DAMN! I was just getting ready to post up, YET another vid from last week when Adam Roberts sent over this SUPER one, from YESTERDAY. As most of you know, the Cascades just received a nice dose of snow in the higher elevations, those with perfect timing were rewarded. Enjoy, and then get out for some of your own freshies!
Good news: WSDOT has announced that Cayuse Pass is scheduled to reopen in just 10 – yes, TEN – days from tomorrow on Friday, March 27, followed by Chinook Pass on Friday, April 3. A rare spring time treat after an unseasonably mild winter. The scheduled reopening dates are historically early for both passes. Chinook Pass is located on SR 410 between the towns of Enumclaw and Naches. The 5,430-foot-high pass is about five miles east of the Cayuse Pass summit. Chinook Pass provides the east entrance to Mount Rainier National Park.
WSDOT maintenance crews will work to compress what would typically be 12-13 weeks to prepare the roadway into just 2-3 weeks. “We are going to work hard to speed up the clearing process to get the passes open for drivers,” said WSDOT Assistant Regional Manager of Maintenance Dave McCormick. “However, safety for our crews and the traveling public will remain our number one priority.” Recreational access is restricted prior to the highways reopening on SR 410 from Chinook Pass to the White River Y and on SR 123 on Cayuse down to the tunnel while crews operate heavy equipment on the roadway. Thereafter, Chinook Pass will reopen on the east side at Morse Creek, five miles east of the summit, and on the west side at the intersection of SR 410 and SR 123. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane just east of the Chinook summit due to highway damage from the previous winter. On Cayuse, traffic will be allowed on SR 410 at Crystal Mountain Boulevard and SR 123 near Stevens Canyon Road. Parking areas along the roadways will not be available until further in the season. For more information refer to the Mount Rainier website. As we count down to this year’s early opening, check out this video featuring WSDOT’s Avalanche Specialist, John Stimberis, from a past opening day at Chinook Pass. Next up: North Cascades Highway SR20 which WSDOT began to clear today in hopes of reopening in a month or less. Live to ski another day!
Recently, Tara and Carl Simpson returned from their 2015 road trip, which lead them through Big Sky country to Big Sky, MT. Carl and Tara had a blast, as Carl mentioned they skied all sides of the mountain which has massive relief and good adrenaline producing chutes, etc… Thanks Carl, for the sweet, different, view on a mountain often spoken of, but not often seen (the way we get to see it through your lens).
Nice webcam image this morning courtesy of Mt. Rainier National Park and a visitor. Current forecast for the Paradise Visitor Center on Mt. Rainier, WA is calling for “New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible” today (so a lot more up higher).
The video below was taken this past Sunday (3/9/15), out of Snoqualmie Pass. I had spent the perfcetly warm day with local Alpentalic friends, Frank Sosa and Morgan Miller, riding some decent snow on most aspects. Too bad the snow level has been just above this zone all weekend, because there has been a load of rain falling on the Pass… Maybe time to head for the volcanoes!?!
Morgan Miller (left) takes a look at the NO snow zone we’d just departed from at sun break.
Adam Roberts stayed in his Hwy 542 home zone this past weekend for his ski fix. Hooking up w/ Glacier Ski Shop’s, John Adams, to join him for what I’ve only heard from lots of other rippers. Snow Boating! But first a little back story, a bunch of years ago my good friend Dale Boehm and myself met John, who after a long chat, gave us a little local info, then I was lucky enough to capture some vid of his badass tele turns off of Grouse Ridge. I can only image what this “Snow Boating” looks like in waist deep powder. John is truly a real skier, having spent time talking to him in the backcountry, and at his “real skier” ski shop called “Glaicer Ski Shop”. They can help all snow lovers with gear from easy days on the Mt. Baker lifts, or the gear needed for the burly descents off Shuksan and Baker. Live to ski another day, CHECK the vid, and most of all stop in and see John next time you are rolling through Glacier, WA.
Jeff Rich was given a shout by Jason Hummel this past week (3/7- 3/9/15) for, what our good friend Martin Volken dubbed back in the Summer of ‘98, “The Forbidden Tour“. Jeff was stoked to join Jason, Andy Traslin and his brother Mike Traslin. A couple of super funny and very strong Canadians that always make for a great time! As you will see in the video below, Jeff put together, they hit the weather perfectly. Enjoy the video and stayed tuned for some of Jason Hummel’s photos that he captured of their “2015 Forbidden Tour”.
On a side note, if this is something that might interest you, already having spent a fair amount of time ski mountaineering, but maybe a little big for you and your crew, I’d highly recommend giving Martin Volken’s Pro Guiding Service a call. They offer so many amazing trips and courses though out the year, there is certainly something to fit every Snow Trooper out there!
Tara and Carl Simpson have been on the road chasing snow with success (especially when the hit SLC a week ago). Now, they are back at home, where they are keeping that ski stoke alive, by always getting, chasing the best snow and new lines. The edit below, is from this past Sunday (3/9/15) up out of Mt. Rainier’s Paradise parking lot.
Also, if you happen to be coming in from further out, than a typical PNW day Rainier trip (which averages about 6 hrs behind a windshield, for a BIG ass day of climbing/skiing), I’d recommend checking out the Longmire Lodge which is located 20 mins or so below the Paradise Lodge lot (btw, the Paradise Lodge will have their “121 guest rooms, the Paradise Inn Dining Room, Tatoosh Café, and gift shop filled with souvenirs, apparel, memorable gifts, prints from local photographers, and pottery crafted by local artisans” available to the public this year from May 20th – October 5th).
Mt. Baker Ski Area announced yesterday that they are temporarily suspending operations due to low snow. Hopefully, March will bring the 6-12″ of new snow needed to reopen. The Mt. Baker / Mt. Hood Meadows Season Pass Holder Exchange program is in effect while Mt. Baker is closed. Mt. Baker 2014/15 passholders who have already used their 5 time exchange can purchase discounted $10 lift tickets for Mt. Hood Meadows through the end of their season. Special accommodations rates at Cooper Spur are also available to Mt. Baker 2014/15 passholders. Additional details in the video below. Pray for snow!
Below is the 2015 White Pass Ski Area Winter Carnival edit of our weekend this past 2/28 and 3/1. What a blast all of us had, charging the perfect corduroy and “boot top” cold pow we found in their bc, BOTH days. Due to the incredible lack of snow on our home pass (Snoqualmie), it was no wonder to have run into so many Alpental skiers, getting a fix too. That isn’t what surprised me though, it was how many of the Snoqualmie Pass locs had never skied White Pass, well this is what ever single person had mentioned (in some way or another), “This place rocks! The people are so friendly and down to earth, and the “earth” they have to ski in and out of bounds is LEGIT!” If you have never been to White Pass, you owe it to yourselves to put it on the hit list, then I’m sure you will be itching to go back (just like I am, right now).
*Also, as mentioned before, the White Pass Village Inn has great loft rooms with kitchens to make for a cheap trip with the crew. However, as we found out, coming in from the Eastside on Hwy 12, all the grocery stores on the way, don’t open until 7AM.