Tara and Carl Simpson ski more than most folks out there, especially when you factor in that they bang away at the vert all year long. This past week they gave the uphill muscles a little break and spent some downhill powder skiing using the lifts of their home ski area, Crystal Mountain. The last big storm that rolled thru the Cascades just before the holiday put all ski areas in operating mode (except ours on Snoqualmie Pass).
The King – photo credit Carl Simpson
Carl has already banged out two vids from this past week, so grab that coffee and click play.
The first video below was from opening day 11/21/12
Jackson Hole opens today, Nov. 24th as scheduled. We visited this WY resort last winter to experience the 4,139 continuous vertical feet and 2500 acres (plus endless backcountry terrain) that they’re famous for. In fact, this year, Ski Magazine readers voted it #1 in three categories: Overall Satisfaction, Character and the Most Challenging Terrain. It was also voted the #6 overall resort in North America, its highest ranking ever. If there were a category for most friendly ski town, this would get our vote. We love this resort and its neighboring National Parks of Yellowstone and Grand Teton -truly spectacular! This season, skiers and riders will have a new, high speed, 4-passenger detachable chair at mid mountain, reducing the ride time to 3.5 minutes from 10 on the original lift. Along with the new lift, the Casper intermediate trail network has received extensive summer grooming to widen and improve two major runs, Wide Open and Lift Line (now renamed Sundog). We can’t wait to check it out on our next trip. In the meantime, do a few laps for us. Have fun out there.
Below is a short video of our day out w/ Anna Cole and Alexandra Meiners, showing us around their amazing playground.
Grand Targhee Resort opens today, Nov. 23rd. The Resort’s 2,600 acres are accessible only through Teton Valley, Idaho but is actually situated on the western slope of the Tetons in Wyoming. We drove the 48 miles from Jackson Hole, WY to get there last season and fell in love with this place – rad terrain, massive views without the crowds. If you can get there early in the season, they’re offering some amazing Snowcat Adventure package deals that include 3 nights of lodging, one day of lift skiing and a full day of Grand Targhee Snowcat Adventure skiing between opening day and December 20, 2012 for $279pp or 4 nights lodging, two days lift skiing and a full day of Snowcat Adventure skiing for $301pp (plus taxes and fees).
This winter, the resort’s offering two new programs aimed at making family skiing effortless. Grand Targhee’s Youth Ski and Snowboard Lease Program offers discount ski and snowboard packages for kids, allowing families to lock-in next year’s rate and save. They are also offering new Youth Multi-Weekend programs. Lastly, don’t forget that you do not need to live in Idaho to take advantage of the Ski Idaho Fifth and Sixth Grade Passport Program that allows any fifth grader to ski or ride free three times and sixth graders two times at participating ski areas. Families may learn more and submit passport applications all season long at www.skiidaho.us/5th-grade-ski-or-ride-free-passport.
Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort opens this Saturday, Nov. 24th for weekend operations only. They’ll have the newly replaced Musical Chairs lift and Basin Express lifts running from 9am-3:30pm. Lift tickets will be $40 and Sun-Fri Season Passes will be valid. There will be some features set up in the Terrain Garden. Busing and Parking will be FREE this weekend and the Shuttle will run on the Midweek Schedule. Those planning to hit the slopes there will see the remodeled and expanded Ski and Ride Center, expanded Gourmandie market and upgraded rooms at the Selkirk and White Pine lodges (new LCD HD TVs & beds!). Schweitzer’s snow cat operation, Selkirk Powder Company, has added a second 10 passenger snow cat, increased snow cat access points and thinned tree areas to their 3,000 acres of backcountry skiing and boarding. We have never tried the cat service ourselves, but we do ski tour in the zone. The terrain is mostly “blue square”, so all of the snow riders in your group should have a blast!
After your day on the slopes Saturday, be sure to stop into Babs’ Pizzeria at 1319 Hwy. 2 in beautiful Sandpoint, ID. That’s where you will find the best NY style pizza.
Don’t forget that Schweitzer offers an affordable half day ticket on most Sundays after 12:30pm for $25 online or $35 at the window. Season pass holders perks this year include a 50% discount at Whitewater Resort in British Columbia and 5 days of free skiing at Washington’s White Pass Ski Resort. And White Pass season pass holders receive free lift tickets at Schweitzer when booking and staying on the mountain using PROMO CODE “wpassout”.
Below is the opening day from last year where you can see Sandpoint had snow on the ground (this year you need to drive halfway up their hill to hit the snow).
I wanted to share some super cool media attention our good friends and fellow Snow Troopers, Mike and Andy Traslin, have received this November. They both appeared in this month’s issue of Backcountry Magazine and both ended up on the packaging box for the 2013 G3 climbing skins. Nice job Andy and Mike, giving us one last final stoke in before the next chapter(Winter 2012/2013), which is now HERE!
Andy Traslin, getting a full page ad in the November issue of Backcountry Magazine. Photo taken by Mike Traslin
Mike Traslin (Andy’s Big bro), getting the centerfold in the same November Backcountry Magazine issue! The three original pics use for the media below were all taken by Jason Hummel. Jason is a true Cascade Crusader that ski tours w/ a camera, so after you finish checking out all the photos below be sure to visit his site AlpineStateofMine and then friend him on facebook.
below the original photo by Jason Hummel used for the November Backcountry Magazine centerfold.
Image was used for the packaging of G3 Climbing Skins ( skiers – Mike Traslin, Andy Traslin and Juya Ghanaie).
Image used on this season’s G3 website.
Andy Traslin in a recent G3 ad.
Below is the 2011 Alpental Vertfest (note: titles state 2010, which is incorrect), which was won by the Traslins, who combine have the majority of first and second place finishes in the history of Alpental rando rallys.
Mt. Baker announced a possible limited opening on Wed., Nov. 21st. The current storm front is looking good for WA. Up to 57″ of snow is forecast for Mt. Baker over the 4500 ft elevation (near Heather Meadows) by Wed. Just in time for Thanksgiving!
All our local W. WA resorts will see lots of snow per the current winter weather advisory below:
URGENT-WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE- NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE
TWO VIGOROUS FRONTAL SYSTEMS MOVING THROUGH W. WA WILL BRING A MIX OF WINTER WEATHER TO THE CASCADES SUN. AFTERNOON THROUGH MON. HEAVY SNOW IS POSSIBLE ON THE HIGHER MOUNTAINS ROADS ABOVE 4500 FT…WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SUN AFTERNOON THROUGH MON EVENING…
* SOME AFFECTED LOCATIONS…THE HIGHER MOUNTAIN ROADS LIKE THE MT BAKER HIGHWAY, WASHINGTON PASS ON THE N. CASCADES HIGHWAY AND THE ROAD TO PARADISE IN MT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK WILL RECEIVE MAINLY SNOW. LOWER HIGHWAY PASSES SUCH AS STEVENS PASS, SNOQUALMIE PASS AND WHITE PASS WILL RECEIVE SNOW INITIALLY BUT PRECIPITATION WILL EVENTUALLY CHANGE TO RAIN WITH FREEZING RAIN ALSO POSSIBLE.
* TIMING…PRECIPITATION WILL BEGIN INCREASING SUN. AFTERNOON AND BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES SUN. NIGHT THROUGH MON.
* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS…8-18″ OF SNOW IS POSSIBLE ON THE HIGHER MOUNTAINS ROADS.
* SNOW LEVEL…AROUND 3000 FT SUN. AFTERNOON AS PRECIPITATION BEGINS…THEN RISE TO 5000-6000 FT ON MON.
Mike and Andy Traslin met us yesterday at Mt. Baker’s Heather Meadows. After the latest storm, we decided it would be our quickest route to a good ski in the backcountry. Snow depth around the Heather Meadows elevation probably maxed out at about 12-18″. The drive up to the parking lot was clear and the road beyond the gate had just enough snow to skin from there. Just before we left the lot, TNT noticed Baker local, Adam U, who joined us for our Mid-November walk. Coverage improved quickly as we climbed but even from the get go, there’s enough snow to avoid any ptex damage. In fact, we didn’t bottom out on anything all day. Not sure that would be the case if we didn’t have full on sun and great viz to read the terrain. There’s enough of a base below the fresh (settled to about 4″ maybe) but the bigger rocks aren’t far from the surface. We took the standard backcountry route to Artist Point and then continued to Table Mountain. Take a look at our pictures from the day – fantastic views of Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker. Video is in the works so please check back for that soon. Think snow, because one more good storm should give us some excellent skiing.
If you missed the previous shows of Teton Gravity Research’s latest movie, The Dream Factory, here’s your last chance to see a special encore screening on Monday, Nov. 19th at 8pm at the Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle. All net proceeds benefit NWAC. Follow TGR’s modern day athletes on this cinematic voyage through Alaska’s awe-inspiring expanse, rich history, and colorful characters. Watch as Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Seth Morrison, Dash Longe, PNW’s own Ralph Backstrom (Western Washington U) & Dylan Hood (Mt. Hood), and the rest of the TGR team delve deep into the Alaskan way of life, finding the best snow on earth and skiing the terrain that most of us only dream about. Tickets are only $5 and available now at Second Ascent, 5209 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle.