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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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11
Apr

 width=Little “Hans Solo Production” messing around skiing to a lake (in the 4K to 3K zone) the past two afternoons. Very relaxing, even though the timber below 3,500′ is becoming a little testy, with more and more debris / holes appearing every day. Heading up higher than the pass today, to seek out open sunny slopes to play! :-)

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10
Apr

 width= As many of you know, our snowpack at 3,000 feet in the Central Cascades is looking good. Here’s a quick peek at our biggest peak, and how it’s lower elevations are looking (apx 10,500′ to 5,500′), as we move forward into our post season adventures. Be sure to check out Carl Simpson’s edit from this past Monday (4/7/2014). BTW, if you want a super long glacier skis like the one below, that yields over 5,000′, then be sure to click the link in our “sponsor” window to get info about H2O Guides / H2O Outdoor Gear, so you can book a trip before their AK heli season wraps up for 2014. (photo/edit credit – Carl Simpson)

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09
Apr

 width=Calling this edit, “Real Snowriders”, because it was one of those weekends where everyone I skied with (no matter what tool they were rocking to ride the snow) was having a blast riding the truly Spring conditions. The fresh snow off the top was good fun to start the day off on both Saturday and Sunday, but became much heavier in the afternoon. Oh yeah, we also got a little wet Sunday afternoon, but we looked at that as an aid to speed up the lower mountain sweet corn. Below is the somewhat short edit with a bunch of friends just having fun! Alpental is open until Cinco de Mayo, so mark it on the calendar and we will see you this weekend.

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09
Apr

The Northwest Avalanche Center has announced changes to their spring weather and avalanche forecasting schedule. After April 12th, NWAC will cease daily forecasts and transition to weekends with forecasts releasing on Fridays and Saturdays for the last two weekends in April. Thereafter, NWAC will issue an avalanche and weather outlook highlighting potential avalanche concerns for the upcoming weekend (but not a specific avalanche danger rating) every Thursday afternoon during the month of May. This weekly outlook will not be updated unless unusually hazardous spring avalanche conditions are expected. NWAC will continue the past practice of issuing special avalanche statements when unusually hazardous spring avalanche conditions are expected.

 

With our PNW spring weather expected to be warmer and drier than usual, we’re looking forward to plenty of great days of skiing and riding in the backcountry. To help you prepare, join NWAC tomorrow, Thursday, April 10 at 7:30pm at Second Ascent for “Making the Transition from Winter to Spring: How to Plan Big Lines and Multi-Day Tours without a daily Avalanche Forecast”. The session aims to equip you with the tools to evaluate conditions leading to good decisions in the backcountry. Be sure to attend if you’d like to learn how to plan and execute a tour without the daily forecast, tips and tricks on how to time your tour with the weather, and what to look for in the spring snowpack so you don’t get caught in the shed cycle. Sign up here.  Live to ski another day!

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08
Apr

View of Lundine from Hyak, WA

With temps hitting the 70s under full sun yesterday at Snoqualmie Pass, WA, a bunch of folks made a bee line for Hyak. Views of Lundin, Kendall couloir, etc. in the backcountry beckoned but with recent snow and high temps, touring at the resort seemed to be the better choice. Over a dozen others had the same idea. TNT, Jeff Rich, Eric Roose and I did laps up the face and backside. By mid-afternoon, it was HOT -like July. We all wished we were in shorts like Jeff. The snow was incredible – best conditions so far this spring. See for yourself in this short video.

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06
Apr

 width=Alright folks! Stoked to be sharing yet ANOTHER “Jr. Freeskiing comp” short vid from The Summit at Snoqualmie. This one was named “Wilderside Sunday” (for the Wildside chair and the final Sunday of Summit West’s 2013/2014 season. The season started out slowly but it went out with a bang. First the pond skim on Saturday, then the Jr. Freeskiing comp on Sunday! Be sure to watch this one and share it up with your friends, then be sure to not miss a minute of lift served at Alpental through Cinco De Mayo!!! That’s right, we have great snowpack for these young rippers to keep rocking their home mountain of Alpental for a while yet! Thanks Wayne, Garrett, Joe, Andy, Guy & Karter along with everyone else that made this awesome event/venue happen!


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05
Apr

 width= Beautiful overnight trip Andrew Eckels took up to the Sisters Range (the sweet massive twin peaks you might have noticed off to the far right while rolling towards Mt. Baker ski area, from Bellingham). Sounds like a little work to get into the zone, but as you will see for yourselves the reward is MASSIVE! Below are some notes from Andrew, along with his edit of their March 23rd and 24th adventure.


On March 23rd, my friend James and I set out for an adventure in the mountains closest to our homes in Bellingham: The Twin Sister Range. We knew the road was blocked by rockfall before our desired trailhead so we brought mountain bikes and began the trip with a 6 mile 1000 vert ride into the wilderness. With sore butts we crossed the Nooksack on a precarious log and began our walk up a trail through beautiful old growth stands. Once at base camp we enjoyed a short sunset pow lap before resting up for the summit day. Our progress was slowed by incredible views and we opted to linger at the top of a windless col instead of skiing an extra lap. On the descent we were treated to fantastic stable pow and awesome rolling terrain. For the retreat we opted to take the high route out and enjoyed new views and more powder making for an incredible day of skiing in solitude. The approach to ski ratio was low for the trip, but I find myself ansy to return to this wild mountain range!


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04
Apr

 width= Wow, I got a 10 minute late start on first chair and when I made it to the top I had only seen a few people (2 of which are good friends that wanted to ski the front side, I had to jet, so down Nash I would go). I didn’t have skiing in my morning plans but when I walked outside first thing and saw the trees up high, nice and white, that schedule for my day shifted slightly. If you are close to the mountain, there’ still some time and fresh tracks to be had! Get some!


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04
Apr

 width= Just a quick visual conditions report in the 4,000′ zone down into the younger growth timber 3,000′ zone. Everything is still looking good going into our Spring season. The skiing was variable, but fun, seeing loose granular up higher in the open areas and somewhat firm snow in the lower timber zone ( without too much tree debris)… A little more snow would be nice to keep the skiing good to pass elevation. No new snow overnight at pass level but Alpental saw apx 6″ of new on top of Alpental for this mornings shred session.


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03
Apr


Two afternoons ago, April 1st, I decided to take a walk up the Kendall Clearcut (a Snoqualmie Pass classic, and one of our passage ways into the epic playground that lies North of I90). Two of my best friends, Dale Boehm and Robert Bolton, and our 3 kick ass ski dogs (Boots, Hobart and Trooper) have spent many days rolling in this area (more than most, I’m sure, Robert having had a cabin right at base of the old growth, up Yellowstone Rd.). Something we all learned during our many tours up the Kendall Clearcut besides how precious life and loved ones are to all of us, it was also fact that the Kendall Clearcut is great place to hone your guiding skills through the lower old growth/steep frozen pitches to the young growth that seemed to get worse every year, making it more like a massive maze with dead ends everywhere (meaning – a big ass tree well, or something that takes you away from the middle riser “lazy man shuffle”, as Dale would call a perfect pitch/pace).


As I began walking by the first group of cabins this past April Fools day, heading into the old growth, I realized this was the first time alone in this area… Wait, this was the first time I had ever toured in the “true” backcountry totally alone (at the very least my boy Trooper was always with me). I soon became somewhat depressed, having lost my Trooper dog on Feb 19th, Dale loosing his boy Boots early this season, and the thoughts that were making my walk even more intense, were the words Dale spoke to me on this past Saturday morning. Dale had given me a call, to tell me some bad news, but before the news came out, he mentioned something along the lines that he knew I’m (TNT) still hurting for our boy Trooper dog, and he hated to tell me why he had called. Dale, who has since moved back to his homeland of BC, Canada, was planning to take the sleds out with a bro (powder sled neckin’… very, very hard to turn down), but told him, he felt the need to hang with Hobart (the last of the 3 bad ass ski dogs) taking him on a nice walk etc… As retired bad ass ski dogs and their best buddies do. Anyway, as they were on a beautiful standard walk, Hobbie (as we loved to call him too) had a stroke. Dale had his wife (Hobart’s mom) call for their local vet, but it was Hobart’s time and our beautiful leader of the pups, took one more breath and passed in Dale’s arms. It actually is hurting me to type this post right now (tears streaming down the face), but I feel so blessed having spent a million feet of up and down beautiful mountains with all three of our pups, Dale and Robert… SO Blessed!


Hobart and his skier (Dale) living large!
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Soon, after the cycle of heavy duty thoughts flowed through my head, similar to the story I just mentioned, I had realize taking a slightly different course through the old growth, making it the most fluid trip I have ever lead up the mountain (or was I indeed the one leading this group of nobodies?). I soon realized I wasn’t alone (even though I was “in person” alone) as I popped out of the old growth and flowed through the young growth perfectly. Wow, quite trippy to me, almost like the pups finally could lead the way through those spots that always tripped us up slightly (but I never would listen to their lead when it was “in person” or should I say “in pup”, saying something like, “hey dogs get back over here and TRAIL)? All of the sudden I had a strong feeling of “NOT ALONE”, and the feeling remained the entire day (and continues today). It was also kind of fun when Sting showed up on the pass, gave a cell call just in time to catch me ski from the “Summit” down through “Bolton Alley” as she sat at Red Mountain Coffee. The last thing that blew me away, would be my extremely fluid ski through the old growth and back to the car with only doing about 5 herringbone steps (and getting the maximum steep ski the entire way)!?!? What a day, what a life, and always remember… “Live to Ski Another Day” and savor every single second! R.I.P. Hobart, Boots, & Trooper! The pups all left us in one season, so now they all can once again shred and rest in peace together for ever more (on the same beds, which believe it or not, Trooper dog- aka the red devil, would actually share his bed with ONLY these two brothers)!


All three of our boys doing what they did so well…
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I would be stoked if everyone would check out this very special trip Dale, Boots, Hobart, Trooper and myself did back in the 2005/2006 season… My first video ( a compilation of the year of NON lift skiing, the chapter in video below was the final one of that year’s video).

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