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‘13/14′ Tyler, Tim & Thomas Season Recap

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19
May

 width= 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).

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16
May

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.

 

CayuseChinookPass510

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15
May

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.

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13
May

 width= 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.

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12
May

 width= 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!”

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10
May

The Barrett brothers get the goods at remote camp grizzly in Alaska’s Chugach. They report that, with 2 weeks of high pressure, north and west aspects were skiing beautifully with minimal avy danger –Sled served spring skiing at its finest. Thanks Cole for sharing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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08
May

 width= Here’s a short park edit from Tyler Tran’s last trip up to Vancouver’s Mt. Seymour… A fairly quick day get away, for the Bellingham, WA locs.

mt. seymour.jpeg

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07
May

A new climate change study was released this week: the Third National Climate Assessment: Climate Change Impacts in the United States. Of particular interest to the Snow Troopers are findings impacting our ski industry: the report cites studies by University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group (“CIG”) projecting that by 2025, we could be looking at a Snoqualmie Pass ski season lasting less than 3 months – YIKES:

 

“Snow model simulations show that average ski conditions at Snoqualmie Pass (Washington) ski area, whose base elevation is about 3000 ft, could change dramatically by 2025. The simulations suggest that the likelihood of opening by Dec. 1 could decline by 50%, average season length could decline by 28%, and the likelihood of rain when the ski area is open could increase by 25%. The changes in snow conditions by 2025 are less pronounced for Stevens Pass (Washington), whose base is at about 4050 ft. The simulations for Stevens Pass suggest that the likelihood of opening by Dec. 1 could decline by 25%, average season length could decline by 14%, and the likelihood of rain when the ski area is open could increase by 50%.”

 

In this article 49 Degrees North and Stevens Pass talk about how they’re making changes – like moving lifts higher – to survive climate change.  What will Snoqualmie Pass do? Only time will tell…As for backcountry skiing and riding in the spring and summer, well, here’s more from the CIG report: “About two-thirds of the glaciated area in the lower 48 states (174 out of 266 sq. miles) is in Washington. Although there are some exceptions, most Washington glaciers are in decline. Declines range from a 7% loss of average glacier area in the North Cascades (1958-1998) to a 49% decline in average area on Mt. Adams (1904-2006)….only 2 of the 12 North Cascades glaciers with annual measurements are expected to survive the current climate.”

 

 

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06
May

 width= Super fun trip edit, Tim Black sent over, of a recent trip to “Keith’s Hut” in Pemberton, BC, (4/25 thru 4/27/14) with Thomas and Tyler Tran. They spent the weekend dodging “Some Clouds”, but as you will see in the video below, they found the goods in the higher elevations. Check it!

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05
May

 width=The most remote volcano in the state of Washington, Glacier Peak, was the target for Carl Simpson, Jeff Rich and company during last week’s sunny Spring window. Below are Jeff’s notes along with a sweet edit put together by both Jeff and Carl.

 

We started hiking the North Fork Sauk trail at 3 a.m., Tue. morning. To try and beat the noon day sun that would surely be cooking the south slopes of Red and White pass. You can drive to trail head. There is a slump about 2 miles from the end that may be trouble for a lower clearance car. We booted in to the Mackinaw shelter, as the snow was firm and was not continuous. (on the way out, we skinned 1 1/2 miles past shelter, skinning over the dirt patches with no problem). Arrived at the shelter at 6:30, meeting Chrols, who had hiked in the following evening to try and get some more sleep. He said that the mice tried to carry him away. The trail was in and out of snow till about 4200k, as the following report stated. After ascending the trail, to where it benches out of the avi swath, we took an ascent route through the heavier timber to the lookers left. Grabbed the ridge and melted some water. The wind was blowing steady at 15 mph, at this point. Which was a godsend, as it was keeping us cool and more importantly, the snow pack… We had one little exposed route to Red pass, but with the early hour and the cooler temps. we opted for that , rather than mess around with the cornice infested ridge. The rest of the trip to camp (@ 6600′ on the south lobe of the White Chuck glacier) went with out any hitch. Enjoying the marvelous scenery along the way. The wind was steady at 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph all through the night, so there was no urgency for an early departure the next day. We left camp for the summit at 9 a.m.. Snow was firm and ski crampons were helpful. By the time we had climbed north of Glacier gap, the winds were dissipating. Before arriving on to the Cool Glacier there was not a breath of wind. We easily skinned to the summit, just as the rime was softening. No wind and a t-shirt summit, had us giddy. We had a little memorial service for my GF’s late father, per his request. A F-18 did a barrel role right over the top of us, followed by a B-25 ( from Paine Field?) that circled the mountain at about 8k. By far , one of the best summit parties of my life! I may add that we did not see a single other soul the whole trip. We skied off the summit at 3 p.m., to nice soft rime pillows. Then most of us did the little boot pack up to Disappointment peak. That skied great with about 2″ ski penetration with no wet slide activity.

After skiing down to just below Glacier Gap, we opted to climb up to point 7829′( that splits the upper reaches of the White Chuck Glacier), so that we could have a better fall line ski to our camp. The next morning we broke camp and headed back home at 9a.m. We opted to turn up valley early, (instead of heading to Red Pass again), to a hanging valley and pass just west of White mountain, to try and gain the ridge as soon as possible, before the oppressive heat baked our exit route. Topped the pass at 10:30. The South facing snow was a little baked, but was easily controlled and We made our descent down the gauntlet of slide paths with out any incident. (I surely wouldn’t have wanted to be on those slopes a few hours later, though) We took a nice long break on the sand bars of the Sauk river, and headed for the barn. We arrived at our cars at 4:00, with plenty of time to get some Mexi food and Margaritas in Granite Falls. Here is a little Video I did of the trip. Freebird has a bunch more vid and will post when he finally gets time to do an edit.

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