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Summit East, WA – Hyak Snow Report 3.15.16

Summit East, ...

04
Oct

First snow that was visible from Sanpoint, Idaho was actually above the sweet little town of Hope, Idaho. The peaks of the Cabinet Mountains that tower above Hope, received apx. 2″ of new snow two nights ago. Getting pumped for the new season, I had to take the pups for a long walk up towards Round Top Mountain, which happened to be our last two “Idaho” ski days this past June. Access can be gained from fs. trail 444 located just 1 mile past the hope cemetery, however the trail can only be traveled by atv’s. So if you’re looking for easy early season or late ski season car access, head to Clark Fork, ID and take Lightning Creek rd( see original post HERE).


Looking down on Lake Pend Oreille from the NW face of Round Top Mountain.


If you look at a topo map of this zone(or see the video thumbnail at very bottom of post) you will clearly see why this might be the best ski zone in all of Northern, Idaho. Not only is their huge relief but also a huge lake effect. Lake Pend Oreille’s 60+ mile stretch of open water allows the storms coming in from the West Coast funnel right between the Monacrh Mountains & the foothills of Sagle, slamming right into the Cabinets. This effect is also very evident by the vegetation in the Cabinets (looking much more lush like the West slopes of the Cascades) vs. the vegetation in the Selkirk foothills, where Schweitzer calls home (looking more like the East slopes of the Cascades, with mostly jack and ponderosa pine trees). If you ever were to move into the Sanpoint area and happen to spend all your free time alpine touring, I would recommend Hope, Idaho & a sled or two. Also, “Hope, Idaho” has a funny kind of ring, when you say it out loud.




After 3 hours of walking in a Fall snow storm the weather cleared a little.


A look back at our second to last ski day on Round Top Mountain this past June.

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27
Sep

This past September 20th, Trooper dog and myself headed up into the mighty Mt. Baker zone for the Cougar Divide trail head in our trusty Dodge AWD Caravan. Cougar Divide is one of my favorite ridge walks that is located 12 miles or so up the Wells Creek rd off of the Mt. Baker State Hwy 542. Note: Apx 3/4 of a mile down Wells Creek road be sure to stop at the Nooksack Falls for a few pics. We would be meeting up w/ Andrew Eckels and Patrick Longley later that night for an early morning walk


Cup of joe and some fire weed?


on the Cougar Divide w/ Hadley Peak in my sights and the boyz w/ their focus on the Sholes Glacier (a good push beyond Hadley Peak). I have been away from home for a few weeks, so I was extremely stoked to be back in our Cascade paradise not to mention the great weather, eye candy and excellent company to complete my 108th month consecutive skiing.


Cougar and Skyline Divides as seen from 1/2 way up Hadley Glacier.


Climbing w/ two young ultra athletes makes for some nice long lunches alone w/ Trooper dog enjoying a live ski show a mile or two away. Be sure to check out Andrew and Patrick’s HUGE day, all wrapped up in the short video below.

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26
Sep

Here’s a quick taste of some Kiwi snow from earlier this week, brought to us by our good friend Jared Scholz. Jared is living the dream, missing out on Summer now for TWO entire years! AWESOME!!! Jared is one of the main people who put the Summit at Snoqualmie’s park scene on the map by designing and building some of the sweetest features out there to ride. I happen to not be into the whole park scene too much, but I do spend a littletime in there filming some of the bro’s huckin’ their meat in a BIG way! If you are a park rider, be sure to put the Summit on your hit list, but be sure to hit our natural park at Alpental on the same trip too… You will be amazed! But alway remember… Live to ski another day!

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05
Sep

On Sept. 5th, I was lucky enough to catch Larry and His Flask performing live at the Fall Festival which happens every Labor day in Sandpoint, ID. When I had heard one of our favorite bands ( that we use to back a lot of our video trip reports ) was in the same zone, my holiday plans immediately changed. I though it was a must to film the show for all you Snow Troopers to enjoy as well! Here’s their opening song, “No Life” from the album All that We Know. Enjoy and check our fb page for more music vids.


Larry and His Flask, Land of the F(r)ee 2012.09.03 Sandpoint, ID from The Snow Troopers on Vimeo.

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26
Aug

This past August 16th I headed out solo to ski off Ruth Mountain and video Andrew Eckels, Ben Gregory, and Woods skiing off Icy Peak. Below is what Andrew had to say about their BIG adventure.


Ben and I left Seattle Wednesday night to get our August turns, planning on checking out Ruth mountain and Icy peak with our friend Woods. We got to Woods’s place in Glacier after midnight, and decided to go sleep at the trailhead so we could get an early start. Once we got there, all of us were amazed by how bright and beautiful the stars were. Woods proposed that we should stay up and hike through the night, and get to the Ruth arm for sunrise. Ben and I were sold, so we took off, enjoying views of silhouettes of mountains beneath the milky way. We climbed the steep goat trail just beyond Hannegan pass in the pre dawn light and enjoyed one of the best sunrises I’ve ever seen.



After a four hour nap we were on our way again towards the summit of Ruth. Once there we discovered that the way down would not be as easy as we had hoped. We skied the east slopes down to a chute that we thought was the only way to Icy (turns out Fred Becky recommends traversing beneath the west side of Ruth).


Mt. Shuksan as seen from Ruth Mtn. Mt. Baker Ski Area and Table Mtn. )far right/center).


We decided we might as well try down climbing it, and while it was very careful work, that got the heart going, it was within all of our comfort zones. From there the route was easy to Icy. We stopped short of the summit, because the nice face that looked awesome to ski, was terribly exposed, and we didn’t have crampons or axes. From our highpoint we skied the best run of the day, enjoying a beautiful line with small soft sun cups, and didn’t stop until we got to the bottom.


Icy Peak as seen from Ruth Mountain


On our way back, climbing the chute took some time, but Ben kicked awesome steps, and the up climbing was easy. We made it back to the car just after dark, stoked, satisfied, and tired.

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23
Aug

Below is the video from August 15th that goes along with yesterday’s post (8/22/12). Check it out to see how great the backcountry skiing is in August in this zone. If you haven’t visited the area before during the summer, plan on several days. Even with a week, we didn’t have enough time to get into all the other activities like whitewater rafting, kayaking, fishing and biking, much less hit the other side of the park: Mt. Baker ski area and its backcountry are just a small part of the North Cascades National Park. For snow lovers, the Park boasts 316 glaciers and countless snowfields – it’s the most heavily glaciated area in the U.S. outside of Alaska and one of the snowiest places on earth. It also happens to be the 2nd most bio diverse park in the nation with some of the true remaining wilderness areas in the world today. Yeah, we love it here. Mt. Baker also is one of the many places in WA where you can ski and hit the beach in the same day (and catch wild salmon or pick shellfish). Nearby city of Bellingham’s just under an hour away and the ferry to the San Juan Islands, 1.5 hrs. Add those to the list of AMAZING lower 48 U.S eye candy vacations. Video can’t capture the vibe this magical zone buzzes with all year long, so visit soon for a great natural NW buzz!!! Check back later for our last day in this zone -out to Mt. Ruth and Icy Peak – truly epic.


video thumbnail is Skyline Divide as seen from Cougar Divide


Walking on Cougar Divide

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06
Aug

This past July 31st, Tara and Carl Simpson, Jeff Rich, Zack Jessel, Silas Wild, and Art all headed up the Mt. Rainier’s Cowlitz Glacier for the super long mid Summer ski, which also included Paradise Glacier. Check the vid and take “note” of the music preformed by Carl’s band, Perseus Arm.



Jeff taking advantage of a little gravitational pull. (photo by Carl Simpson)

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27
Jul

This past July 18th, I took Trooper dog for a walk up to one of my favorite “close to home” lakes, Lake Lillian, to see if some turns off Peak 5,606′ were possible. I like this lake for a quick workout and amazing views that all starts just 20 minutes from Hyak, WA. From Hyak go under the freeway and head for Gold Creek Rd. At the end of the pavement the road starts the climb up the mountain (NF 3942) and turn on to the second left fork ( NF 136, as the road switch backs towards the right). About a half mile or so down the old logging road you will see another left, which you don’t take (it leads to the windsurfing launch up on Rampart Ridge). After the last fork that you stayed right on, you will end up in the small parking lot. The fun starts there. This is an aggressive trail that climbs apx 1,000′ in one mile, passing Laura Lake on the way. I wasn’t surprised to see the lake STILL frozen over, because it is completely surrounded by some sweet double diamond terrain. Took the main Summer trail from Lake Lillian to get access to Peak 5,606′, which was half melted out and seemed like it would be sketchy on exit (so after the ski we just crossed the lake w/ skis on… Yes, in July!). That was probably my last ski on Snoqualmie Pass for this season, time to travel to the Mighty Mt. Baker zone for the Summer turns w/ the pup.



Lake Lillian and Peak 5,606′


Looking down on Lake Lillian


A small piece of the playground

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24
Jul

This past July 19th, Tara and Carl Simpson along with a bunch of others headed up to Mt. Rainier for a Paradise Glacier ski celebration of Silas Wild’s 64th Birthday. Silas is known as the organizer and director of fun in the NW and is out there more than most people slaying what ever conditions the Snow Gods are providing. Not only is he out there multiple times a week all year long, he is logging lots of vert too, not to mention lots of laughs. Great times with our loved friend Silas and how I wish I could have been there for the fun last week, but at least I got to live it through Carl’s edit of the day. Thanks Carl and Happy Birthday Silas!


Silas Wild and Tara Simpson / photo by Carl Simpson



Jeff Rich rippin’ up Paradise Glacier

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21
Jul

This past July 16th and 17th, I took Trooper dog for a couple evening walks up to the Stompin’ Grounds (Silver Peak). Still a lot of snow, starting to skin only 200 yards from the Dodge mini Caravan, but this late in the Summer the climbing and skiing is quite the challenge. Headed up towards the NE bowl, having to boot pack up the final pitch at the waterfall (which is just below the bowl). Once in the bowl the snow is still solid and deep, however, the Cirque is mostly toast. We did get one mellow ski off of the Cirque down into the NW bowl’s flats that was fun and not too sun cupped. The NE bowl had the longest ski that connected all the way to the flat “BIG Trees” zone (located just above the ponds and just before the rock shelter). Shouldered the skis though “BIG Trees” and clicked back in for the final coast down to the rig. That was my last walk with the skis up to Silver Peak for this season… See ya next season!



Sunset in the Cascades.

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