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!
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!
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)
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!
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!
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.
Mike Traslin just shot me a note, and sharing the Backcountry Film Festival’s teaser , which showcases mostly clips of the big boy film companies and a short clip of the Traslins!!! That’s right that kick ass video that G3 put together capturing month 95 of Mike and Andy’s quest to keep ‘em turning on snow all year long.
If you happen to be here in the PNW, you may have already caught some of the films and if not, you can hit the North Bend Theater (right at the Western front of the Central Cascades) this Sunday for a little of the action.
Below are a few words the Winter Wildlands Alliance had to say about their film fest:
“Now in its 10th year the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival celebrates the human powered winter experience through film. The festival aims to entertain while helping to raise funds and awareness for Winter Wildlands and our like-minded partners. The Backcountry Film Festival premieres in Boise ID and then travels to more than 100 locations worldwide. Along the way, the Backcountry Film Festival will be viewed by more than 20,000 outdoor enthusiasts and raise more than $110,000 each year for local organizations working on advocacy, snow safety, outdoor education and SnowSchool programs.” – Winter Wildlands Alliance
Andy Traslin sent this one over capturing a tiny bit of their trip to Japan this Summer. They were skiing the SE Face of Mt. Asashi-dake in the video below (also a tiny little clip of Pennywise in Vancouver, performing the “Bro Hymn”). Mt. Asashi is the tallest mountain within the Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group, which is located in the center of Hokkaido Island. The Daisetsuzan Volcanic Group and/or Daisetsuzan National Park is also part of the massive Pacific Ring of Fire, located at the Southern tip of the “Kurile Arc” section (a tiny chain of islands that begins off the North shore of Hokkaido. Thanks for the share you guys! Photo credit above/Mike Traslin, athlete/Andy Traslin
If you live in the Pacific Northwest and like to move through the mountains and/or valleys, enjoy cooking, and mostly eating amazing food? THEN, be sure to click the link to get your very own copy of “Cooking Wild Mushrooms”. Many of you out there that ride the Cascade snow, most likely have heard of Starfish Magazine, a snowskate mag that was the creation of a local friend, Tim Leavitt. Meeting Tim years ago, he first impressed me with his very high level of riding on the snow using a snowboard or snowskate. Next, I was impressed with his ability to organize and host super fun snowskate events. But, the biggest shocker was finding he his a wizard in the forest with mushrooms (a mycologist), and now to see what he and his family (and good friends) do with the bounty, simply blew me away!!! If mushrooms are a part of your life (or you are getting into picking them and wondering what to do after the find), I highly recommend getting a copy of this latest book of culinary mushroom masterpieces, as I have watched people come into the Aardvark Express (a local Snoqualmie Pass hiker/traveler haven for excellent food) for a snack after gathering a 5 gallon bucket of Mushrooms (showing their skill/bounty), then flip through Tim’s book, “Cooking Wild Mushrooms”, and be simply stunned with the delectable dishes PAGE after PAGE… Like the Soup recipe for my new favorite Bear’s Head Tooth. Again, click the link and get your copy of “Cooking Wild Mushrooms” for your coffee table.
Also, just for fun, the video below is a fun day in the mountains with Tim Leavitt at his “Serpentine Massacre” which happens every year in March.
Colorado ski lifts are running today! Both Arapahoe Basin (which opened for the season on 10/17) and Loveland are open for skiing and riding on 18″ of machine made snow. The race to host Opening Day is one of the highlights of the ski season, a title often held by Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin or Loveland Ski Area. Both resorts are perched atop the Continental Divide, giving them higher elevations, earlier frosts, and colder temperatures. This also allows them to stay open long into the spring. A-Basin and Loveland are part of the 2014/15 Colorado Gems Card program together with Arapahoe Basin, Eldora Mountain Resort, Loveland Ski Area, Monarch Mountain, Powderhorn Resort, Ski Cooper, Ski Granby Ranch, and Sunlight Mountain Resort. The Gems Card, which costs just $20, features two-for-one lift tickets and exclusive Flash Deal promotions. Each Gems Card is good for one use per Gems resort, per season, and only a limited number of Gems Cards are available for sale.
The Colorado Gems program is presented by Icelantic Skis; a Colorado-based ski manufacturer that brings art, adventure, creativity, passion, and innovation to their handmade skis.