The Summit at Snoqualmie is still rocking the weekends this Spring, including one more weekend for Summit Central and the terrain park. Also, conditions are looking solid enough to get us through April at Alpental and if we are lucky again this year, the Summit will give us Cinco de Mayo. On a side note, I love Cinco de Mayo at Alpental in the rain, snow or shine for a number of reasons… Lots of friends, 2 parking lots of overflowing good vibes, some of the best lift served BIG mountain skiing in North America and it’s my birthday! Now, back to this weekend, I just started it off with a lap up on Hyak this afternoon and let’s just say I had a lot of fun on the WET granular snow. Tomorrow should be somewhat the same and as long as there is snow to ski right here at home, things are pretty damn good in my book. Below is a day we spent recently with Peak Travels, out of Spokane, helping them gather some footage for a NW Cable show they were working on this trip. The footage in the vid is just a little teaser of the program the Summit will be featured in this upcoming Fall.
This is it, the final weekend of lift operations for Mt. Baker ski area in Washington. No amount of snow can change that. In fact, it still leads the nation with the deepest snow pack measuring 179″ at its Heather Meadows base lodge and 198″ at the top of their Pan Dome at 5000ft. With so much snow, we can typically find decent backcountry skiing in the area well into July.
The two videos below are from this past weekend at Alpental, or mostly Alpental. Over the course of the weekend, we received over 3 feet of new snow up on Alpental, so it’s no wonder that the lift lines were big. However, big lift lines in mid-April along with good snowpack just might get us to Cinco de Mayo. Back to the videso below, the first video was a bunch of clips Jerad Merbs, Evan Lund and myself captured. The second video is from our friends, Scott Harder and Randy Bush, mostly the same location and time frame… Enjoy!
Just a quick conditions update from the home base, Hyak. Yesterday’s chores were interrupted by a few inches of halfway cold snow that fell, first thing in the morning, on top of the deep wet snow that remained from the last big storm. By the time I was able to make it out the sun was shining, so I headed for the trees and as much shade as possible ( and try to beat the melting snow from the limbs that would ruin the goods).
below – Hyak as seen at High noon on 4/17/13
Heading into the trees paid off with a better that expected ride and even a few stashes of good pow (the snow in the open full sun was a little too deep and gwanchy for Trooper dog’s liking). Stoked for the good coverage that remains in the Central Cascades at 2,600′, making for so many late day touring options. For all of you that still want some lift served action on Snoqualmie Pass, The Summit at Snoqualmie will be spinning the lifts this Saturday and Sunday at both Central and Alpental from 9AM-4PM. As for Hyak I think this will be the last week you will be able to skin from the parking lot and cross the first water gap with out clicking out of the bindings.
below – short video of conditons
Our friend, Joey Mara, just sent this fresh edit over this morning from a good time this past weekend at Stevens Pass, WA.
We’re sad to report that one snowshoer did not survive and another remains missing after yesterday’s avalanche in Snoqualmie Pass, WA’s backcountry. The female snowshoer (who’s unidentified) was hiking at Red Mountain near a dozen other snowshoers with her dog when the avalanche struck. It took the other snowshoers 45min. to locate and dig her out from under about 5ft of snow. She was in and out of consciousness during the rescue and passed after reaching the base of the mountain after midnight. 25 Rescuers worked through the heavy snow storm that closed i-90 through Snoqualmie Pass last night. It took rescuers about 5-6 hours. The search for the missing 60 yr old hiker near Granite Mountain (west of Snoqualmie Pass) had to be called off due to weather. The last 24hrs brought 21-24″ of new snow to the base and summit of Snoqualmie Pass’ Alpental ski area. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all family and friends of the deceased.
Two avalanches hit snowshowers at Granite Mountain and Snoqualmie Pass, WA earlier today and one person is still missing. We have no other news at this time on the rescue but we’re hoping for a good outcome. Snoqualmie Pass is currently closed due to heavy snow. Summit at Snoqualmie’s Alpental reported receiving 12″ of new snow today (at both their base and summit) as of this evening and more than 8″ is expected by end of day tomorrow. With so much new snow, be sure to check avalanche conditions and be prepared before heading into the backcountry. Live to ski another day!
Mark Erickson sent this one over of a day he and Andy Devore spent out this past March 9th, in the Commonwealth Valley, going after a Snoqualmie Pass Classic. Just like so many of our tours on Snoqualmie Pass, Red Mountain is a good day tour that will put you on the summit just before lunch to soak up some epic views before a fantastic ski. Be sure to get back in this zone someday this Spring or next Winter with a group a solid friends or hit up our friends over at Pro Guiding who spend a lot of time guiding/teaching on Snoqualmie Pass (see Pro Guiding link on home page).
Our Washington State Dept. of Transportation began clearing the snow off of the North Cascades Highway SR20 on March. 25. The road is the gateway/throughway for the 684,000 acres North Cascades National Park complex in the Cascade Mountains (93% of which is wilderness). With over 300 glaciers (the most glaciated area in the U.S. outside of AK), this zone remains one of our favorites for backcountry skiing. As of last Friday, the east side crew had already reached Washington Pass and we heard rumblings of the road possibly opening in time for next weekend. Here’s the latest update from WSDOT:
By the end of day yesterday, the east side crew’s clearing effort had progressed past Blue Lake Trailhead and Whistler (the last of the significant avalanche zones) to Bridge Creek at MP 159 under overcast skies in 50 degree temperatures by late afternoon…The westside crew’s clearing progressed to MP 154-about a mile beyond the Swamp Creek sand pile, meaning the crews are now 5 miles apart. New snow and wind is in the forecast for Wednesday which may slow progress a bit.
Aside for the potential for more snow, it looks promising! Our WSDOT teams are amazing so I’m sure they won’t keep us waiting any longer than is necessary.