First of all, HAPPY Father’s Day, to my dad and all you pops out there! Here’s a video from last Sunday (6/8/14) of a father and son outing to Pinnacle Peak in the Tatoosh. The self edit video features our 14 year old friend, Alex Ropka, gettin’ after the late Spring sun cups. The “long shots” are taken by Alex’s climbing partner / camera guy / father, Ben Ropka. Thanks for the fresh, young stoke, and always remember, “live to ski another day!”
Some of the SW Chutes were tagged by a bunch of Snow Troopers this past Wednesday (6/11). I knew the origianal plan for the crew was to head towards Rainier for the day ( I was to ski on Snoqualmie Pass), but with the small weather window looking a little bigger and better, the call was made to go for Adams. I hadn’t been down to Mt. Adams for a couple years, so I was stoked to hear part of the group was heading my way, to kick off this quick 30 hour adventure (which would produce about 20 minutes of sweet corn skiing on one of the best steep LONG sustained faces in the NW). I jumped in with Chris Olsen, Jeff Rich and Adam Roberts, around 7PM, as they rolled over Snoqualmie Pass for the scenic “4-5 hour” East route. David O’Donnell, Silas Wild, Zack Jessel, Tara and Carl Simpson rolled the West side, all to rendezvous at the Morrison Creek Campground. Waking with the sun, after about “4-5” hours of sleep, I was surprised to see the HUGE burn we were camped with in, that now produces a view of the Volcano from almost everywhere. Weather was perfect for a day on Adams, as you will see in Carl Simpson’s video below. Hit the Chutes, then half of us went for the easy out (back to Cold Springs CG) and the other half did the adventure BURN ski back towards Morrison Creek CG. The chutes are skiing very well right now and should be looking good for a bit longer. So, get after it, before the SUN does
Awesome weekend to be in the mountains, lots of sun and still a fair amount of snow to ski close to the Hyak home base. Silver Peak is also hanging in there, for all of you that want the quickest/easiest fix. Hopefully we will see you out at Silver Peak, June 21st, for our second annual celebration of the year’s longest day. Also, join me in a celebration of Trooper Dog… This was his home for 10 epic years, and at sunset I will start spreading his ashes from the “Silver Cirque”.
Having skied this past week+, maxing out around the 5′000′ elevation (and having a lot of fun with good conditions), it’s no wonder the fantastic skiing D.O.D., Tara and Carl Simpson found 4,000′ higher. Still good access for great skiing up and down the Cascades, so get it before those sweet “Late Spring” skinning approaches melt out.
Photo credit/Carl Simpson
Here’s a short ( June 2, 2014 ) visual update of the snow removal from Heather Meadows to Artist Point. The 3 man crew, running 2 dozers and 1 snowblower, were working their way up the switchback, just below Austin Pass. I ran into E.Beam and his new family member, Coco, a fine 2 1/2 year old rescue pup. I joined them for a quick lap on the Horn. Coco was beyond happy, out on her first ever ski adventure. After seeing Coco bomb down the mountain, I would have to say she is now hooked on skiing and her new life! The only bummer of the day for me, was somehow getting a perfectly BLURRY long shot of Coco’s first ever descent. The skiing was great June fun and it’s looking like a great start to this upcoming weekend. The sun cups are out there in the lower zones, but they still are soft and clean, so get it while it’s good!
Watson Traverse was just completed by some Snow Troopers this past Saturday, the 31st of May. They had excellent conditions on the Park Headwall as you will see in the sweet video Jeff Rich banged out somehow in between all of his volcano “Shreds”. Below are a few notes from Jeff in regards to the epic trip.
This edit is of the Watson Traverse that I did with 10 other fellow skiers & a splitboarder.The traverse starts out at the NW corner of Mt.Baker, Climbs over the summit, descends the Steep East face, & a long traverse over to the Mt. Baker ski resort. There is over 9K of vertical elevation gain and 16+ miles of travel. With a Very experienced and strong group, We pulled the trip off with out even a glitch. Thanks all, for the great memory and ski!
I must also add that 5 others did this trip as well. Who? Lowell Skoog & crew. Lowell was responsible for archiving and naming the traverse of the first pioneers that completed this route 75 years ago.
This past Monday (as I was walking around the Mt. Baker zone) Jeff Rich, David O’Donnell, Tara and Carl Simpson were all chowin’ down on a HUGE “Fryingpan” of saute’ed corn. The Fryingpan Glacier is found via the Sunrise entrance to the Mt. Rainier National Park. Beautiful area with nice campgrounds close (especially when the White River CG opens for the season with in the next few weeks).
photo credit/Tara Simpson
Here’s a video from Chinook Pass, WA during the opening weekend courtesy of Carl Simpson, Tara Simpson and crew. The 5,430 ft high pass opened on May 23, 2014 for the summer season. So if you’re looking for an easy to get to area for backcountry skiing and riding in June, check out Chinook Pass – serving up car laps now. If you’re headed there, note that WSDOT is reporting that traffic is reduced to single lane alternating traffic east of the pass through a 150-foot section where the barrier and guardrail was damaged from snow and avalanches so minor delays are expected.
The road to White River Campground in (and according to) Mt. Rainier National Park is scheduled to open tomorrow, May 30th at Noon. The campground itself remains closed until further notice. Next up could be Artist Point. This week, WSDOT began clearing that 2.7 mile stretch of the Mt. Baker Highway (SR 542) that ends at Artist Point. They are expecting it to take about a month – meaning a possible opening by July 1st (same date as last year’s opening as seen in video below with Hugo Harrison). Mt. Rainier National Park estimates Sunrise will open on July 3rd – meaning White River Campground will open at or before that date. Looks like there’s going to be a ton of choices for backcountry skiing and riding In Washington come July 4th weekend….Stay tuned.
The final video for our 2014 Washington Pass visit is finally finished… Hope you can take one more North Cascade Spring stoke!?!? This was our final day on the pass (5/16), and we went old school by hitting “Sally Portman’s Birthday Tour”, changing it up slightly, but keeping on track so we could get a little N.Cascade mogul skiing for our final descent back to the hairpin.