On our somewhat recent trip to Washington Pass, we had all sorts of cams rolling as BIG lines were slayed, capturing far too many clips for one vid. Not wanting to archive so many good clips, we decided to go for 3 vids. Well, that was looking good until, I chopped up “take 3″ and it looks like there will be one more fairly short video dropping in a couple dayz (“take 4 – Birthday Tour). That will wrap up our WA Pass adventures for this year, pushing us higher into the volcano zones for the upcoming Summer/Fall seasons. Also, if you like the kick ass photograph above, by Jason Hummel, then be sure to check out more of his art by giving his facebook page “Jason Hummel Photography” a like.
With more backcountry terrain becoming accessible in Washington on a daily basis now, you’ll want to check out the latest version of USGS’ free US Topo maps for WA. The update includes segments of the Pacific Crest and Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trails along with other improved layers. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail passes through the recently opened Chinook Pass and North Cascades Highway. In total, that trail covers a distance of 2,650 miles from California at the Mexico border, through Oregon and Washington, all the way up to the Canadian border. The PCT is one of the original National Scenic Trails established by Congress in the 1968 National Trails System Act and 54% of the trail lies within designated wilderness. Every year, the Snow Troopers see scores of hikers going through Snoqualmie Pass (a popular rest stop) as they attempt to complete the entire stretch of the PCT. The Pacific Northwest Trail begins near the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park and travels more than 1,200 miles through Montana, Idaho, and Washington, including some of the most beautiful stretches of the North Cascades National Park complex, before reaching its western terminus at the Pacific Ocean near Cape Alava.
These new maps replace the first edition US Topo maps for Washington and are available for free download from The National Map and the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website. As with all US Topo map updates, the replaced maps will be added to the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection and are also available for download. Before heading out into the backcountry, remember to always pack a map and other “Essentials”. Live to ski another day!
Hooray for our WSDOT teams on getting Chinook Pass cleared in time to open tomorrow, May 23, 2014 at Noon for the Memorial Day weekend. The 5,430ft Chinook Pass summit is one of our favorites. Check out this video featuring WSDOT’s Avalanche Specialist, John Stimberis, and former Crystal Mountain’s King of the Hill, Andy DeVore, from a past opening day at Chinook Pass to see why. Study up on all the incredible terrain with the definitive guide by Martin Volken and his team at Pro Guiding Service: Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes Washington. Live to ski another day!
If you missed yesterday’s post for the “Kangaroo Hunt (take 1)”, then be sure to sneak a peek at the video HERE, right after you watch Carl Simpson’s version below, which I’ve dubbed Kangaroo Hunt (take 2). Also, be sure to keep a pulse on Jason Hummel’s wicked awesome photography (just like the amazing photo to the left), by giving his facebook page “Jason Hummel Photography” a like.
Epic week of sun and BIG mountain skiing took place up on Washington Pass May 12th – 16th. So much footage was captured by so many Snow Troopers, that my edit will be lagging a few dayz still. But in the mean time, check out this sweet teaser, Jeff Rich banged out (as fast as he bangs out massive vert) with no time wasted. Such an epic zone, and so happy to have made it up there this season. “Live To Ski Another Day!”
Here’s a quick conditions report from Silver Peak yesterday with Greg Ireton and his good pup Nash. The snow in the Central Cascades seems to be skiing much better than the North Cascades did this past week, so I am looking forward to some fun turns at Chinook in the upcoming dayz (oh yeah a little sun too).
Cayuse Pass in Mt. Rainier National Park opens today at Noon. The stretch of road to be re-opened is between the gates on SR 410 just south of Crystal Mountain Boulevard and on SR 123 at the Mount Rainier National Park entrance. The Cayuse Pass summit is located at the junction of State Routes 410 and 123. The 4,765 ft pass is about 5 miles west of the Chinook Pass which remains closed but WSDOT is working towards an opening on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. Check the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center seasonal statement before heading out. Be safe and live to ski another day.
Here’s a quick look at snow conditions on Alpental today. Lifts are closed for the season but plenty are still hiking up for spring turns. Coverage above the base area is still excellent. Base area (pictured below) has bare spots and run off but still easy to navigate around. Warms temps in the 70s today so surface was wet loose granular and a few inches deep in places (even around 6:30pm). Expect it to be firmer tomorrow as temps drop significantly.
Enjoy it while you can.
This past Mothers’ Day, I spent a long day out with Adam Roberts and Russell Cunningham on Mt. Shuksan. Beautiful mountain with a tremendous amount of elite level skiing. The target was for Adam and Russell to get the Curtis Headwall, but due to the super gnarly conditions May 11th (including potential for wet slides on unsupported, exposed slopes), we settled for long walk on the Arm to access the White Salmon. The long breath taking approach lead to some FAST wet granular snow skiing on the White Salmon, which was followed up with a brutally steep, bushwhack/scramble out of the valley floor.
Super long, beautiful, Spring skiing was found by Zack Jessel, Rory Robison, Andrew Berner,Tara and Carl Simpson this past week, off of Mt. Rainier’s Little Tahoma. Here’s a short video showing the good Spring fun to be had in the Cascades right now, and for weeks to come! Get out and get some and remember “Live to Ski Another Day!”