In an earlier post, we told you about U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)’s launch of US Topo – free (!) online topographic maps that can be downloaded and printed at the USGS Store. Created in the familiar 7.5-minute quadrangle format like the legacy paper maps, US Topo maps are supported by frequent updating (3 year cycles) and feature on-screen geographic analysis. For those new to these digital maps, USGS now offers a video tutorial on using US Topo, the GeoPDF functionality and Terrago tools available for use with their GeoPDFs. The USGS Map store has free downloads of all the topographic maps ever produced by the USGS, including historic maps. Take advantage of these free tools and maps and be prepared when going into the backcountry. Live to ski another day!
Sunrise Road in Mt. Rainier National Park is currently projected to open in a month on June 28th. The road ends at an elevation of 6,400ft, making it the highest road in the park. The Sunrise area offers endless backcountry skiing and riding from the parking lot and what we think are the best views of Mount Rainier and the Emmons glacier. The road to the White River campground is already open but the campground itself isn’t pegged to open until June 28th as well. Cougar Rock campground is expected to open a day earlier. Ohanapecosh campground opened on May 24th. Sunrise is located 60 miles northeast of the Nisqually Entrance and 14 miles northwest of the Sunrise/White River turnoff on Highway 410.
Yesterday, Red Bull went live with video of the world’s highest BASE jump ever at 23,688ft above sea level. Russian extreme sports star Valery Rozov (48) made the jump off the north face of Mount Everest earlier this month. He reached speeds of 125 mph. Sure beats hiking down. Check it out.
Happy Memorial Day to all skiers & riders. Many of us saw fresh snow for the long weekend – here in Washington, New England and overseas, the winter like weather just keeps coming. Crystal Mountain (WA), Mt. Hood (OR), Mammoth Mountain (CA), A-Basin (CO), Aspen (CO), Whistler Blackcomb all opened this weekend for lift served turns. Here in Washington, the National Weather Service forecasted snow for the West slopes of the Cascades above 4000-6500ft all week and Crystal Mountain received 6″ by the time this weekend got started (it’s a cool 32 degrees at the summit right now). Overseas, our friend Tom Greenall reports the same – he spent the day on the Aiguille du Midi of Chamonix, France skiing the Rognon variation of the classic Vallee Blanche route. Here’s his video. Send us yours from this weekend to share.
News just in that at around 7pm today, the Skagit River bridge on i-5 (milepost 228) in Mt. Vernon, WA collapsed. Both direction of i-5 are now closed in the area. This is the route we normally take to get to or from the Mt. Baker zone. Traffic is backed up and being detoured to side streets.
Here’s a recent trip (by off season standards) to the Shuksan Arm with Andrew Eckels and Jacob Mandell. Below are a few words from Andrew along with a short video of the day.
On Thursday May 9th Jacob Mandell and I set out to ski some lines far out on the Shuksan arm. Missed alarms and forgotten gear led to a late start and we found that the north slopes had pretty gloppy snow by the time we were dropping in. We decided to go for a South facing chute we had scoped a while back and after an exiting down climb to get in we reaped steep corn turns! After one yo yo of fun mellow corn we climbed back to the arm and skied slow motion but consistent glop back to the car.
Very excited to have met Tyler Tran, another one of Andrew Eckels’ Western Washington University ski friends, this past February as he won the “Red Bull Third Shift”, which was held at Summit Central. I was quite surprised when we interviewed Tyler after the Red Bull event to learn they spend most of their time big mountain skiing and hit the park in between the storms. The video below is a nice blend of powder and park Tyler Tran style, Check it, then check back for some Summer vids we hope to kick out with Tyler, Kevin, Andrew and the gang!!!
We’re excited to hear that WSDOT is planning to reopen Chinook Pass this Friday, May 17 at 10 a.m.!! This is one of our favorite backcountry zones in Washington – it’s located on SR 410 between the towns of Enumclaw and Naches at 5,430ft- about five miles east of the Cayuse Pass summit and at the east entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. Check out the goods in video below from last year’s opening day.
On this nice and warm day in Western Washington, a day when it had one of the two hottest cities (Seattle & Phoenix) in the U.S.A., a lot of people were thinking of a cooler place. Here’s a cooler time/place from last month with the Cascade Crew getting some lift served goods.