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Snoqualmie Pass, WA – 2016, A New Year

Snoqualmie Pa...

11
Dec

Jerad Merbs

The wait is finally over. Summit West is now open for the winter 2015/16 season and what a great opening day it was. Solid coverage, clearing skies, moderate temps, soft conditions…and according to weather forecasts, it’s about to get really fun this weekend as another storm rolls in. We could be looking at up to 16 inches by end of this weekend. Come visit Seattle’s closest resort – just a short drive and in the Snow Troopers’ backyard. Lifts at Summit West will run 9-4 all weekend. The Summit at Snoqualmie will make the call tomorrow a.m. on opening Summit Central and possibly other areas so check their site for updates. See you there and come back for video from today which is in the works. .

below is a short edit of the opener…


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08
Dec
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The White Room with James Fletcher


This past Saturday (12/5/15), The Snow Troopers convergence zone was Stevens Pass Resort, to search for untracked POW on their opening weekend. As you’ll see in the video below, it was found ALL weekend long. We had a pretty large group show up for a memorable BIG day, that finished off reflecting on the powder we found while grabbing some great grub and refreshments, in the base area’s Bull’s Tooth Pub and Eatery. After a lot of laughs, we all rolled out, some needing to rest up for round two the following morning, but Jerad and I were sucked into the epic Christmas light action, found just to the East of the Pass in Leavenworth, WA. What a great day in the Cascades of Washington! Can’t wait to head back asap. If you want to plan a fantastic weekend getaway, I highly recommend basing out of Leavenworth, you will be stoked. Click HERE for lodging info.


Below is our big day seen in 5+ minutes.


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07
Dec


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Stacking up in the Cascades, photo credit/Carl Simpson


Friday (12/4/15) kicked of three days of Great skiing for Tara and Carl Simpson. Day one was spent with Jeff Rich at his home mountain of Stevens Pass (opening day), slashing the cold powder. Then, it was back home to their stomping grounds, Crystal Mountain Resort, to finish off the weekend. This last blast that came through and rewarded them with, FULL ON, top to bottom powder fest slashing, while the rested the legs in the comfort of the “Mt. Rainier Gondola”. Saturday they chose to stretch the legs using a lift bump to access the backcountry and Sunday they hit the jackpot with 17″ of untouched fresh goodness! Not much more to say about their three day window of freshies, except BE SURE to check out the video below! If you have not skied Crystal Mountain before, you owe it to yourself to get up there for a day trip out of the Puget Sound or if you are out of state book your own “Helicopter (style) ski vacation” HERE on the “Stay and Play” page of their site.


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07
Dec

As we edit up this past weekends blower powder adventures from Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain, I wanted to share this fantastic segment from this year’s WME film. The segment takes place (mostly) in Valdez Alaska and features Amie Engerbrets, Lexi DuPont, and McKenna Peterson. Below is what WME had to say about this sweet powder slashin’ edit.


Impressive landscapes of immaculate terrain make up the mountains of Valdez, Alaska. Athletes Amie Engerbretson, McKenna Peterson and Lexi duPont are willing to admit the high level of intimidation these jagged peaks can generate. Standing at the top, as Engerbretson puts it, “can be a mixed bag of emotions.” Hailing from ski towns like Tahoe and Sun Valley, these three perceive skiing this territory not only as an ambitious feat, but also as one of legacy and curiosity. With parents who are local skiing celebrities, fishermen and adventure filmmakers, these girls have been motivated to ski Alaska’s mountains their entire lives. Traveling via helicopter and RV across the Valdez region, they are here to find out what the hype around AK is all about. Turning down massive spines and leaving their marks on untouched, snow-packed faces, the ladies discover that skiing in Alaska is not just where dreams come true, “it’s where dreams are lived.”


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03
Dec

I ran into a few friends a couple nights ago at a local eatery/hangout on Snoqualmie Pass (the Aardvark Express) who all had just seen the latest stunt “some guy” pulled off in the Swiss Alps on the Eiger. They weren’t sure who the skier was (and I didn’t look it up, as this sport doesn’t do much for me as a spectator, because of the “High Risk” involved and loosing my all time favorite skier, Shane McConkey this way), but when I later caught the national news, I wasn’t surprised to learn it was JT Holmes. If you are wondering why I wasn’t surprised, that is because JT was one of Shane’s best friends and did his ski/wingsuit jump apx a minute prior to the tragic accident in the Dolomites during a Matchstick Productions shoot. JT didn’t actually see the tragic accident until watching it, ONE TIME ONLY, in the cameraman’s view finder. Love my ski family, even those whom I’ve never met… “Live to Ski Another Day!”


Below is the 60 Minutes segment of JT’s recent ski base jump


The vid below was the beautiful tribute to Shane McConkey, that had me in tears while watching it in a packed Seattle theater (it’s still hard for me to watch).

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01
Dec

As most of you know, a couple Snow Troopers made the journey this past week to open up one of our 7 gems that make up the Cascade Crown of ski areas, Mission Ridge. We were amazed with the top to bottom, world class groomers they had on opening weekend, that started with amazing views from their summit chair 2 and apx 2 miles/2,250′ continuous vertical drop that led us back to the base area. Fantastic groomer madness, but being early season we didn’t get to hit their amazing BIG mountain terrain, so I wanted to share an edit from last year. The edit below will let you clearly see this is a mountain to put on your hit list, a mountain that can please all types/styles of snow riders. Check it and be sure to go visit this awesome mountain that has short lift lines and super friendly locals. Click here to find out details to help plan a trip to MISSON RIDGE SKI AND SNOWBOARD RESORT.


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30
Nov
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Mt. Shuksan, photo credit / Alex Ropka


Alex Ropka, his father Ben Ropka and a few other friends spent their Thanksgiving weekend up North at the Mighty Mt. Baker ski area skiing off all of the turkey and stuffing on the groomers and off piste hard packed. From the looks of the video below, Alex put together, Mt. Baker has good early season coverage, but still needing more snow to get those good intermediate runs set with “wall to wall” corduroy. Alex and Ben are also “year round” skiers, but I’m sure they were stoked to get some aid from the lifts this weekend (just like a lot of us Cascade Crown skiers did this weekend). BTW, Mt. Baker is now open for daily ops, for more info click here.


Below is a short edit Alex put together of their two days on Mt. Baker.


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28
Nov
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Mt. Stuart as seen from the top of Mission Ridge, photo credit / TNT


I was pretty stoked to ride my first chair lift of the season yesterday (11/27/15), which happened at one of our gems that make up the Cascade Crown of ski areas. The gem I’m speaking of is Mission Ridge Ski and Snowboard Resort, which is located minutes outside of Wenachee, WA. The opening was excellent, as the area was loading snow riders on both chairs 1 and 2. The grooming was top notch and the views at the top of chair 2 were breathtaking! The Snow Troopers had such a blast carving their perfectly manicured slopes, along with soaking up the sun and epic views, that we are heading back tomorrow!!! I noticed the management gave the green light to add chair 3 to the mix today, which makes the people to acre ratio probably the best in the PNW right now (I’m saying that based on what I saw there opening day, finding runs where we were almost all alone!). For ticket info click HERE and then, will see you bright and early on the snow tomorrow!


Below is a short edit from our super fun season opener at Mission Ridge Ski and Snowboard Resort.

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27
Nov
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Mt. Rainier (11/25/15), photo credit / Adam Roberts

Rain hit the Cascade resorts earlier this week, so Jeff Rich, Tara and Carl Simpson decided to get higher in the hills, which led them back to Paradise parking lot. The drive was worth it, as you will see in the vid below. They found roughly 6+ inches of pow on top of the ice, which a lot of you saw just a few days earlier (which will most likely become a problem, a little further into our season). The following day, they were joined by Adam Roberts and Jerad Merbs for another excellent day of skiing in the Park.


Below is a short edit, Carl Simpson put together of the 2 day pre-turkey powder fest.


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24
Nov
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Mt. Rainier as seen from Crystal's bc, photo credit / TNT

This past Saturday (11/21/15), a handful of Snow Troopers Snow Troopers met up for Crystal Mountain’s opening day, to go search for a little untracked POW. With Carl Simpson leading the crew into his home stomping grounds, a great day of action was found! The snow is a little thin at the base area, but just up the mountain a bit, conditions changed a lot, which allowed for a lot of great early season lines. After a fun day in the bc, we found ourselves refueling and hydrating at the Snorting Elk (which is located by the main parking lot). Great food, good drinks and even better times reflecting on a great day at Crystal!


Below is a short recap of Saturday’s fun.


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