or my carve lightweight Summer set up on the PNW volcanoes during the “off” season. Both lines of the Sherpa boots are outstanding for the walk up hill and are TOP shelf when it comes to the downhill FUN part (which is why most of us climb up in the first place). One of my ski heroes who is a wealth of knowledge, Glen Plake has put a lot of time in and into the development of these two ski boots, so it is no wonder how functional the 5/5 and 2/8 are, from the vibram sole that wraps up and around the arch of boot on both sides giving superior traction as you walk over talus fields (something I do very often for 6 months a year) to the special hinge in the boot tongue that allows for a long walking stride with out the torque on the knees.

Here are a few words from Dalbello’s site along with the video review below: Dalbello’s most popular crossover AT/Backcountry/Freeride boot, the Sherpa 5/5 provides all the power and performance to drive even the widest and long est power skis on or off piste. Super lightweight contruction and double Hinge Bio-Stride tongue for functionality superior uphill treks as well. Improved ID Thermo innerboot construction, more forward inclination replaceable 2 tip and tail “ Vibram sole sections.

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