A large avalanche struck this afternoon in East Vail Chutes, a popular backcountry area accessible from east of the Vail ski area, between Vail Pass and Vail Mountain. Our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of the lost skier identified as Anthony “Tony” Seibert, 24, of Boulder and Vail. He’s the grandson of Vail ski resort’s founder. Conditions have been dangerous due to recent heavy snow, high winds and warming temperatures. On Monday, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center warned of dangerous conditions at all elevations in Vail and Summit counties with wide slabs of snow likely to be unstable because of snowfall and winds during the weekend. That region has a deadly history due to avalanches – in fact, the East Vail Chutes had two skier-triggered avalanches as recently as Dec. 22. There have been several avalanches deaths in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming in just the past two weeks. We encourage all skiers and boarders to take the time to be prepared and learn about snow safety before venturing into the backcountry.
Alaska heli skiing pioneer and exteme skiing champion, Dean Cummings, wraps up his Washington state tour at Stevens Pass on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. Come by 9am-4pm to check out free demos of his 2014 H2O skis and learn about his Steep Life Protocols for staying safe on the snow. Snow Trooper Carl Simpson recently took his H2O skis out to Mt. Rainier and loved them – see them in action in the video below.
Snow Trooper, Andy Traslin, is featured in the current edition of the Canadian outdoor adventure magazine, Mountain Life. In the story entitled “Four Million Feet and Counting: The vertical obsession of Andy Traslin”, Andy describes what it takes to ascend over a million vertical feet per year for four years straight by ski touring and biking. Read about this former Canadian ski mountaineering champion’s ultra athleticism and his incredible determination in this story written by Vince Shuley.
Big mountain ski legend Dean Cummings’ Washington State Tour continues onto Mission Ridge Thurs. and Fri., Jan 2-3, and Stevens Pass on Sat. and Sun., Jan. 4-5. Stop by to meet Dean and check out his full fleet of 2014 H2O Outdoor Gear Skis which will be available to demo at no cost from 9am to 4pm. This is an opportunity for Washington skiers, snowboarders, and other mountain travelers to not only try out the latest gear but also ski with the legend while learning his Steep Life Protocols -an approach to staying safer in the mountains and avoiding avalanches through practical terrain management. Dean developed the Steep Life Protocols during his last 24 years of guiding in the Chugach Range of Alaska, Wasatch Range of Utah, and Andes Mountains of South America, and pioneering thousands of first descents in mountains all over the world. Steep Life Protocols empowers skiers and snowboarders of all abilities to elevate their skills to a higher level and take control of their destinies in mountain environments. Be sure to also join Dean as he continues his Washington tour with Steep Life Protocol presentations and “Chugach” Film Screenings at the Wenatchee Pybus Public Market on Jan. 3, 5:30-9pm, and Leavenworth Mountain Sports in Leavenworth on Jan. 4, 7-9pm.
Events presented by H2O Guides • H2O Outdoor Gear • The Snow Troopers • Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, Stevens Pass Mountain Resort, Leavenworth Mountain Sports.
Join the Snow Troopers on New Year’s Day, 6pm, at Pro Ski Service in North Bend, WA to meet Alaska’s legendary big mountain skier and mountain guide Dean Cummings. He will be presenting his award-winning Steep Life Protocols and new film “Chugach” starting at 7pm at the North Bend Theatre. All skiers, snowboarders and backcountry travelers should plan to attend. Dean’s Steep Life Protocols presentation offers an opportunity to learn Dean’s sensible approach to staying safer in the mountains and avoiding avalanches through practical terrain management. Dean refined Steep Life Protocols during his last 24 years of guiding in the Chugach Range of Alaska, Wasatch Range of Utah, and Andes Mountains of South America, and pioneering thousands of first descents in mountains all over the world. Guy Lawrence, head of Marketing at the Summit at Snoqualmie, calls the Steep Life Protocols “hands down one of the best, most practical snow safety presentations I’ve seen! Way impressed.” While there, be sure to talk to Martin Volken, UIAGM certified Swiss Mountain Guide and owner of Pro Ski Service and Pro Guiding Service about their extensive offering of AIARE avalanche education, ski touring, ski mountaineering, steep skiing, alpine climbing, ice climbing and rock climbing courses and trips.
Start 2014 off right and join us for an evening of celebrating The Steep Life and learning protocols for staying safer while doing what we love: Live to ski another day. Happy New Year!
More about Steep Life Protocols
Dean Cummings’ Steep Life Protocols is grounded on practical terrain management for skiers, snowboarders, and other mountain travelers who travel in avalanche terrain. Dean teaches and illustrates through his knowledge and experiences:
- On-the-go snow assessment from the top down
- Digging hasty pits
- Constant visual-verbal communication with partners
- Group-team emphasis
- Skiing/riding safe zone to safe zone until totally clear of potential avalanche paths
- Skiing/riding ridgelines, apexes and high points
- Avoiding convex/concave terrain, chutes and gullies, unsupported slopes, and steeps to flats
- 3 strikes methodology – identify potential avalanche warning signs, gauge risk, and decide
when to move to safer locations or call it off and head to the bar.
I think our friends over at Peak Media located the goods this late December. Based out of Slocan, BC (which is between Castlegar and Nelson), Snowwater Heli-Skiing is another somewhat easy spot for many out of the PNW to get that powder fix. Below is a look at the operation through the lens of Peak Travels, along with a few words from Snowwater Heli-Skiing.
Amid the growing popularity of heli-skiing in British Columbia, Snowwater has established itself as the leader in professionally guided, small group heli-skiing. From its location deep in British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountains, Snowwater offers skiers and riders an opportunity to experience the legendary light Kootenay powder and stunning mountain terrain. Heli skiing at Snowwater combines adventure and excitement, an exquisite private mountain setting for only 12 guests at a time, with a holiday experience that is as exclusive as it is personalized. Our snowcat back up ensures zero down time, enabling skiers and riders to maximize valuable vacation time on the slopes. Join us for the ultimate heli skiing experience in British Columbia.
Be sure to check out this sic edit with some great slo mo shots!!! Thanks Jim Bolser and Peak Media!
Our friend Joey Mara just sent this quality edit over of their first “Waist Deep Media” project for the 2013/2014 ski season. This first episode features Stevens Pass and the early season goods they have been blessed with, during this slow starting PNW Winter. The Snow Troopers are excited to be visiting Stevens Pass this upcoming Jan. 4th and 5th with BIG mountain ski legend, Dean Cummings. So please click play for the video below and jot the dates down to come meet, ski, and soak up all the knowledge you can from Dean Cummings.
Stoked for this fresh one from Tyler Tran, on his recent break from Western Washington University. Looks like they hit it right, be sure to check out the video below along with a few notes Tyler sent along with the vid. Thanks for the great STOKE!
Tim, Ashton, Thomas and Tyler spent their first week of winter break on a trip to Revelstoke and Roger’s Pass. We decided to use a DV cam (Sony trv-900) to tell the story with a couple 35mm point and shoots and a medium format camera- it was an all out analog trip. After packing up the 2 cars they left Bellingham, Washington at 10pm on December 13th, starting out in Roger’s Pass and ending in Revelstoke.
Short video from this past December 16th, showing the good coverage up on Mt. Rainier’s Paradise Glacier. Big THANKS to Carl Simpson for the pic to the left of Rory Robison and the sweet video below. The trio of ski skinners, Tara Simpson, Carl and Rory were all back up there today seeking the better snow found in the higher zones.
Merry Christmas Snow Troopers, from a very rare / not so white one, here in the Central Cascades at 2,600′. The short video below will give you a quick peek at the conditions around 5,000 feet on Snoqualmie Pass, which aren’t too bad. However, as you make it down from the higher elevations to pass elevation, (you will see) it changes quite a bit. I guess quite a bit is an understatement, it changes to nothing or not much at all.
The only folks stoked on the lack of snow, would be the construction crew on “The Pass Life” project.