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Olympic National Park, WA – Royal Basin

Olympic Natio...

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Chinook Pass, White River Rd – Status

Chinook Pass,...

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Alpental, WA – Booter Buddies this Sat.

Alpental, WA ...

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N. Cascades Hwy, WA – OPENING Fri. 4/22/16

N. Cascades H...

27
May

Our recent trip up Silver Peak in pouring rain reminded us of the importance of good skin glue. If you’ve had trouble keeping skins adhered to your bases, you might be overdue for a skin re-glue. If you’re getting ready to head out and aren’t sure, simply test the skins by wetting the adhesive side to see if they’re still sticky.  We’ve found that not all skin glues are created equal and some don’t do so well in wet conditions even when new.  In any event, it costs a lot less to re-glue skins than get new ones. Pro Ski and Mountain Service in N. Bend will re-glue skin tips and tails for just $30. Or if you’d like to labor through the task yourself, they sell the Black Diamond Glue Renew transfer roll for $49.95 -we’ve tested Black Diamond’s glue and it holds up well in our wet and warmer PNW conditions.

 

For the descent and end of day, when your bases collect too much debris (be it old wax, pine, dirt, etc.), we found it handy to add a wax scraper to your backcountry tool kit. If you’re not near a ski shop or just want to save a few bucks, any solid plastic straight edge will do – an old ski pass or plastic putty scrapers from Home Depot (pictured left — I personally like the handles and keep these in my car).  Plastic is better than metal which can scratch/damage your Ptex. Scraping is the easiest way to clean much of the build up off of boards. Of course, base cleaner works great too but we find it’s better to use it after scraping – makes the job neater and requires less base cleaner. Pro Ski and Mountain Service has a great video explaining the basics here.

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24
May

On Sunday, a small group decided on a last minute, mid-afternoon rendezvous to tour up Silver Peak above Snoqualmie Pass. Bright light and good visibility suggested there was a chance for clouds to lift. But no such luck. The dense clouds moved in and dropped pouring (!) rain for quite some time. The wet conditions really put our skin glues through the wringer – *note: our La Sportiva and re-glued Black Diamond skins passed (see gear advice below) but others didn’t: needed duct tape and one eventually had to boot it. However, viz remained good and temps were perfect for light gear touring – even as we arrived back at our cars after 7:30pm (sunset at 8:50pm here now).  A sufficiently large island of slushy snow prevented us from parking more than about 50ft beyond the Mt. Catherine trailhead. That was the only large patch of snow within about a mile radius. The meadow and PCT are completely bare. We followed the road for a bit over 3/4 mile (will probably be about a mile in a week) to get to continuous snow. For those familiar with the road, that’s about where the road bends left and is the highest point most people can park in the summer. There are some large patches of snow leading up to that point but they are far outnumbered by bare stretches. From there, coverage was solid except on Silver Peak where there’re quite a lot of rocks to ski around down the upper part of that first pitch. Snow was soft and skiing was otherwise A+. TNT led Peggy, Kam and I down lookers left of the meadow, through the forest and via the PCT. Note that above the forest, there are small sections of bare rock and bigger sections of brush to navigate through. If you’re planning to ski there, go soon. We think it’s maybe good for another 2 weeks. Back to gear advice for our wet PNW conditions of late: if your skins aren’t sticking well, we recommend a trip to Pro Ski and Mountain Service for their $30 tip and tail re-glue service or if you’d like to DIY, it’s $49.95 for the Black Diamond Glue Renew transfer roll (we’ve found that Black Diamond’s glue holds up well in our wet PNW conditions).

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17
May

Jacob Mandell sent this one over of an amazing looking trip into the Olympics recently. Below are a few words from Jacob along with his sweet video that capture some of the eye candy and great corn!


Tanner and I headed out to the most northwestern stretch of mountains in the lower 48, the Olympics. We walked in 7 miles of trail to Royal Basin, and were greeted with three amazing days of perfect corn skiing. We skied in Royal Basin, Deception Basin, Hal Foss Peak, and Mt Clark. Its an awesome area, but you have to do a little work to get back there.

 

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04
May

5/16/16 UPDATE: Chinook Pass will reopen tomorrow, Tuesday morning, May 17 at 9 a.m. Mt. Rainier National Park has the White River Road to White River Campground scheduled to open on Friday, May 20, 2016 at 8am.

 

 

5/4/16 Post: With lifts no longer running in Washington state, all eyes are on our backcountry as we anxiously await more road openings. As previously announced, the North Cascades Highway SR 20 and Cayuse Pass have already opened. So what can we plan on skiing next? It looks like Glacier Basin and its surrounding Mt. Ruth and Inter Glacier. Mt. Rainier National Park has White River Road to White River Campground pegged for an early opening on Monday, May 16, 2016 at 8am. The Glacier Basin trailhead begins at the far end of the White River campgrounds.

 

Mt. Rainier NP has Chinook Pass lined up to open right after on Friday, May 20, 2016 at 8am. White River Campground won’t be open for camping until Friday, June 24th but Paradise Inn, Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh Campgrounds will all open when Chinook Pass does. All dates are dependent on conditions but so far it’s looking very good indeed. These are some of our very favorite areas so we are very stoked and are counting down the 12 days that remain until opening. Stayed tuned and we’ll update you on any changes.

 

Mt. Rainier N.P., WA 2012.07.04 Inter Glacier from The Snow Troopers on Vimeo.


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03
May

Another fun, short POV from one of Andy Traslin’s many adventures this Winter with his brother Mike. The video below was hitting the backyard for some “North Shore Ripping” of the Coast Range.


 

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28
Apr

We’re stoked to see WSDOT’s report on Washington’s backcountry snow pack: it is DEEP this year. Last week, they measured snow depths at Chinook Pass, Paradise in Mt. Rainier National Park and Washington Pass which is located on the recently opened North Cascades Highway SR 20. Chinook Pass measured 189″, Paradise 144″ and Washington Pass 85″.  Chinook Pass is scheduled to open in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

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27
Apr

WSDOT has announced that Cayuse Pass will OPEN this Friday, April 29, 2016 at noon. The 4,675-foot-high Cayuse Pass is at the junction of State Routes 410 and 123 in Mt. Rainier National Park. The pass connects eastward along SR 410 with Chinook Pass (5 miles away and not yet open) and southward along SR 123 with White Pass. Also starting noon Friday, the Stevens Canyon Entrance to the park will reopen up to the Grove of the Patriarchs trailhead, where public restrooms will be available. The rest of Stevens Canyon Road is projected to open in late May. White River Road and Sunrise Park Road via the White River entrance remains closed. However, the road to White River Campground and Chinook Pass are scheduled to open next, sometime in May.

 

The great spring weather made snow removal along Cayuse Pass a quick process this year, but the havoc left behind from winter windstorms is making clearing a challenge. More than 40 trees came down over the roadway. “One fir tree, more than 6-feet in diameter, created a 12-inch trench in the road when it fell,” said Mike Golden, WSDOT maintenance superintendent. “In addition, culverts are filled with downed branches and debris and our crews will continue removal work in the weeks ahead.” One culvert alone required more than 12 full dump truck loads to clear. Photos of the work so far, as well as some shots of the damage and debris, are available on the WSDOT Flickr page.

 

Washington skiers and riders have it made this spring weekend. In addition to having Cayuse Pass and the North Cascades Highway SR 20 open to access vast amounts of backcountry skiing and riding terrain, lifts are running one more weekend at Alpental and White Pass ski resorts. Fortunately, Washington has nearly 14.5 hrs of daylight now (sunset @8:15pm) so enough time to do a bit of everything.  Can’t decide where to go? Let Pro Guiding Service be your guide – sign up for their backcountry trips and classes before they sell out. Be sure to also check your gear and our report on free Dynafit bindings warranty service at Pro Ski and Mountain Service, the Northwest’s only Dynafit Competence Center. Stay safe, have fun and live to ski another day!

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26
Apr

Booter Buddies returns for Alpental’s final weekend (conditions permitting). The event takes place this Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 10am – 3pm at a new location on lower Dom. The new location is able to handle way more hits so there will be no limit on riders like years past. Helmet and signed release is required to enter. Registration will be in the lodge at 830-930am. Showtime: 10am-ish to 2:30pm-ish Jam format. Awards: 3pm-ish in the Denny Mountain Lodge. The forecast is calling for sun and spring temps to return so we expect the snow will remain as soft as in last week’s video. Come on out and catch some big air. Closing weekend is always a blast – thanks to all the fun loving Alpentalics.

 

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22
Apr

Andy Traslin shot this one over the other day of a fun looking chute out of Squamish this past Feb. The target for he and Jamie Bond was the “Gun Sight Couloir” which was accessed from the Sea to Sky gondola. The pow may be mostly over now, but the BIG mountain fun is looking good here in the PNW!


 

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21
Apr

X Games Big Air and slopestyle champion, Bobby Brown, was spotted this week at our home mountain, Alpental. The world class skier was doing some filming for his fans. Pictured here is just one of the kickers built on the lower part of the mountain: it’s hard to make out the flight path – we’ll have to watch his film when it comes out to see how he lands it. There was 0 room for error but obviously no problem for Brown who took Silver at X Games Big Air earlier this year. That was his 6th X Games medal. In 2010, Brown became the first skier at X Games to win two gold medals (big air and slopestyle). He was also on the inaugural U.S. Olympic Team for slopestyle skiing in Sochi, Russia. That same year, he won the Junior World Championships for slopestyle and won silver in the Euro X slopestyle. Winning is in Brown’s DNA. He has stood on the the podium countless times, from X Games Aspen big air to Dew Tour slopestyle to AFP World Champs slopestyle. Follow Brown on FB – we’re sure he will be thrilling fans for many years to come. Thanks for visiting Alpy, Bobby.  Remember, Alpental is open this weekend both Sat. and Sun. 9-4. While there, pick up your 2016/2017 season pass at the lowest price of the year.

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