Our Friend Josh Langdon, out of Flagstaff, is another one of those real skiers, that knows great quality (having shredded the gnar for many years, in world class fashion, on the steeps of Jackson). That’s why he and his family spend all 4 seasons in some of Arizona’s finest country, Northern AZ! This latest edit from Josh is a compilation of the past two seasons, getting some great turns in their private 12,000+ foot volcanic playground. Many of you know, Arizona is my former home, and if I had landed in Flagstaff on my journey North, I might still be there too! I really hope to get down there in the near future to soak up some the awesome SW HIGH desert goodness and ski with Josh and his strong AZ crew. The mountain zones of Arizona are so cool to me, as they always felt like an island oasis is a massive ocean of desert. I grew up in a tiny version of N.Arizona, down in Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains (a 7,000′ rise from cacti to aspen, but not enough elevation to get the great skiing seen in Josh’s vid below). Thanks for the share Josh, Arizona rocks!!!
Day one of December just happens to be day one for Crystal Mountain’s 2014/2015 season! If you are wondering what kind of conditions await you this morning, then be sure to click the super sweet, DEEP pre-opener that Carl Simpson and Jeff Rich captured the past two days and put together quickly for our monday morning jolt (to call in sick)! skier(left)/Carl Simpson, photo credit/Jameson Florence.
Easy come, easy go, all in just a few days… So, may the good times start to (once again) FLOW! Thought I’d put the running shoes away for the year, but yesterday I found myself putting them and the waterproof clothing on, just like Crispin’s fine boy Geebs (seen to the left, making good use of his dad’s tire bags). I then headed down Denny Creek for Franklin Falls. The rain has washed a lot of the ice and snow off the trail making it somewhat safe to get close for a pic (which wasn’t the case this time last year – needing crampons). Franklin Falls was epic, making me think a run down to check out Snoqualmie Falls could be worth while too. As you can see from the pic below, it was well worth the drive down to the city of Snoqualmie, to finish off my micro runs for BIG waterfalls. If you do make it out to Snoqualmie Falls, I recommend walking down the the river via the somewhat newly redesigned trail and boardwalk, as it is far easier/safer, than the old route, for all members of the family to get in a beautiful “pre-turkey feast” walk.
Below is a short video I put together of our new snow being washed away by the 10 inches (or so) of rain that we have received in recent days (which is still coming down hard). However, the weather experts are calling for the snow level to drop below the Cascasde’s lowest pass elevation this Friday night. Think cold snow!
Take 2, because this one looks like a different version of yesterday’s video that was filmed on 11/23, but it’s actually YESTERDAY’s grand ski day, had by Jeff Rich, Hugh Gren, Tara and Carl Simpson. Thanks to Carl, we can enjoy it too, via his sweet short vid below and the pic to the left with a signature. Think cold snow!
Here’s a quick conditions video report from yesterday (11/23/14), where Carl Simpson skiing was skiing with friend (and super fun guy), Hugh Gren on the freshly covered slopes of Crystal Mountain! A good start this past weekend, that makes me think about the song everyone’s been singing for months now, “It’s all about the BASE…”
A short little “Mid Nov. Conditions Report” showing how conditions can change in a blink of an eye. First, a few clips of Crispin Prahl, Eric Roose and crew, getting in a little rare high alpine lake skating action, during the very tiny window that doesn’t always open (this was back on and around 11/13). The weather has been high and dry ever since, until this current system pushed in Wed/Thurs. Giving me my first surprise this past Friday morning (11/20/14), waking to the brown grass of Hyak, half cover with a little fresh snow. By the time I was hitting the sack Friday night, I was thinking my trip earlier that day up and over Summit West to access Lodge Lake, might have been the last time traveling the Cascades in tennies until June?!? Let’s hope that is the case! Today, I had a thought of heading up to Summit West to see if my FAT boards could make the 8 or so inches of new snow seem like a little more. Also, I had watched earlier this Fall, the Summit’s new, bad ass, snowcat mowing attachment take the brush under PC chair down lower and cleaner, than I have ever seen. So go figure, as I was sitting on the fence “to ski or not to ski”, my good buddy, Silas Wild pulled me off to the side, of “skiing”, with a phone call letting me know he and Crispin were passing through North Bend heading for Summit West. That did it! 30 minutes later we all were walking up the hill with skins on, to kick of the 2014/2015 Snoqualmie Pass ski season! The skiing was better than we had expected, making me look forward to tomorrow. photo credit/ Eric Roose, alpine skater/Crispin Prahl
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!
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!