Mt. Rainier National Park has confirmed that the White River Rd. to the White River Campground (elevation 4300′) opens tomorrow, May 1st at 8am. The road provides access to the Glacier Basin Trail (at the far end of the campground) and Glacier Basin camp ( apx. 5900′ & 3.5 mi from the trailhead). From there, see our earlier post on skiing Glacier Basin, Interglacier, Mt. Ruth. – The campground itself is not pegged to open until later on June 26th. The Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh campgrounds are scheduled to open earlier on May 22nd. The road to Sunrise will open on June 5th. Check back for updates.
I really don’t need to mention how bummed I have been this season, not being able to skin off the deck to get a quick 1K of skiing on Mt. Hyak, before the start of any day. That being said, I do feel blessed to be able to drive to a number of trail heads, or Alpental’s parking lot with in 10 to 20 minutes that give access to skiable terrain after a 30 to 45 minute boot pack (4,500′, on average, seems to be to magic number to start skinning). The video below was taken yesterday (4/26/15)
This is an event I’d like to attend in the future, Tailgate Alaska, which is held on Thompson Pass (just outside Valdez). Below is a sweet recap of the event through the lens of ”Expeditionary Film School of Alaska”, along with some instruction from Sky Rondenet. Below are a few words from the folks at the Expeditionary Film School of Alaska along with the sweet video the students put together of the event.
This shoot takes place at Tailgate Alaska 2015, at world-renowned Thompson Pass, just outside Valdez, AK. It was shot by students in the Adventure Film program of Prince William Sound College of the University of Alaska. Expeditionary Film School of Alaska supports the Outdoor Studies degree program of Prince William Sound College, the only accredited adventure film program within an academic degree in the world (that we know of…).
Featuring three concentrations with a degree in Outdoor Studies:
1. Adventure Film
2. Adventure Tourism
3. Expedition Specialist a.- Alpine b. -Aquatic
We are enrolling now for Fall 2015 in the Outdoor Studies department of Prince William Sound College of the University of Alaska. We are the ONLY accredited program, anywhere that we know of, with a concentration in adventure filmmaking.
Join us to reap the rewards:
1. one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation
2. NO out of state tuition
3. We’re in VALDEZ, ALASKA!!!
4. Earn a degree in Adventure Filmmaking and Outdoor Studies
5. Small town setting with an intensive, hands-on, and field-based education.
Call (907)834-1600 to register.
Here’s a sweet one our bro Adam Roberts sent over from this past April 16th, 2015. Conditions were superb for day that would include the Shuksan Headwall and then a climb back up for an epic run down the Northwest Couloir. Adam got some really nice time lapse shots in this video along with some great shots of Russell Cunningham rocking his Karakoram splitboard set up.
This past April 12th, 2015, Frank Sosa and I headed up into the Snoqualmie Pass “Know Snow Zone” in search for some decent descents… Without too much pain for the pleasure. Bingo, finally great skiing from top of local peak which took apx 1.5 hrs from the time we departed the Hyak, WA parking lot. However, things have change quite a bit since then, as the Southern slopesthat were skiable just a week ago are already bare. Getting ready to order some running shoes for up here on Snoqualmie Pass, along with get the mini van ready for the upcoming road trips.
Here’s a little look at the amazing skiing found recently by Tara & Carl Simpson, Jeff Rich, Zack Jessel and so many more ,throughout this sweet compilation of powder dayz this April (2015). With the early opening of Chinook Pass this year and late, cold storms, the timing was right for some great skiing, from the car! Grab the cup of joe and click play before you get out to start your day!
skier / Zack Jessel, photo and video credit / Carl Simpson
This past Sunday (4/12/15) the Cascades were blasted with enough fresh, cold snow at the 4,000′+ level, that the Stevens Pass management gave the green to fire up the Skyline and 7th Heaven chairs. The video below was sent over by our young friend, Alex Ropka, a local Stevens Pass ripper, who loves to get out ski, film and the best part EDIT… That way we all get a peek of the peaks, some of us may have missed. I know I did, because I chose to stay here on Snoqualmie Pass and ski in the higher zones (getting greatly rewarded too), but my bro Jerad Merbs (who was going to roll with us) bailed for the Stevens Pass lift served action. Jerad reported, not many people, great snow and skiing, but did take some good shots to the boards. However, It was so good he went back this past Tuesday as well. Below is the short edit from our 16 year old friend, Alex Ropka, enjoy and get out to Stevens today as this will be the last day per their schedule/weather.
Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC has announced plans to create a base to base gondola connecting the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski areas. The planning process to design the Gondola Connection is now underway. The gondola would make it easy for skiers and riders to explore both mountains with a single lift ticket or season pass, without needing to travel between the two by car. “For decades, skiers and riders have talked about connecting these two world-class resorts,” said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC. “Over the last four years, we’ve made significant improvements to enhance the skier experience at both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The base-to-base gondola will offer our guests the ability to easily explore and experience the unique attributes of these two mountains via a brand new aerial connection, while simultaneously reducing vehicle traffic between them.” The planned gondola connection between the two mountains is due to a partnership between Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and Troy Caldwell, the owner of the private land dubbed “White Wolf,” located between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The estimated completion date of the project will be subject to Placer County and US Forest Service approvals once applications are submitted. “Connecting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows through White Wolf is literally bringing my long-time dream to fruition,” said Troy Caldwell. “I’ve waited years for this to happen, and am pleased to have reached an agreement with Squaw Valley Ski Holdings to allow skiers and riders to easily move between these two incredible mountains.”
Plans to connect the two mountains have commenced, and include the possibility of the lift to be constructed as a high-speed, detachable gondola that would operate between the base of Squaw Valley and the base of Alpine Meadows, traveling over the KT-22 Peak. There are no plans currently being contemplated to allow skiing or other non-skiing activities along the lift route or on the White Wolf terrain. Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and Troy Caldwell will work with mountain planners at SE Group to design and construct the gondola connection to ensure good stewardship of the high alpine environment whose natural beauty is integral to the overall Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows experience. The planned base-to-base gondola will be carefully designed to minimize the overall footprint and potential visual impacts to the adjacent Granite Chief Wilderness, as well as maintain the scenic beauty of the area.
For more information about the Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows connection, watch the video or visit squawalpine.com/gondola.
This April Fools’ Day (2015), was a memorable one for sure, not only for the great POW we found up in the higher elevations above Snoqualmie Pass, but all of the pre/post-powder antics. This adventure started with a call from Adam Roberts (Mt. Baker loc), giving a shout just prior to April 1st, right after a weather update. The report was for a Winter storm convergence zone, that would end up at our parking lot. We set out the morning of the 1st (for 1 one of 2), with Jerad Merbs, Goods Woods, Steve Griffith, Frank Sosa, and Adam Roberts. Having a little too much fun on the road in to the TH, we had a little low speed mishap, after hitting a patch of ice (hidden beneth the blower pow), which sucked us off the road. In the video, the truck looks to be sitting fine, however we had to build up the road on the downhill side to prevent the truck from flipping down into the 20′ deep draw. A solid 3 hours after our departure from the Hyak parking lot, we were back on the road, heading once again, towards the TH (which we ended up a half mile shy, because the snow became too deep). Overall we had an excellent time for the entire two huge days (minus the stuck truck, which was a pretty cool team work effort to get it out and driving down the road). Live to ski another day, and don’t try to drive into our powder stash!
Sweet short compilation of a little of this past week…