Our Trooper dog has been very sick – the vet says he’s dying. TNT, who adopted him as a pup and taught him to ’ski’ the steepest slopes, is beside himself. We need to send them both some positive vibes today — pray for Trooper dog. So many of our readers have come to know Trooper and enriched his and our lives by sharing in our adventures on snow. A year ago, TNT posted this short conditions report from his backyard, Summit East (aka Hyak). Always accompanied by Trooper, he did a night skin up the ski area. It was a typical deep January day having just received over 12 inches in the past 24 hours at Hyak and 3 feet in the last 72 hours at Alpental. The kind of day that we and Trooper live for. I’ve often said that TNT is super intuitive – note his choice of music from Lionheart and the lyrics toward the end of this video: “we got 1 life to live, never know when it’s over. fight ’til my last day but i still fight to keep my composure”. Thanks for being a part of our lives and for helping to keep Trooper alive. Feel free to send a personal note to TNT using the mail icon link at the top right of this page.
So stoked to see that Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes Washington, is available for pre-order now. Those in the area can join the authors, Martin Volken and the guides of Pro Guiding Service for the book release party on Tues., Feb. 11, 2014 at the Mountaineers, 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle. This all new guide book includes 80 of the best routes in Washington (plus one in British Columbia). The routes range from accessible day trips suitable for relative beginners to more challenging multiday traverses. This guide book is a must have for anyone looking to ski or ride the best of Washington’s backcountry. Each route includes the following elements:
* Starting elevation and high point
* Elevation gain and loss
* Route distance
* Time required
* Recommended skill and fitness levels
* Best season to ski
* Maps and permits info
* Driving directions, from nearest major town or junction
* Detailed route description
* Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes: Washington also includes an introduction by legendary Northwest skier Lowell Skoog.
Martin Volken, owner of Pro Guiding Service and UIAGM certified Swiss Mountain Guide, also wrote the definitive book on Backcountry Skiing Snoqualmie Pass and co-authored the classic Backcountry Skiing: Skills for Ski Touring And Ski Mountaineering. Add those to your library too. In addition, be sure to check out Pro Guiding Service’s wide range of ski touring courses and trips – one of our favs, Intro to Ski Touring starts tomorrow. Watch our video from the class and sign up now. Live to ski another day.
Finally the ENTIRE “Cascade Crown” was blessed with the goods last week, beginning on the morning of the 9th, then a huge re-load Saturday night through Sunday. Here’s what the snowriding was like at one of the six gems, Crystal Mountain. Thanks to Carl Simpson for the sweet eye candy edit of their two great dayz last week!
Speaking of our Cascade Crown, that gives us so many options for folks East or West of the Crest, I wanted to let everyone know of a great deal for those that might be needing a ride out of the city up to the mountains to get their fix too! Our friends at Seattle Ski Shuttle are offering a ski shuttle originating out of West Seattle, with some strategic stops along the way, OR just hire the shuttle bus for an office ski day, b-day party, etc.
Just wrapped up our mini PNW tour with Dean Cummings and on our Mission Ridge/Stevens Pass stops, our trip’s park team (the Tran Brothers) were M.I.A. Then I remembered the first time I met Tyler Tran (at the Red Bull Third Shift standing on the top podium spot), when he told me the park action usually happens in a dry spell and they’d rather climb for some sweet turns on a natural BIG mountain park. Looks like Tyler Tran, Thomas Tran, Ashton Ritchie, Mik Metzler, and Tim Black jumped on a perfect opportunity to ski a huge, freshly loaded, natural park… Mt. Baker, via the Squak Glacier.
Here’s a nice looking tour the gang hit just before our last blast of snow ( Jan. 4th and 5th) when a Snow Trooper had to work a little harder for the goods. Below are a few notes/excellent pics from Jameson Florence, along with a sweet video from Carl Simpson.
Jeff knew that there would be some good turns to be had on rock mountain but with a long, steep, icy approach spent the better part of an hour that morning convincing the team to go. He succeeded in talking Jim Dockery, Eric Rouse, Franklin, Carl Simpson, and myself Jameson Florence into the day trip. We drove up the spur road as far as the down trees would let us and started to walk. For over an hour we bushwhacked through dense alder and very slippery icy dirt. With only a few crashes to our knees and faces we finally made it to skinnable snow and punched a track to the promise land.
Soon the conditions went from thin and sunbaked to creamy powder, all thoughts of having to walk back down that trail quickly vanished into certain face shots in the near future.
below is a short video by Carl Simpson of the powder dayz on 1/4 and 1/5/2014
This is the moment we and all Alpentalics have been waiting for – Alpental OPENS tomorrow, Sunday, 1/12/14. All of Summit at Snoqualmie’s areas will be open 9am-4pm except Summit East/Hyak. It’s going to be a great day: snow is piling up fast. Mid-January has a history of bringing Snowmageddon to Washington’s Cascades and this one looks to be (finally) shaping up to meet expectations. Could we have a blower day like the one in our video intro below? If snow forecasts are right, we’re looking at a possible 36″ in the next 24hrs or so for the West slopes of the WA Cascades. Be prepared for a deep one and live to ski another day! GO SEAHAWKS!
Not much to say except… Summit West and Central tomorrow for a day shot and our beloved Alpental on Sunday. Stoked to have the conditions looking like they are “Finally There!” Think big SNOW and always, “Live to Ski Another Day!”
Below are some sights of the “sight for sore eyes”.
The snow we’ve been waiting for at the Summit at Snoqualmie has finally arrived. The Summit reports that 10″ fell in the last 24hrs – enough to OPEN Summit West tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 through Sunday 9am-4pm. TNT was on hand to help ABC’s local station, KIRO-TV air the big news today. Video below (note it takes a few minutes to load).
A large avalanche struck this afternoon in East Vail Chutes, a popular backcountry area accessible from east of the Vail ski area, between Vail Pass and Vail Mountain. Our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of the lost skier identified as Anthony “Tony” Seibert, 24, of Boulder and Vail. He’s the grandson of Vail ski resort’s founder. Conditions have been dangerous due to recent heavy snow, high winds and warming temperatures. On Monday, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center warned of dangerous conditions at all elevations in Vail and Summit counties with wide slabs of snow likely to be unstable because of snowfall and winds during the weekend. That region has a deadly history due to avalanches – in fact, the East Vail Chutes had two skier-triggered avalanches as recently as Dec. 22. There have been several avalanches deaths in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming in just the past two weeks. We encourage all skiers and boarders to take the time to be prepared and learn about snow safety before venturing into the backcountry.