Drew Hurter, an Alpentalic friend for many years now, who is currently living up North in Bellingham, WA. Where he has been gaining a great education over the past few years, not only at WWU, but high in the Cascades. This is a sweet edit he banged out of a recent trip with Tim Black, and Thomas Tran. On a side not this trip was made this past Saturday (2/21/15), which was the same day Jerad and I skied at Silver Peak (snoqualmie pass), and finding only a fraction of the snowpack seen on the higher slopes of the North Cascades.
My bro Jerad Merbs and I headed up to take another look at Silver Peak, this past Saturday (2/21/15), after the 3 to 4 inches new of snow that came through, landing up there recently. We met at the parking lot below, the almost totally bare slopes, of Summit East (which, on a side note, I ran to the summit 2 days ago on dirt, the entire way!?!). Jumped in Jerad’s jeep and we’re able to get to windy pass easily (saw an outback up there too, and I’m sure with some work we could have made it further, but decided to skin up the road from there). I think now, we could drive all the way up to the fire pit. Also note, the road is the only access, as the normal route from Windy Pass (along the timber line) is snow free and too THICK.
above: Kendall Peaks/Pacific Crest Trail as seen from Silver Peak
below: Short Central Cascades conditions video from 2,600′ to apx 5,000′
Anyway, we got up there to check out the NE bowl thinking it might give us a good “top to bottom run”, even if it was in the chill terrain. Didn’t happen, as you will see the waterfall is wiped out and having seen the lower part of “chute TNT” also wiped out, we decided to ski back out the NW bowl on the rock peppered cruiser slopes. Good to get out, but bummed to now be forced into the Alpine Wilderness to find some BIGGER terrain and deeper snow.
Are you one of the many PNW skiers out there looking for a road trip target, and most of all save some bucks while getting some lift served action? Here’s what I’d suggest, head for Whitefish Mountain Resort for some great coverage, terrain, and people. But first, I had heard Schweitzer Mountain in Sandpoint, ID (which is on the way to Whitefish) is offering 1 free day of skiing to a bunch of PNW ski area pass holders. So start your trip from the Cascades, head to Sandpoint find a great deal at Sleeps Cabins (on the water, just before the long bride on your way into town), Get kick ass NY style 18″pizza delivered from Babs’ Pizzeria (cheese pizza is only 16 bucks!?!). Then get some mellow groomers in on the runs Schweitzer has open for a warm up to move on to the fully operational Whitefish Mountain Resort (where the BIG mountain skiers will find the lift served terrain they seek), which is only 3-3.5 hrs drive from Schweitzer. Oh, be sure to stop around the halfway point to stretch the legs for a short walk to Kootenai Falls.
Here’s the banger deal for Whitefish, EAT, SKI, SLEEP, repeat for just $84 bucks. Another idea is the Amtrak train, just checked a fare from Seattle to Whitefish, 2 weeks out on a Sunday night, and found coach under $70 bucks and the “superliner roomette” was under $170, (which sleeps 2).
Zack Jessel, Tara and Carl Simpson proved to me last time out (prior to their trip vid below) that their high elevation, corn diet has made them super strong. Who needs lifts, or a road trip when you have a big ass canvas of snow in the backyard, providing any level of riding The video below is a compilation of two days that Tara, Carl, and Zack timed perfectly on Feb 16th and 17th. Beautiful long ski runs in this vid, pretty much heli skiing without working the bank (just the quads). Thanks Carl, for keeping the Winter stoke alive with the great videos!
Tim Black (who was just recently, living LARGE in Japan for a month) just sent this one over of a trip up to Pemberton for a little BC, bc “hut skiing“. Below are a few words from Tim along with the edit he and Drew Hurter stacked and chopped. Great one guys!
Tyler Tran, Drew Hurter, Ryan Morrison and myself left Bellingham Friday afternoon, February 13th 2015 to catch a weekend of sun up north. During our hike in Friday night it was a steady down poor, rain up to 6000 ft. However when the clouds broke Saturday morning and we ventured up high in the alpine we were pleased with the conditions.
screen grab above – skier / Tyler Tran, video below – credit / Tim Black and Drew Hurter
Check out the brand new “Bladet jacket” by Bergans of Norway. Below are a few words from Bergans of Norway in regards to the “Bladet jacket” along with a short video.
Lightweight, heat insulating and soft jacket specially developed for ski touring and mountaineering. Insulated’s outer shell is windproof and water-repellent and insulated with a heat-boosting wool blend with high wicking and temperature-regulation properties, including if the garment gets wet.
This video was sent to me back when it was fresh, however, to be honest I couldn’t click the play button. The reason being the friend who shared it, had mentioned the pup in the vid reminded him of Trooper dog (who we lost almost a year ago). Well, I just recently clicked play right after one of my best friends on this planet (Dale Bohem) had his wife send me the link, because as he watched the vid, all he could think about were epic times with our three pups (Boots, Hobart, and Trooper) and the memories of living a 10 year dream with 3 fine snow souls. Great motivation to complete sifting through ten years of video capturing so many epic times. I hope you get a chance to watch this one from our friends over at OR, who put this fine video together with DPS Skis. Btw, some of the shots might look familiar if you had caught Connor Eagan’s trip from this past Summer.
Well, the home mountain pass was in the national news today and it wasn’t because of the incredible amount of snowfall, Snoqualmie Pass has been receiving, but the fact the grass is out and growing (rather than beneath 17′ of snow… – as “Good Morning America” had mention)!?! Super bummed about the season we are having here in the Central Cascades, especially at the lower elevations. The talk around here in recent days, weeks, months has been, “Just a cycle or global warming”, and if not that then discussions of where the next road trip or flight might lead. This upcoming weekend, was to be our Alpental Vertfest, where Chris Davenport was scheduled to join us for a great festival and ski touring out of Alpental valley. So now that this upcoming weekend’s event has been moved to a new date, we are hoping for a solid season next year, to then show Chris a great time here at our Snoqualmie Pass, WA, stomping grounds. I know a lot of people are re-planning the rest of the season, so here’s something DAV has shared with everyone, a getaway he gives “a front row parking spot in his heart”, The Ultima Thule Lodge, which is located/based out of Chritina, AK, that happens to be 100 miles beyond McCarthy, AK (and per Ultima Thule Lodge, “100 miles from the end of the paved and maintained road system”).
This is a pretty cool vid of one of the most dynamic skiers on the planet, not to mention one of the fastest speed skiers too. A lap down Beaver Creek’s downhill course, “Birds of Prey” , prior this weekend’s 2015 World Championships. Btw, Ted Lidety took a bronze in the men’s “Alpine Combinded” yesterday (2/8/15, the second video below is his slalom run).
Below is the gold medal slalom lap (of the Alpine Combinded) by Marcel Hirscher, who on a side note, was 31st fastest in the DH part or the “Alpine Combinded”.