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Mt. Rainier, WA – Sunrise OPEN, Mowich tomorrow

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Artist Point, WA – Summer Skiing

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Mt. Rainier, WA – Return to Paradise 2

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17
Feb

No other U.S. ski resort destination caters to the refined, high end crowd like Aspen, CO. With 5 star hotels, private jets, celebrities, designer stores, award winning dining, beautiful people and nightlife, Aspen sounded to our team like it might be more exciting off mountain, than on. From town, the team stared up at the impeccably groomed runs. They thought about a leisurely ski day and looked forward to having plenty of energy to rally for Aspen’s big nightlife. But hold that thought because we were about to meet up with 2x World Extreme Skiing Champion and Aspen resident, Chris Davenport and ski “his” Mountain (known to locals as Ajax).


Exiting the gondola towards the Sun Deck Lodge (at an elevation of 11, 212 ft), there’s a display about Chris. Entitled “Skiing Colorado’s Fourteeners“, it’s a tribute to Chris becoming the first to ski all 54 of CO’s 14,000 ft peaks in less than a year. His book “Ski the 14ers” details the 363 day mission. In addition to pioneering big lines, he’s also a World Champion skier. Chris undoubtedly knows every steep line on Ajax. Chris also knows where to find the stashes. We were surprised to find so much untracked in bounds. After all, three days had already passed since early February’s winter storm Kayla. Granted, it dumped more than 3 feet in 3 days during the biggest storm since winter 2007-08, but we had expected 675 acres would be tracked out by now – especially, given how the high speed chairs and gondola made getting to them virtually effortless. This is perhaps the most efficiently designed steep, long mountain: 3,267 ft sustained vert. And without a doubt, it is the most well maintained – grooming and coverage is perfect.

 

It’s no wonder Aspen is home to such ski icons as Chris, and his friends Ted and Christy Mahon and is host venue for World Cup alpine ski racing, X Games (on nearby Buttermilk) and so much more. Speaking of Chris, Ted and Christy – this illustrious trio was recently nominated for National Geographic’s 2016 Adventurers of the Year award for becoming the first to complete successful ski descents of Colorado’s hundred tallest peaks in 2015 – an objective that was hatched while crushing our Pacific NW Ring of Fire volcanoes (15 of them in 14 days!). So skiing Aspen (and managing to keep up) with Chris is an exceptionally special experience. We thank you Chris for showing us Ajax’s best kept steepests – among them (and our team’s favorites): the gated Cone Dumps, Bingo Glades and Traynor runs. Watch the video and head for these same zones if you’re looking for the most challenging terrain on Ajax. You’ll come to understand why our stoke about Aspen was off the charts…and that’s without venturing into Ajax’s vast side or backcountry –nor experiencing their nightlife.  Be sure to follow Chris on Facebook.



Tips: (1) if you’re looking to demo skis, treat yourself to some Kastle skis (Chris Davenport’s go to line of skis) at Hamilton Sports (middle of the block across from the Aspen Gondola), (2) avoid the morning traffic by staying in the town of Aspen or taking the very frequent buses which bypass stop & go traffic in their own dedicated bus lane, (3) we stayed at the new Element Hotel in Basalt (thumbs way up!) across from Whole Foods, with the VelociRFTA bus rapid transit (BRT) “Willits” stop half a block out front (these express, wifi-enabled buses run every 10 min. weekdays, every 15min. weekends – it’s 38min. (22 mile) $5 one way [or $3.50 if prepaid at the machine] to Aspen’s Ruby Park Transit Center, 2 blocks from the gondola) or Buttermilk, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands (for Snowmass or Highlands, change buses at the Brush Creek stop or the stop after Buttermilk & cross the street), (4) if you’re driving a camper RV, park free at the Buttermilk ski area’s main lot or Tiehack lift lot, (5) plan to spend at least 3 days – there’s so much to do and see.

 

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09
Feb

This weekend, Feb. 13-14, Alpental will host Vertfest 2016, the festival celebrating backcountry skiing and riding. On Saturday, over a dozen companies will be on hand to offer free demos of backcountry skis, split boards, alpine touring bindings and more. Saturday is also the day to participate in half or full day steep skiing, alpine touring, split boarding, avalanche awareness and ski photography clinics. Return on Sunday for more free demos and the Vertfest uphill race. There is something for everyone interested in backcountry skiing/riding, ski touring or mountaineering. See you at Vertfest.

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07
Feb

Wanted to share this one from Josh Langdon out of Flagstaff, AZ, skiing his home stomping grounds of Arizona Snowbowl! If you didn’t know there was skiing to be had in Arizona, be sure to check out Josh’s “Season Edit 2016 Part 1″ for a little pre-Super Bowl stoke.


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04
Feb

Ski Patrol cabin at the top of Lookout


This past week, Jeff Rich, Tara and Carl Simpson, Jason Hummel, Adam Roberts and myself, packed up two RVs to start making our way for SIA 2016 in Denver. We made our 1st “rest” stop at a super fun mountain based in Idaho with terrain that extends into Montana. Nothing trumps a lift served, skiable border crossing. The mountain I’m speaking of is Lookout Pass, ID. Being on the I-90 corridor, just under 6 hours East of Seattle, this is a mountain that gets a lot of annual snowfall. 400″ is the average at Lookout Mountain, making it one of the leaders of Idaho snowfall. As you will see in the video below, we didn’t hit this on one of their many epic powder dayz but we did have a blast skiing the “Spring like” snow -and doing so, pretty much all by ourselves. This mountain is very easy to access by a short flight into Spokane. From there make the 1.5 hr drive East on I-90 to Lookout Pass. I’d recommend staying in the really cool town of Wallace, ID, which is just 20 minutes West of the ski area, on I-90. Be sure to check out the Wallace Inn, which I noticed is offering this great deal:


  • 1 Night deluxe room, double occupancy
  • 2 Adult lift tickets to Lookout Pass Ski Resort
  • 1 Craft brew flight from Wallace Brewing Company or North Idaho Mountain Brewery

  • Another killer deal, I heard about while skiing Lookout, was the Season Pass offer, which will be available later this month. 199 bucks gets you next season’s pass plus skiing for the remainder of this season! Smoking deal! So be sure to check back to Lookout’s website later this month to find out all of the fine details. Also, while checking out their site, be sure to look at the 2,000 acre expansion which is in the not too far off future.


    Below is our day wrapped up in under 3 minutes

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    31
    Jan

    Blizzard’s Zero G backcountry touring skis have received much praise for their light weight and performance. We visited their booth at the SIA Snow Show to get a preview of their 2016/2017 Zero G skis. The product line incorporates Carbon Drive technology -the integration of the market’s first 3D unidirectional carbon fiber frame, with an ultra-lightweight paulownia woodcore construction. The result is industry leading, lightweight products that don’t sacrifice performance. The Zero G 108cm wide skis weigh in at 1750g for 185cm. That’s light! Watch the video below to preview that and the rest of the Zero G skis with Carbon Drive.

     

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    28
    Jan

    “Huge Winter Storm to Hit Utah and Colorado this Weekend?” That’s the headline NOAA’s going with today. They are forecasting heavy snow for eastern UT and western CO beginning Friday night. Thank the wet Pacific wave that’s drenching (and flooding parts of) WA at this moment. NOAA states that this winter storm may be a prolonged event that could continue into Tuesday. Over the weekend, the strengthening winter storm could bring widespread heavy snow that targets southwest Colorado, but may extend as far north as the I70 corridor. If so, we will be demoing powder skis at the SIA On the Snow demo days for sure. The images below show the precipitation probability of 0.25″ or more for a 24 hour period. The shaded blue region is 50% to 70% – note it covers Copper Mountain (where the show is headed), Summit County and a lot of Colorado.

    source: http://www.weather.gov/gjt/ARWinterStormendJanuary

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    27
    Jan

    SnowSports Industries America (SIA), the snow sports industry’s member-owned trade association, kicked off the 2016 SIA Snow Show in Denver today. 18,000 snow sports retailers, reps, media, and manufacturers, including 1,000 brands and 530 total exhibitors and a mix of athletes and industry professionals, will be in attendance at this 62nd annual Snow Show. The show is the single largest global snow sports trade event. It’s followed by the On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest (Feb. 1-2) at Copper Mountain Resort . We’ll be there to preview 2016 gear so check back often for a peek at what’s in store for next season.

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    22
    Jan

    Pacific NW ski icon, Bill Johnson passed away yesterday in Oregon. He was the 1st American to win Olympic Downhill Gold (Sarajevo ‘84). He grew up skiing at Bogus Basin, Mt. Hood and honed his racing at Mission Ridge, WA. The U.S. Ski Team credits him with motivating “an entire generation of American ski racers, with the team’s current success rooted in the achievements of that 1984 Olympic Team”. The ‘84 U.S. team wins included Gold from Washington locals Deb Armstrong and Phil Mahre, and silver for Christin Cooper and Steve Mahre. “As a teammate of Bill Johnson during a very successful period of U.S. Ski Team history, I had the utmost respect for his accomplishments as an athlete,” said USSA President and CEO Tiger Shaw. “He established a benchmark for downhill ski racing in America.” For tributes and more about the legend, visit U.S. Ski Team’s page.

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    22
    Jan

    Our bro Andy Traslin, sent this clip over from one of their good days close to home, in Vancouver, Canada. Living in N.Vancouver, Mike and Andy Traslin don’t have to travel very far for some nice steep shots (to get their skiing fix) as you will see in the video below.

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    15
    Jan

    Granite Mountain as seen through the lens of Marianne Wilkins

    Here’s a high noon video that kicked off our New Year on Snoqualmie Pass earlier this month. There’s another BIG storm hitting the Cascades this weekend so I hope the edit brings you a little stoke and leads to the mountains! “Live to Ski Another Day!” TNT


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