Sweet short compilation of a little of this past week…
Sweet short compilation of a little of this past week…
Here’s a fun one from a guy I’ve known since he was rocking it after high school, Drew Hurter. Now he’s a local B-Ham guy that calls Hwy 542 his home zone, and is now back skiing with us again through other local WWU Snow Troopers, like Tim Black, Tyler & The Tran Clan. Below are a few words in regards to their quest for powder or even “Chowder”, followed by Drew’s sweet edit.
After a season of chowderless turns in Washington, Tim and I packed up for a good old fashion spring break road trip (last week of March, 2015). We split our time between the Bozeman area and Cooke City finding plenty of pow along the way. Thanks to everyone that helped us make this trip possible. Enjoy!
WOW! If you were thinking ops like the Chugach Powder Guides were your closest fix for amazing powder skiing right now, think again (that is if you call your left foot heli and your right foot copter, like so many of us do year round). This video was taken by Carl Simpson this past April 2nd, 2015, up out of Mt. Rainier’s Paradise parking lot, where he and his ski partner Tara, Joined Amar Andalkar, Alicia Brannan and David O’Donnell for miles and miles of beautiful powder turns. Man I wish I had caught this one, but we were having a pretty good time here in the Central Cascades too (the Snow Gods taking care of the core).
photo and video credit / Carl Simpson
The second annual “Bonnington Traverse” was far from a smooth trip. Greg, Matt, Matt, Peter, Tanner, and Jacob set off in two 20 plus year old cars to Nelson BC in search of snow. On the way Jacob’s 25 year old Subaru Loyale died, which lead to the six dudes piling into one small Toyota Corolla for a few hours. The hike from the car began as a road walk, with skis on our backs with little snow in sight, but as we gained to about 5000′ the snowpack became deeper and deeper. As we reached the Grassy Hut for our first night we noticed cold powder on north aspects. The following day we were rewarded with cold blower Kootany powder all day with intermittent snow fall. The following day we reached the Stead Hut and had more good turns with heavy overnight packs. A warm front came in the following two days turning all the cold powder into deep, dangerous mank. We made the best of the bad snow with the creation of a long bike style jump line.
The return to the states was equally exciting. Jacob ditched his car in Canada and procceded with Tanner off on an epic hitchhike to Bellingham.
Well, the March lion was a little late to the Cascades this year, and due to his delay, all efforts were focused on the higher zones. This past Tuesday (3/24/15) we woke up to a fairly low snow level (however, above Snoqualmie Pass), allowing us to access the powder pretty quickly, but with a good amount of effort. After day one, skiing the Snoqualmie Pass area from apx 4,500′ to 5,500′ and a wet snow/muddy steep trail out, I decided to break out my Townsend Design knee brace, for my “good” ACL to ease on the mind and add support for the rando boots while in slick, scramble mode. For those of you that know me, you’ve seen the BRACE throughout the years, always on, as I have only skied one lap EVER with out my brace & it felt like a wet noodle, knowing with one bad tweak, it will be all over (unless I go in for reconstructive surgery – which I have though of for a bit, years ago, but never wanted to go through the down time of 6 to 12 months or more). Now I roll with one for the “bad” ACL and break out the brace for the “good” ACL on days with “testy” ski conditions.
Below is a recap of the three recent days (3/22, 24 & 25/2015) all edited together with music from my bro Soulfuli (please note: EXPLICIT lyrics)… This edit took me a few more days than I expected, receiving some really good news this past Friday (that put my focus elsewhere), on a day which happened to also be the 27th year (to the day) since I lost my best friend, Mike Mosman, to a drunk driver that hit / killed him while trainning for the “Tour de Tucson”, and the 6th year since we all lost Shane McConkey. Yesterday, was the day to wrap up this edit, and just shortly before I was to dive into it, I learned of the horrible news, that a local, born and raised (at Hyak, WA), friend earlier that day lost her life on a frontage road we all drive, bike, walk or run, multiple times a day!?! My heart sunk when I learned this news! It seems like just a short moment ago, that I was swinging into her party this past Tuesday, to give her a hug and say, “Happy Birthday.” I expected to be pitching horse shoes this week at the newly built pits at the Aardvark Express (which she had her eyes on, as we played our very first game this past Friday night). We will miss you, Sarrah Powers, but never forget you. RIP, sweet friend.
This past week was the birthday of a super cool, all around solid guy, that happens to slay big mountains for lunch, and huge traverses for dinner. That guy is Jeff Rich, a Stevens Pass loc, that I’m so happy to call a good friend! This past Tuesday (3/24/15) Jeff headed down to Crystal, where he connected with Tara & Carl Simpson, along with a grip of others, including local Alpentalic, Greg Ireton. We had tossed around leaving the pass, to connect with everyone, but with the low snow level we stayed home to ski Snoqualmie Pass, but Carl’s vid makes me wish I’d taken the 5hr (RT) drive. Happy Birthday Jeff!!
Below is s short recap of their epic “closed” day at Crystal Mountain Resort (crystal is NOW open thru Sunday).
Here’s a little peek of some great skiing, below a BIG peak. With the recent snowfall in the Cascades the conditions seen in Carl Simpson’s video below have change from great skiing to EXCELLENT skiing.
Mt. St Helens as seen from Mt. Rainier 3/16/15. photo & video credit / Carl Simpson
Due to the snow forecast, WSDOT has pushed the opening of Cayuse Pass out to Friday, April 3, 2015 (instead of the previously reported March 27th). Chinook Pass remains on track to open on Friday, April 3rd as well. Wet weather has returned to the Pacific NW and the snow level is forecast to drop to 3000-4500ft over the next few days. Fingers crossed, opening day will be a good one. Check out the zone and ski video.
This past Wednesday (3/18/15) Jerad Merbs and I headed up into the “Know Snow Wonderland” where everything seems to be relative as far as an approach for skiing. Whether it’s a drive to the closet volcano, or spinning chair lift, Jerad and I would have to put the time in some way or another to get to “skins on” mode. We chose the shorter drive, which gives a bigger/steep/longer approach to the snow, but we are at home in the mountains . We were blessed with some sweet views of Mt. Stuart, but socked in all around us, on a skiable crust for our first 500 feet or so, then a wall of “fly paper” let you know the crust became breakable and very testy on the ski skills. What a great day in the hills!
Below is a short vid of our very foggy day this past Wed.
Alright, here’s a very special post to me, that I’ve thought about probably a little too long. So here it is, first, most people know me as just a guy who loves skiing/friends more than most things in life. A lot of Alpental locs know my dad, Neil Tietjen, the same way. However, I do need to express how hard it was for me not to sound off about Ferguson, MO, but what I will say is, I was raised by a PEACE officer that would put his life (and has many times) on the line for you in order to protect and serve. I also have been heavily influenced by the close peace office friends of my father. The kind of cops that pull you over for a traffic violation (which he & they were uniform officers in the early days), that you know you were guilty of committing , and with proper RESPECT (this video link Steve Harvey interviews Michael Brown’s mother and at 9:00 into the video he tells how he taught his boys to RESPECT peace officers, I was taught by my father exactly how to act in this situation. This came after the earlier days of teaching me not to touch the electric outlets or pet rattlesnakes ), BINGO, you get a warning and gained a friend that WE put their to protect us. OK, enough of that, now on to the real awesome father, protector, and now die hard skier (who is having a tough time this year just like all of us NW skiers). I grew up with the coolest dad ever, however, in school I wasn’t allow to share one of those many cool things about dad. Well those days have long since past, and having seen and snuck my closest friends a peek of his super detailed scrap book he put together many years ago, I started asking dad to write his stories down to share with the world. I wasn’t an easy thing to do, as my dad did not want to write a book for a bunch of reasons, and not because of the time involved. Well, lucky for me, he is one of the biggest supporters of The Snow Troopers and a couple years back, I spent some time over Northern Idaho skiing the Cabinets and Selkirks (doing it all based out of his pad and pizzeria), where I got a lot of chances to pitch writing the book. Next thing, I’m back home in WA and get a call from mom, telling me he has been in his office every morning writing!?!? Almost 600 pages later of hunting and pecking a keyboard (I told mom, never tell him of the audio software she could have let him know was on his computer, shortening his time in the office – my family is a bunch of jokesters and we laugh very HARD when together), his book “Old School Narc” was completed! It made me tear up to receive the news. So that being said, please help support The Snow Troopers by purchasing and reading about the BIGGEST supporter of The Snow Troopers, my dad, Neil Tietjen… A real badass that always “Lives to Ski Another Day”.
Here a look at the back cover and press release & and most of all the AMAZON LINK:
OLD SCHOOL NARC: by NEIL TIETJEN
Retired 34 year law enforcement veteran Neil Tietjen has written a first-person account of his harrowing experiences as an undercover narcotics agent with the Tucson Police Department and Arizona Narcotics Strike Force. “Old School Narc” details the escapades of Tietjen and his fellow agents as they pioneered undercover narcotics investigations from the back alleys of Tucson, AZ across the vast, dangerous and inhospitable areas along the U.S./Mexican border.
Tucson, AZ – In the 1970’s, while Neil Tietjen was serving as a Tucson Police officer, Arizona’s location on the international border to Mexico earned it the dubious distinction of being the #1 drug import capital of the United States. In an effort to eradicate the flow of illicit drugs into the country while eliminating the crimes and violence accompanying them, a select group of agents chosen from various statewide law enforcement agencies were brought together to form an elite Narcotics Strike Force that was the first of its kind in the nation.
Tietjen, a native New Yorker and Marine Corps veteran who had served in the Viet Nam War, was one of the initial agents chosen for assignment to the new interagency Narcotics Strike Force. In “Old School Narc”, Tietjen chronicles in pulse-pounding, heart-wrenching detail how he and his fellow agents covertly infiltrated the southern Arizona drug culture and successfully conducted undercover drug investigations throughout both urban and wilderness landscapes without their true identities ever being uncovered.
In that pre-internet, pre-cellphone and pre-law enforcement technology era, Narcotics Strike Force agents investigated and pursued their prey, ‘Old School’; succeeding in their missions and staying alive with little more than their wits, disguises, guns, and massive amounts of tenacity and courage.
“Old School Narc” provides an insider’s view of what it was like for Tietjen to live and work behind the badge; leading parallel lives among heinous drug traffickers to whom violence and death were simply the tools of their trade, while never sacrificing his humanity, integrity or sense of humor in the process.
“Old School Narc” can be purchased on Amazon.com and through the University of Arizona Bookstore. The author is available for interviews and speaking engagements upon request. “Old School Narc” can also be followed on Facebook.