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Olympic National Park, WA – Royal Basin

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Cascades, WA – Adam Robert’s December to Remember

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Summit East, WA – Hyak Snow Report 3.15.16

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06
Jun

Here is the video to go with our post from earlier this week that captured some of the June 1st action on Silver Peak with a fun group of friends.


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22
May

Here’s a recent trip (by off season standards) to the Shuksan Arm with Andrew Eckels and Jacob Mandell. Below are a few words from Andrew along with a short video of the day.


On Thursday May 9th Jacob Mandell and I set out to ski some lines far out on the Shuksan arm. Missed alarms and forgotten gear led to a late start and we found that the north slopes had pretty gloppy snow by the time we were dropping in. We decided to go for a South facing chute we had scoped a while back and after an exiting down climb to get in we reaped steep corn turns! After one yo yo of fun mellow corn we climbed back to the arm and skied slow motion but consistent glop back to the car.


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16
May

Very excited to have met Tyler Tran, another one of Andrew Eckels’ Western Washington University ski friends, this past February as he won the “Red Bull Third Shift”, which was held at Summit Central. I was quite surprised when we interviewed Tyler after the Red Bull event to learn they spend most of their time big mountain skiing and hit the park in between the storms. The video below is a nice blend of powder and park Tyler Tran style, Check it, then check back for some Summer vids we hope to kick out with Tyler, Kevin, Andrew and the gang!!!


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07
May

On this nice and warm day in Western Washington, a day when it had one of the two hottest cities (Seattle & Phoenix) in the U.S.A., a lot of people were thinking of a cooler place. Here’s a cooler time/place from last month with the Cascade Crew getting some lift served goods.


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06
May

Another sweet one from high above Wedgemount Lake in the Whistler/Pemberton area. The video below features some of Mt. Cook’s sweet steep goodness. Below are a few words from Andy Traslin in regards to the April 21st trip.


Owls couloir has been the objective but Mt.Cook keeps blocking. I’ve been wanting to ski this line since I did the Wedge to Currie traverse from parking lot to Pemberton in under 22 hours with my brother and a couple of elite mountain bike racers back in the 90s. It’s close but far as day trips go. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Wedge area from the introduction to mountaineer days. Neck belays, grovelling on the south side of Wedge up the boulder fields and cornice drops on the NE arete. So it seems interesting to come back years later to feed my couloir addiction. Surprisingly you can have some cool adventure skiing so close to Vancouver. There’s a good bet you won’t run into many people on these couloirs. So thanks to the weather blocking the access in the morning and afternoons. We were able to ski some fun lines on the over looked peak of Mt Cook on the north side. Just be prepared to do the 5000 foot stair master approach with 2 by 4s on your back.

 



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01
May

One of our good friends, Cory Tarilton, sent this sweet edit over recapping Timmy Taussig’s PNW season. Timmy is one of Cory’s main touring partners, so a lot of these shots are taken in the Mt. Baker (zone) backcountry. They got a cool shot of a talus field just off of the Mt. Baker highway that had just enough snow on the rocks for Timmy to rip the pillow field.


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30
Apr

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Yesterday was a sleeper pow day for sure up here on Snoqualmie Pass. I was just going to get some work done all day then head out for an evening walk up Hyak with Trooper dog. Well that all changed fast because of puking snow that was rapidly stacking up and my friend Robert Hammond who gave a shout, letting me know he was heading up looking to ski all day. By the time we skied our last lap of the nob of Hyak, the snow seemed to be pushing knee deep. Awesome Spring, now I’m wanting the one week of sun the weather experts are forecasting, so Alpental’s fresh 11″ and 15″ of snow at the base and summit, respectively (in the last 24hrs) will have a chance to bake down by the Cinco de Mayo weekend. Oh, and did I mention, that’s 11″ and 15″ on top of the 12″+ in the prior 24 hrs at the top of Alpental?!!


Below is a super short video of yesterday’s conditions, which seem to be even better this morning… Looking like a late start for work today!


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26
Apr

This post comes at a sad time due to the recent Loveland Pass, CO avalanche. I was actually in the midst of chopping up massive amounts of video from Colorado when that avalanche took the lives of five mountain brothers on April 20th in the Sheep Creek drainage of Loveland Pass. Two nights ago I read the official report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center ( CAIC ) and I have to say it was very upsetting to learn the details of the incident (as they always are). As I read the report of snow conditions/snowpack (summarized below), I realized that some of the clips I had been chopping up contained footage pertinent to their snow assessment and thus, worth sharing here. It’s footage we captured of Alaska heli skiing pioneer, Dean Cummings, demonstrating “Hasty Pits” – a quick snow pit to help analyze snow structure and stability. This is worth watching to see the CO snow (as seen in early Feb.) which was one of the main factors in this tragic event, along with getting a quick glimpse of Dean’s on the move/real time snow assessment techniques. This will be the first short video in a series of Dean Cummings’ “Steep Life” episodes.

 

Here’s a summary of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s avalanche report (but urge you to read the full report for more details): 4 splitboarders, 1 approach ski/snowboarder and 1 rando skier left the Rocky Mountain High Backcountry Gathering at Loveland ski area on 4/20 and entered the Sheep Creek drainage from the old Summer road at Scotty’s corner which put them slightly above the the drainage and below the bottom pitch of peak 13,152′. As the final 4 members were crossing the open slope (apx 50′ apart) heading for the small stand of trees that 2 other members had already reached, they heard/felt the collapse of the slope. At that time the 4 still on the open slope ran for the stand of trees; seconds later the crack had propagated up the hill releasing the deep slab that was 800 feet wide and extended 600′ up, and the entire group was engulfed pushing them 5 to 20 feet down into the Sheep Creek drainage. The rando skier was the only one in the group who came to rest close to the surface with his lower left arm free and able to clear the snow from his face. Even though he cleared the snow and could breathe, he was unable to move and remained pinned for 4 hours until the search party arrived. All of the victims were recovered after a beacon/probe search, the last victim was recovered 10 to 12 feet below debris. It was also mentioned in the report that at least 2 members of the group were wearing avalanche airbags, but neither were deployed. Other members were wearing Avalungs, but none were found in their mouths.

Once again, our deepest sympathies to all family and friends of those lost in this tragedy.



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24
Apr

Another good one from Carl Simpson and the gang out of their stomping grounds, Crystal Mountain, WA. The late season powder video was taken this past April 16th and 17th and since then even more fresh snow has fallen. Things are looking good in the Cascades for late Spring fun. Looks like this weekend they might get even a few more flakes.



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20
Apr

The Associated Press reported today (Saturday, April 20) that 5 backcountry snowboarders were killed in an avalanche on Colorado’s Loveland Pass.



Georgetown, Colo. – Per a statement by Clear Creek County Sheriff, Don Krueger, six snowboarders were caught in the slide Saturday afternoon. The condition of the lone survivor was not released.


The Colorado Department of Transportation closed a highway as many skiers were headed home from nearby Arapahoe Basin ski resort.
Lisa Clarke Devore, who was headed back to Denver from the resort, told The Associated Press she saw a fire truck and ambulance on the pass, as well two search dogs headed into the area of the slide. She says she saw several ambulances, including one towing snowmobiles, headed toward the pass.
The pass, elevation of 11,990 feet, is popular among backcountry skiers and snowboarders.

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