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Mt. Rainier, WA – Finding Paradise

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03
May

 width= Fun times on Snoqualmie Pass, WA this past week. Good dose of sunshine and lots of skiing, included a trip out to the Stompin’ Grounds with Heidi, Matt, Adam and myself. Even though the loose granular was super deep, and sticky/tricky to ski, we had a great time. Note: WET Growlers were found on all sun lit slopes, making me glad we were keeping it safe, on micro BIG terrain (rather than anything 1000+ feet or greater, like the 2000′+ shots found from the summit to the lakes). Glad we soaked up the vitamin D all week, because just like clockwork, the PNW rain returned last night, for the final lift served weekend on Snoqualmie Pass… The weather experts are calling for the next rain free “Western Cascade front” day to fall this upcoming Wednesday. Gore-tex ‘til then, or head East!

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01
May

 width= Monday morning (4/28/2014), Brian Leahy gave a shout to rally me for a chute he has had his eye on for a while now. The chute, Brian has dubbed “Zig Zag”, is located just outside our Silver Peak playground (or should I say with in the zone?). We caught the chute with somewhat cold snow that far exceeded my expectations. Super fun Monday, that was followed by nothing but full on sunshine all week. Better get out today or tomorrow, because the wet Western front weather returns for the lift served weekend. Might be a good weekend to hit the Eastern slopes!

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30
Apr

 width= If you are wondering what this post is all about, by the title, you might be thrown off a little. The Booter Buddy event is a big air comp/festival going off this May 3rd. The 2nd annual event is being held in the backcountry of Alpental (which is no longer the backcountry but the “Back Bowls”). To access the “Back Bowls” you need to obtain a pass from the ski patrol at the top of Edelweiss Chair, no gear or partners required, but highly advised. For this event, which is held on knoll 0, I believe you can view without a “Back Bowl” pass, then swoop right back inbounds for you return to the base area.. Check with the Summit at Snoqualmie for more details on the “Booter Buddy” event and/or getting a “Back Bowl” pass

and/or education.

Below is a short edit of last year’s event.

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29
Apr

Fresh tracks, sun and warming temps -that hit 60s today up at Snoqualmie Pass, WA- had us thinking that spring doesn’t get much better than this. TNT, Eric Roose and I tested out the conditions in some safe zones (while we decide on some bigger trips for rest of week) – frontside at the Summit at Snoqualmie’s Central area and old growth trees and lower angles terrain in the backcountry all skied amazingly well – soft and creamy. Last lap had us back at our cars a bit after 7pm – by then the snow was slightly faster, denser but still soft. Remember to keep it safe – around 2ft of snow fell this past week and NW Avalanche Center has raised the avalanche warning to HIGH for “very dangerous avalanche conditions” below and above treeline. We spotted several fractures, slides and sloughing on steep, open bowls and unsupported slopes in the backcountry as well as hip high pin wheels. Live to ski another day!

 

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27
Apr

 width=I missed out on all of the action last weekend at Crystal Mountain, but our bro Carl Simpson didn’t. He had a pov or handheld cam rolling for bits and pieces of the “Triple Crown” & “The King and Queen of the Hill” freeride competitions along with the very popular “Bikini Downhill”. It wasn’t too bad of a PNW weekend for inbounds riding, especially with the 8+ inches the Cascades received since last night. I wasn’t able to track down the results for the freeride comps yet, but will post them up as soon as I get hold of them.

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27
Apr

Winter weather continues here in Washington state. Hard to believe May begins this week with snow levels hanging at a low 3000 ft. Our record amounts of April showers is producing tons of NEW SNOW. Stevens Pass, WA is looking at a possible 10″ falling this afternoon into evening. The rest of the West slopes of the Central Cascade Mountains including Snoqualmie Pass could get up to another 11″ total by the end of today. Add that to the 19″ the top of Alpental received this past week and we’re looking at (cold) smokin’ conditions. Next stop, Rockies – our friends in UT, MT, WY, CO should get a good blast. Enjoy the extended deep pow, spring skiing and riding wherever you are.

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26
Apr

 width=
Quick post from a couple dayz at Crystal this past week with Rory Robison, David O’Donnell, Tara and Carl Simpson, before I get out this Saturday morning to see what the grip of new Spring snow is skiing like at the home mountain of Alpental. I’m sure Tara and Carl are probably doing the same thing, right now at Crystal. Have an AWESOME Saturday Snow Troopers! :-) photo credit- Carl Simpson

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25
Apr

Many Northwest resorts received snow this week – lots of it. The top of Alpental at the Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington received a whopping 19″ this week bringing the total snow base to 187″! Alpental remains at the top of the list of the nation’s ski resorts with the deepest snow base, followed by neighboring resorts here and in Oregon. Most ski resorts are closed now so if you want to keep skiing and riding in May and through spring and summer, check the list below. Here in the Pacific NW, there will be at least one lift running all summer at Timberline, OR. Beyond the lift served areas, WA’s deep snow base and glaciers will offer something for the ski touring/splitboarding crowd all summer long.

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23
Apr

 width=Here’s a great late season powder day, Tim Black and Thomas Tran captured last Friday (4/18/2014) in the Mt. Baker backcountry. The snow keeps on falling, even in the lower elevations, so our Spring/Summer season is looking quite good!

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22
Apr

Good new for Earth Day 2014 here in WA: Snow levels have dropped to ~3000′ and it’s SNOWING at Snoqualmie Pass.That zone is forecast to receive up to 10″ by tomorrow. But that’s just a third of what’s forecast for up at Paradise (5400′ elevation) in Mt. Rainier National Park – they are looking at up to 30″ of freshies this week. It’s no wonder Paradise is known as the snowiest place on earth (that is, of all places where snow depths are monitored). With our 14hr days, backcountry tours are getting bigger and better. Be sure you’re prepared. If you’re in our zone, check out gear, classes and guided trips at Pro Guiding Services of N. Bend. Live to ski another day!

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