Just wrapped up our mini PNW tour with Dean Cummings and on our Mission Ridge/Stevens Pass stops, our trip’s park team (the Tran Brothers) were M.I.A. Then I remembered the first time I met Tyler Tran (at the Red Bull Third Shift standing on the top podium spot), when he told me the park action usually happens in a dry spell and they’d rather climb for some sweet turns on a natural BIG mountain park. Looks like Tyler Tran, Thomas Tran, Ashton Ritchie, Mik Metzler, and Tim Black jumped on a perfect opportunity to ski a huge, freshly loaded, natural park… Mt. Baker, via the Squak Glacier.
Here’s a nice looking tour the gang hit just before our last blast of snow ( Jan. 4th and 5th) when a Snow Trooper had to work a little harder for the goods. Below are a few notes/excellent pics from Jameson Florence, along with a sweet video from Carl Simpson.
Jeff knew that there would be some good turns to be had on rock mountain but with a long, steep, icy approach spent the better part of an hour that morning convincing the team to go. He succeeded in talking Jim Dockery, Eric Rouse, Franklin, Carl Simpson, and myself Jameson Florence into the day trip. We drove up the spur road as far as the down trees would let us and started to walk. For over an hour we bushwhacked through dense alder and very slippery icy dirt. With only a few crashes to our knees and faces we finally made it to skinnable snow and punched a track to the promise land.
Soon the conditions went from thin and sunbaked to creamy powder, all thoughts of having to walk back down that trail quickly vanished into certain face shots in the near future.
below is a short video by Carl Simpson of the powder dayz on 1/4 and 1/5/2014
This is the moment we and all Alpentalics have been waiting for – Alpental OPENS tomorrow, Sunday, 1/12/14. All of Summit at Snoqualmie’s areas will be open 9am-4pm except Summit East/Hyak. It’s going to be a great day: snow is piling up fast. Mid-January has a history of bringing Snowmageddon to Washington’s Cascades and this one looks to be (finally) shaping up to meet expectations. Could we have a blower day like the one in our video intro below? If snow forecasts are right, we’re looking at a possible 36″ in the next 24hrs or so for the West slopes of the WA Cascades. Be prepared for a deep one and live to ski another day! GO SEAHAWKS!
Not much to say except… Summit West and Central tomorrow for a day shot and our beloved Alpental on Sunday. Stoked to have the conditions looking like they are “Finally There!” Think big SNOW and always, “Live to Ski Another Day!”
Below are some sights of the “sight for sore eyes”.
The snow we’ve been waiting for at the Summit at Snoqualmie has finally arrived. The Summit reports that 10″ fell in the last 24hrs – enough to OPEN Summit West tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 through Sunday 9am-4pm. TNT was on hand to help ABC’s local station, KIRO-TV air the big news today. Video below (note it takes a few minutes to load).
A large avalanche struck this afternoon in East Vail Chutes, a popular backcountry area accessible from east of the Vail ski area, between Vail Pass and Vail Mountain. Our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of the lost skier identified as Anthony “Tony” Seibert, 24, of Boulder and Vail. He’s the grandson of Vail ski resort’s founder. Conditions have been dangerous due to recent heavy snow, high winds and warming temperatures. On Monday, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center warned of dangerous conditions at all elevations in Vail and Summit counties with wide slabs of snow likely to be unstable because of snowfall and winds during the weekend. That region has a deadly history due to avalanches – in fact, the East Vail Chutes had two skier-triggered avalanches as recently as Dec. 22. There have been several avalanches deaths in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming in just the past two weeks. We encourage all skiers and boarders to take the time to be prepared and learn about snow safety before venturing into the backcountry.
Alaska heli skiing pioneer and exteme skiing champion, Dean Cummings, wraps up his Washington state tour at Stevens Pass on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. Come by 9am-4pm to check out free demos of his 2014 H2O skis and learn about his Steep Life Protocols for staying safe on the snow. Snow Trooper Carl Simpson recently took his H2O skis out to Mt. Rainier and loved them – see them in action in the video below.
Snow Trooper, Andy Traslin, is featured in the current edition of the Canadian outdoor adventure magazine, Mountain Life. In the story entitled “Four Million Feet and Counting: The vertical obsession of Andy Traslin”, Andy describes what it takes to ascend over a million vertical feet per year for four years straight by ski touring and biking. Read about this former Canadian ski mountaineering champion’s ultra athleticism and his incredible determination in this story written by Vince Shuley.
Big mountain ski legend Dean Cummings’ Washington State Tour continues onto Mission Ridge Thurs. and Fri., Jan 2-3, and Stevens Pass on Sat. and Sun., Jan. 4-5. Stop by to meet Dean and check out his full fleet of 2014 H2O Outdoor Gear Skis which will be available to demo at no cost from 9am to 4pm. This is an opportunity for Washington skiers, snowboarders, and other mountain travelers to not only try out the latest gear but also ski with the legend while learning his Steep Life Protocols -an approach to staying safer in the mountains and avoiding avalanches through practical terrain management. Dean developed the Steep Life Protocols during his last 24 years of guiding in the Chugach Range of Alaska, Wasatch Range of Utah, and Andes Mountains of South America, and pioneering thousands of first descents in mountains all over the world. Steep Life Protocols empowers skiers and snowboarders of all abilities to elevate their skills to a higher level and take control of their destinies in mountain environments. Be sure to also join Dean as he continues his Washington tour with Steep Life Protocol presentations and “Chugach” Film Screenings at the Wenatchee Pybus Public Market on Jan. 3, 5:30-9pm, and Leavenworth Mountain Sports in Leavenworth on Jan. 4, 7-9pm.
Events presented by H2O Guides • H2O Outdoor Gear • The Snow Troopers • Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, Stevens Pass Mountain Resort, Leavenworth Mountain Sports.
Join the Snow Troopers on New Year’s Day, 6pm, at Pro Ski Service in North Bend, WA to meet Alaska’s legendary big mountain skier and mountain guide Dean Cummings. He will be presenting his award-winning Steep Life Protocols and new film “Chugach” starting at 7pm at the North Bend Theatre. All skiers, snowboarders and backcountry travelers should plan to attend. Dean’s Steep Life Protocols presentation offers an opportunity to learn Dean’s sensible approach to staying safer in the mountains and avoiding avalanches through practical terrain management. Dean refined Steep Life Protocols during his last 24 years of guiding in the Chugach Range of Alaska, Wasatch Range of Utah, and Andes Mountains of South America, and pioneering thousands of first descents in mountains all over the world. Guy Lawrence, head of Marketing at the Summit at Snoqualmie, calls the Steep Life Protocols “hands down one of the best, most practical snow safety presentations I’ve seen! Way impressed.” While there, be sure to talk to Martin Volken, UIAGM certified Swiss Mountain Guide and owner of Pro Ski Service and Pro Guiding Service about their extensive offering of AIARE avalanche education, ski touring, ski mountaineering, steep skiing, alpine climbing, ice climbing and rock climbing courses and trips.
Start 2014 off right and join us for an evening of celebrating The Steep Life and learning protocols for staying safer while doing what we love: Live to ski another day. Happy New Year!
More about Steep Life Protocols
Dean Cummings’ Steep Life Protocols is grounded on practical terrain management for skiers, snowboarders, and other mountain travelers who travel in avalanche terrain. Dean teaches and illustrates through his knowledge and experiences:
- On-the-go snow assessment from the top down
- Digging hasty pits
- Constant visual-verbal communication with partners
- Group-team emphasis
- Skiing/riding safe zone to safe zone until totally clear of potential avalanche paths
- Skiing/riding ridgelines, apexes and high points
- Avoiding convex/concave terrain, chutes and gullies, unsupported slopes, and steeps to flats
- 3 strikes methodology – identify potential avalanche warning signs, gauge risk, and decide
when to move to safer locations or call it off and head to the bar.