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Mt. Baker, WA – Spring Powder Day, the King of Snow Way

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Hyak, WA – Slope Side Condos for Sale/Touring Partners Wanted!!!

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Alpental, WA – N. America’s Top 10 Snow depths

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N.Cascades, WA – Mount Pilchuck

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14
Feb

snow

Winter storm warnings and watches are in effect again this weekend for Washington’s Cascade mountains. King5 TV is forecasting over 3ft of mountain snow over the long weekend. Below is Alison Morrow’s report on snow conditions and the high avalanche danger including interviews with John Stimberis of Alpental’s Ski Patrol and WSDOT, Matt Leitzinger and our own TNT. Join us this weekend at Alpental for Vertfest, a mountain festival dedicated to raising the level of snow safety education and stoke for backcountry enthusiasts, and supporting the efforts of avalanches centers everywhere. While there, be sure to check out Pro Guiding Service’s tent and try out some new gear, including Dean Cummings’ H2O skis. Live to ski another day.

 

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13
Feb

2014 Black Diamond Shiva Boot

We caught up with Roch Horton of Black Diamond Equipment at the Snow Sports Industry demo show in Copper Mountain, CO. Among the products he showed us was the women’s 2014 Shiva Mx AT/Freeride ski boot -it’s the successor to the popular Shiva boot and offers several improved features. Having a small and difficult foot to fit, there are few boots that work for me. Black Diamond’s Shiva has been by far the most comfortable, high performance alpine touring (pin binding compatible) boot for me to date. It has served me (and held up) well through countless long backcountry tours. The fact that I’m still wearing their first generation boot (circa 2009?) is proof of that. But after seeing the latest model, I think it’s time for a new pair! If you’re in our zone, go try them out at Pro Ski and Guiding in N. Bend, WA (logo link to the right).

 

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12
Feb

king5

Pro Guiding Service’s owner and certified mountain guide, Martin Volken, and our own TNT talked to Alison Morrow of NBC’s King5 TV about the snow conditions to help raise awareness of avalanche dangers. If you missed the story, watch it below. With the recent heavy snowfall, the Northwest Avalanche Center raised its forecast for backcountry avalanches to ‘high’, the second highest level (highest being ‘extreme’). In the Pacific NW and Rockies (CO, OR, WA and UT), there have been six avalanche fatalities in the backcountry in just the last five days, bringing this season’s total to 12. Our sympathies to their friends and families. It’s a painful reminder of the importance of snow safety and backcountry education. We encourage those who are interested and in our area to check out Pro Guiding’s large selection of classes (logo link to right). Also, join them and many others at Vertfest this Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 15 and 16, at Alpental for backcountry clinics and gear demos. Stay safe and Live to ski another day!

 

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10
Feb

Chris Davenport & NEW Kastle MX98

Always a pleasure to ski and film with Kastle’s two-time World Champion athlete, Chris Davenport, whether it’s deep in the backcountry off a volcano or just ripping some freshly loaded groomers (which is what we had this past week at the SIA “On the Snow” Demo show at Copper Mountain, CO). At last year’s show, we had “high pressure” hard packed groomers so we were able to see how Kastle skis perform in bad/sketchy conditions – essential seeing as we’ve all had that boney run out on occasion, even on an epic powder run. You want a ski that has you remembering the bliss and not a sketchy near miss. Knowing that Kastle skis passed the hard packed test at last year’s demo, I was stoked to get to rip them with Chris and company on some really sweet cold groomers this time around. Chris took out next season’s big mountain Kastle MX98 (seen in the video below) while I was on the Kastle FX104 freeride skis (the numbers represent the ski width underfoot). Bingo!! These skis are so legit -which I knew last year but this time we got to feel them react on the fluff and through the occasional patch of hard pack without experiencing any wash out at all. These skis handle variable conditions so impressively. So if you would like to be a more dynamic skier like Chris Davenport, well, keep on skiing every chance you get, get lessons, work on technique, and demo some of Kastle’s MX & FX line up. Over the years, we’ve demo’ed nearly all of the Kastle skis so we can say these are superb, gold standard skis deserving of their premium brand status. Go try some and keep up with Chris’ latest adventures at chrisdavenport.com.

 

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09
Feb

Squaw closed todaySquaw Valley is CLOSED today. Alpine Meadows’ lower mountain is open with 7 lifts running (upper is closed). Squaw Valley reports that high camp located at 8200 ft. picked up 38 more inches of snow between yesterday and this morning bringing the 4 day total to 5 FEET. In the next 24 hrs., there’s the possibility of another 1-2 feet above 7000 ft. and another 2-3 feet above 8000 feet, all by Monday morning. That would bring storm totals into the 7+ foot range up top. Very stoked for our friends in Tahoe to get much needed snow. Squaw’s base depth is now at 20″ and 70″ at 6200′ and 8200′, respectively. Live to ski another day!

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06
Feb
Mt. Rainier, WA 2/4/2014

photo: Tara Simpson of Rory Robison

Based on recent trip reports Paradise seemed like the place to be. Carl & Tara Simpson, Zack & Stephanie Jessel, and David O’Donnell headed up to Muir on Feb 4, 2014. With up to another 12″ of new snow in the forecast by Sunday, Paradise is going to be, well, Paradise. Here’s what Carl reports: We made it to 10k but couldn’t find Muir so we skied down along our skin track in a white out. At the base of Pan Face we decided to go check out the Mazama area. We found our best powder turns of the season so far. After our second lap we were out of time but decided to return the following day for more face shots. With talk of thigh deep blower we managed to round up a good sized crew who were willing to face the wind and the cold. The crew included Carl & Tara Simpson, Zack Jessel, Rory Robison, Kyle Miller, David O’Donnell, James Fletcher, and Alicia Brannan. The increasing wind affected many of the slopes and slabs were forming. Caution to people traveling in the coming days especially when we get new snow. We managed to find mostly unaffected snow, that flew up into your face, woooooo! Another amazing day in Paradise with good friends!

 

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05
Feb

windchillchart3

Much of Colorado is under a wind chill warning as an arctic airmass continues to sit overhead. Up at Loveland Basin, ski patrol closed access to the summit and the free cat skiing terrain as temps hit a wind chilled -37. With the possibility of frost bite with just 10 minutes of exposure, I made sure to cover up well. My usual routine would involve a neck gaiter pulled up and over my nose and tucked under my goggles = inevitably leading to fogged goggles. So I was very much hoping a new product called SnowzNoze would work. SnowzNoze is a fleece lined neoprene piece that velcros to the bottom of your goggles and hangs over and covers your nose (pictured in pink). By end of day, fingers and toes were frozen but not my nose or face (which I could cover without blocking my nose – thus, goggles remained fog-free). Awesome! That such a simple product could work so well. Very happy since, temps aside, the skiing was great: coldest smoke ever. With more snow on the way and temps remaining in the single digits and dropping below zero, be sure to add this to your list of essential cold weather gear. Live to ski another day!

SnowzNoze- field tested to -37

Field tested to work at -37F

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02
Feb

Stevens Pass 2/1/14

Jameson Florence sent us these shots from the Stevens Pass backcountry yesterday and cautions that “things were pretty sketchy…the snow that did stick to the mountain skied really well though…got some great turns in, face shots were had and powder was slayed”. With the recent snow storm hitting our Washington Cascades, Stevens Pass ski resort is currently reporting powder and packed powder conditions and a snow base depth of 63″ and 85″ at their base lodge and top, respectively. Enjoy the new snow and live to ski another day! Congratulations Seahawks and the 12th man!
Stevens Pass 2/1/14

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01
Feb
Du Praz Skis

Serge DuPraz

The 2014 Snow Sports Industry Show wraps up the expo part of the show on Sunday and moves to Copper Mountain for on the snow demos. As was the case in past years, there’s a lot to see. But what makes this year different is the number of companies with products in the backcountry space and that’s exciting for us. There are more alpine touring bindings, skis, boots and avalanche safety products than ever. Here’s a peek at just a few products for the 2014-2015 season. We’ll bring you more in the coming days so please check back.

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28
Jan

Snoqualmie Pass, WA -Winter storm warning

A winter storm warning has been issued tonight for the West slopes of Washington’s Cascades and passes – looks like it’s going to be a good one with potential for over a foot of new snow ABOVE pass levels by tomorrow night. However, it could get nasty in places before it gets good so read the details:

1037 PM PST TUE JAN 28 2014 …WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FOR THE CASCADES ABOVE 2000 FEET UNTIL 10 PM PST WEDNESDAY…SOME AFFECTED LOCATIONS…SNOQUALMIE PASS…STEVENS PASS… WHITE PASS…MOUNT BAKER…AND PARADISE. * FREEZING RAIN ACCUMULATION…A QUARTER TO THREE QUARTERS OF AN INCH IS EXPECTED IN THE PASSES PRONE TO COLD EAST WINDS BEFORE THE PRECIPITATION CHANGES OVER TO JUST RAIN. THIS WILL IMPACT SNOQUALMIE AND STEVENS PASSES. * TIMING…AREAS OF FREEZING RAIN IN THE PASSES WILL CHANGE OVER TO JUST RAIN BY MIDMORNING WEDNESDAY. THE RAIN WILL CHANGE OVER TO SNOW ABOVE THE 3500 FOOT LEVEL DURING THE DAY WEDNESDAY. SNOW WILL BEGIN TO PICK UP LATE TONIGHT…WITH SOME LOCATIONS ABOVE THE 4500 FOOT LEVEL LIKE PARADISE…RECEIVING AN INCH OF SNOW PER HOUR AT TIMES. * MAIN IMPACT…EXPECT SLIPPERY OR ICY ROADS DUE TO FREEZING RAIN IN SNOQUALMIE…STEVENS…AND WHITE PASSES OVERNIGHT THROUGH AT LEAST EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING. * TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATION…10 TO 20 INCHES…WITH THE HEAVIEST AMOUNTS FALLING SOUTH OF SNOQUALMIE PASS. LESSER AMOUNTS WILL FALL IN STEVENS AND SNOQUALMIE PASSES. * SNOW LEVEL…ABOVE 4500 FEET…FALLING TO 3500 TO 4000 FEET ON WEDNESDAY…AND BETWEEN 2500 TO 3000 FEET WEDNESDAY EVENING.

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