Hated to leave Whitefish today, especially when I saw what local Friends Trevor Howard, and Big Dave got to shred all morning… Another friend, Craig Moore, chimed in on what I missed, and added a little while ago, that the snow is still dumping. That being said, have your Christmas Plans changed in recent days, like NO snow at the sceduled destination? Well, I know a place where the lines are short (even today with the fresh pow), locals are super friendly, and there are plenty of options for lodging… Whitefish Mountain Resort has a really sweet deal right now called the “Eat-Ski-Sleep-Repeat (for just $84)”. check If that didn’t catch your eye, then be sure to check out Big Dave’s vid from this morning (ripping the newly opened terrain found off chair 5).
Jeff Rich and Zack Jessel were chomping at the bit for some overdue powder, so they loaded up the Sprinter van for a little Northern Cali action and managed to find a little “East” of the crest goodness in Oregon, on the return trip. Excellent timing for them and for a little powder stoke as a nice blanket has just covered the Cascades of Washington.
The more I come to visit my friends in Whitefish Montana, the more I love it! This time, not only did I get a perfect mix of epic views, fantastic corduroy, and a sweet dose of powder (today), I also got to explore some brand new terrain found off the Flower Point Chair (chair 11). Super fun week, that came at a time when things were looking a little “grassy” at home. Hard to beat this BIG mountain, that gets an early start usually (the locs are kind of bummed that it isn’t up to the normal mid-December snowpack, but compared to most of the NW ski areas, they have a great base, 6 lifts (1 t-bar, magic carpet) spinning, and over 20 trails open. Another really cool thing about Whitefish (besides the locals) is how easily you can access Whitefish, from a flight into Kalispell to a quick NW road trip. If you like untracked powder and haven’t skied Whitefish Mountain Resort, you owe it to yourselves to block out some time for a memorable visit. Another cool thing about the ski area is the snow reporters bang out a daily conditions report… My friend “Big Dave” gave a shout out to rip a little sugar coated corduroy today in his daily vid… Super fun day! Check out the video below from this morning, then, plan a visit with your crew!!!
Here’s another “Chasin’ Snow” video brought to us by Jeff Rich and Zack Jessel, from this mid-December on a road trip to shralp a chunck of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. They hit it perfectly, as you will see in the super sweet edit Jeff put together below.
Well, looks like we are getting a similar start to last season, but I know it will come soon. Those wanting a fix in the PNW right NOW, will have to work for it a bit, whether it may be climbing out of the grassy zones (similar to Hugh Gren, Rory Robison, Tara and Carl Simpson’s trip yesterday, up to the snow zone that Crystal Mountain Resort had to offer), or jumping in a rig and chasing the snow a couple tanks of gas away. Looking like the gang found enough dust on crust for some descent skiing up higher in the Cascasdes (which Adam Roberts also found up out of Glacier, WA this past weekend). photo, screen grab, and video credit / Carl Simpson
Our friend and local Snoqualmie Pass shralper, Christopher Madison, sent this one over the other day, 2013/2014 “Searching for Snow” compilation. As most of The Snow Troopers are out chasing snow in other places like, CA, MT or up high in the N.Cascades (where Adam Roberts was killing it yesterday), this video from last year actually fits our current theme in the PNW. Below are a few words from Chris in regards to his sweet short edit of chasing snow with Brian Leahy.
In 2013-2014 we had an abnormal winter. December was nearly bone dry, and my mountain had no snow to speak of. So in order to get our snow fix some co-workers and I decided to road trip across a few states to find any snow we could. The theme continued throughout the season, as it seemed like I was trying to chase one storm after another all the way into the spring.
Here’s a sweet short edit Andrew Eckels did a while back, that never got shared for a morning stoke. This was a great PNW day spent out of Glacier, with friend James Leader. Looking forward to some great vids from Andrew Eckels and Jacob Mandell this season, especially since Jacob is now basing out of one of my favorite Cascade gateway towns… Glacier, WA. Oh, btw, I always think “Glacier Ski Shop” for some reason when I think Glacier, maybe ’cause it’s right there on the LEFT as you pull into town. That being said, if you find yourselves over there having forgotten you skis, skins, or something like that, well you will find the latest and greatest gear to demo along with a wealth of BIG mountain gear knowledge… These guys are REAL skiers!
Having based out of Snoqualmie Pass, WA for the past 15+ years, I have often found myself lift served skiing right at home, over the Thanksgiving weekend. That being said, once Thanksgiving passes, everyone starts to freak out if the Summit isn’t loading lifts. However, truth be know that our “life long” average opening date is Pearl Harbor Day (12/7). Today is day number one, when I start to become uneasy, but not too badly, having recorded the snow for the Summit almost my entire time up here. Studying the snowfall for the Summit at Snoqualmie, I have learned we become one of the deepest snowpacks in N.America not too far into Winter, which also provides as a great home base for our year round skiing. Below is a little compilation of what I’d like to be riding right here at home…
The deep annual snowpack the Summit at Snoqualmie receives, also provides for a “lift served” season that usually extends until Cinco de Mayo (May 5th). Being a year round PNW skier on the move often, I look forward to staying close to home through the holidays, but knowing it WILL come in due time (and the forecast this week is quite weak), I’m thinking of packing up and heading East to chase a little cold pow.
The target could possibly be Whitefish, MT. Knowing they just started loading lifts this past Saturday and hearing good reports from some of my local friends about the 30 something runs open (including a new chairlift and t-bar!). I sure love BIG Mountain, now known as Whitefish Mountain Resort and the REAL ski vibe if offers, not to mention the kick ass terrain, super chill mountain folk, and SMALL lift lines. The last item on my list (small lift lines) would be the main reason I’d rather drive 10 hours East, than 11 to 15 hours to the SE (that and the fact Connor O’Neil and Nathan Powell will be my personal POWDER shred guides at Whitefish).
below is a look at Whitefish earlier today… Thinking the 5 to 10 inches of warm moisture rolling through the PNW this week, might land in MT as cold POW, right as I do
Tara and Carl Simpson have really been getting after the snow lately, and in doing so, not traveling too far to get some beautiful walks capped off with great skiing. The video below is from this past Tuesday (11/2/14) when the Simpsons and Rory Robison headed up on Mt. Rainier, for a day adventure out of the Paradise parking lot. As you will see the pow was wind packed up higher, but it looked quite sweet down in the lower zones (similar to the epic opener at Crystal, the day prior).