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!
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!