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Mt. Rainier, WA – August Turns in Paradise

Mt. Rainier, ...

12
Oct

We headed up to Mt. Rainier yesterday on what was supposed to be the last sunny fall day before rain moves in. As we left the city in a cool mist, we were expecting a cold start on the volcano. We were surprised to find warm temps and full on sun at the Paradise parking lot when we arrived. The day continued to get warmer – feeling much like mid-70s under the sun by late afternoon. We originally planned to make it to Camp Muir but we were waylaid by the show of fall colors. We decided to take our time to enjoy and photograph the stunning views. TNT ended up skiing Paradise Glacier – he’ll have a “ski” video up shortly so please check back for that. If you have the opportunity to visit Mt. Rainier this week, we recommend it highly. As you can see from our photos, the fall colors are spectacular right now. Just remember that Stevens Canyon is closed for road work so you have to take the south entrance through Ashford. By the way, the rain today finally ended Washington states’ 80+ day dry streak.

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10
Oct

11/1 update to this post can be read here.

10/20 Update: Timberline Mt. Hood opened the Palmer lift for weekend ops on 10/13 and A-Basin opened on 10/17.

Original post: Have you bought your ski pass yet? Some major ski resorts are scheduled to begin 2012-2013 operations in just a few weeks in early Nov.: Copper, Keystone and Wolf Creek are scheduled to open on Nov. 2nd, Mammoth Mtn. on Nov. 8th and Breckenridge on the 9th. See the list we’ve compiled below for the Rockies and Western U.S. resort nearest you. Dates are subject to conditions of course so check the resort website for updates. See you on the snow!

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10
Oct

Our friend Craig Moore wanted to get the word out about the 2nd annual Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop at Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish, Montana this Saturday October 13th, 8am-4:30pm. Registration is only $20 in advance or $25 at the door and is open to all recreational backcountry enthusiasts and pros alike. 240 turned out for last year’s event. To sign up, go to www.avalanchesafetyworkshop.com.

Live to Ski Another Day!

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08
Oct

Andrew Eckels and company were out getting after it on Mt. Baker this past September 30th, 2012. Below is a video and a short report of their last adventure.



A Facebook post about skiing under the full moon and Pat and Ben’s lack of September turns inspired a trip to the Coleman Glacier on Mt Baker. I tried to sell Ben and Pat on skiing under the full moon on Heliotrope while hanging out with my friends Heather and Georgia. They are new to summer skiing, and didn’t have the gear to go to the summit of Baker, but they were stoked as hell on the idea of skiing under the moon, and asked to join. Plenty of detours and last minute packing put us at trailhead at 1 in the morning, where we woke up Pat and Ben. We hiked through the moonlit woods relishing the mystical night scenery, and made it to snow by 3 in the morning. The snow was hard and we were tired, so we went to bed right on the trail. Pat and Ben woke us up at 8 and we leisurely made our way up to the top of Heliotrope, giving the snow time to soften.




After an hour of soaking in the views and hanging out, Ben, Pat and I set off for the summit, while Heather and Georgia, hung out waiting for the sun cups to ripen. We wore harnesses and had a rope, but the snow was so firm, and the route so clear and lacking significant snow bridges that we never pulled it out.



By the time we got to the Col at 9000 ft a lenticular cloud had engulfed the summit in a white out with high winds. This was the third time this exact scenario played out for us in a year. We decided to turn around and not risk having to navigate the glacier in a white out. The skiing was great for September. We were back at Heliotrope in no time and ended up meeting Heather and Georgia at the bottom. After a leisurely transition we all walked out and made it to the car just before dark, and celebrated with a meal at chair 9.

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08
Oct

Two weeks ago, Canadian ski mountaineer, Greg Hill, was at Mt. Manaslu attempting to reach the 26,759-foot summit and be among the first to ski the world’s eighth highest peak without oxygen. In an earlier post, we reported that poor conditions and a huge avalanche ended that trip. Greg, who assisted in rescue efforts, provided his account (and astounding photos) of the tragic day on his blog, www.greghill.ca. We recommend reading it and gaining insight from one of the most experienced ski mountaineers of our generation: Greg skied one million vertical feet in a single season in ‘04/05 and then topped that by achieving a new milestone in 2010: being the first to ski TWO million vertical feet in under 365 days. We again express our deepest condolences to family and friends of lost ones and, on behalf of those affected by the Mt. Manaslu avalanche, we wanted to thank Greg and everyone who aided in the rescue. Let’s show our appreciation for Greg’s efforts and contributions to the skiing world by supporting his upcoming film, Two Million Reasons. It documents the remarkable journey he undertook, while averaging 5500 ft a day upwards all year, up 71 mountains, down 1039 runs, in 4 countries, and the strength of his family that supported him through it all. Watch the trailer here and the film when it hits the big screen.

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05
Oct

Every year the Farmers’ Almanac issues a Ski season outlook and yes, we read it. Most of the time, it’s pretty spot on. In fact, we read their weather outlook all season long when planning big road trips. We’ve been doing that for over a decade now and folks wonder how it is we always catch the big dumps. Well, not always -but a lot of the time. This year’s Ski Report: Where to Hit the Slopes in 2012-13 by Caleb Weatherbee is forecasting a great season with heavy snow and colder than average temperatures for Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. New York’s Adirondack and Catskill ranges is also looking at a good season, but not so great further south in Pennsylvania’s Pocono and Laurel Mountain. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York will see snow in early November for an early start to the ski season. “A series of showers in December should keep the slopes covered for the holidays, with a few heavy snowstorms expected to pound the region in January and February.” Northern plains, Rockies, and Southwest can expect a milder than normal with average snowfall season. Average precip for Colorado usually means about 300 inches of snow given its high elevation resorts so this is good news. Colorado and Montana are already seeing snow this week and unlike last season, they’re forecast to get more along with the rest of the Rockies in early November plus two heavy storms toward the end of the month. Snow’s supposed to continue through Christmas with regular storms predicted through March. Eastern Canada will also see snow in early November and regularly throughout December, January and February. The Canadian Rockies is expected to have a decent season with milder temperatures and average precipitation. For us in the Pacific Northwest, they are reiterating their forecast for a warmer and drier season than normal. However, with WA having some of the snowiest places on earth at Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker, we’re betting we’ll do just fine.

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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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01
Oct

Warren Miller’s 63rd feature film “Flow State” begins its tour through our state on Oct. 20th. City tour dates and trailer below. As always, there will be athletes, giveaways, good times and more. See ya there.

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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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