Jan. 12, Silver Peak

About as much view as I would get.  North Ridge of Silver Peak
Itching to get a little exercise, I headed for Silver Peak.   Walked over to Hyak and took the lift up, then  took the crossover trail to Silver Fir Lift for a mechanical lift to start the tour.   The crosscountry system was in great shape and I made great time to Ollalie Meadows.   As I climbed the lower flanks of Silver, I found fairly soft snow and good coverage.   Unfortunately Silver remained covered in cloud cover above Windy Pass.    As I neared my high point, the North Ridge of Silver, the wind intensity magnified.   I would hazard it was blowing at least 50mph.  I tucked over the ridge, on the Lake Annette side, and found enough shelter to sit down for a snack.   Skiing home, the skiing initially was quite good, followed by a stretch of skiable but not ideal soft stuff with a thin breakable crust.  Amazing to get out on a weekend and have the whole shoulder of Silver Peak to myself.  It is always a hump to get out there.

Bit Breezy

Dec. 27, Mt. Catherine

Favorite backyard ski tour.  Rode the chair up Hyak and skated out with Kelly and Scott.   Did an approach variation which may for a nice climb.  We were hampered by the low snow coverage.  Lots of large fallen trees made for interesting route finding.   Nice climb to the top followed by fairly thick snow(fluffy powder gone) and lots of small trees still poking out of snowpack.   Lot of climbing for short ski, but a good day out in the woods.

Kelly breaks trail

Scott nad Kelly

Pillow drops?

Reaching upper slopes

Summit shot

Scott's goggle shot of Kelly and Kevin

Scott dropping in at the top



Scott, exit apron



Dec. 22 Powderopolis, pow pow

Hooked up with Kelly and Silas for a tour up in Alpental vicinity.   Conditions still excellent.  Take yesterdays powder and add 4 or 5 more inches.   Not bad.  Even spotted the sun between snow flurries.

Kelly gaining elevation

Dropping off the backside

Silas lined up for powder


Blue sky and fresh tracks

Kelly attaches skins after a short third lap

Silas demonstrates proper ski technique

Dec, 21 High Gate

Another excellent day at Alpental.  High gate opened up about 11:30 and served up plenty of untracked powder. 

Hanging with Silas at Piss Pass

Scott, Joe, and Kristina

Scott boots up to Piss Pass 



Dec. 10, Kendall Chuting Gallery

Seth and Brandon, just below the summit of  Kendall Peaks

After a great opening at Alpental, I decided I needed to pay penance for all that lift served sunshine and powder.  I latched onto the Brandon/Seth treadmill.   They were planning to bushwhack from Brandon's lot on Yellowstone Rd.  up into the Kendall Lakes Basin and drop off the backside.  Brush was definitely not covered in snow yet, but we made it up to the access road with some careful sapling stepping.   Top of Kendall was above the clouds and nice and warm.  We scouted around for a decent chute, then dropped about a 1000 feet off the backside.  Snow was warm and wind affected.  Not primo powder, but it was a good day for exploring.     9 miles and 4k of vertical.   Good workout.

Brandon traverses above Kendall Lakes

Good views up Gold Creek valley

Seth dropping in the backside

Brandon with the spicy start

kinda steep

Slope opened up nicely after the top couloir.


Start of the bootpack as we follow two
 other skiers up and over the ridge

Yep, long boot section

Seth drops above Kendall Lakes - back
on the frontside

skating across upper Kendall Lake,
headed for home and more bush-whacking

Dec. 5, Central Powder

Tim and Scott

With low expectations hooked up with Francine, Scott, and Tim for some easy laps at Central.  The area was busy with snow groomers and snowmobiles as area employees geared up for this weekend's opening.   Much to our surprise the cold temperatures had sucked a lot of the moisture out of the snowpack, leaving some great powder.    Nice easy powder turns.

Dec 2/3 Opening weekend for Summit West

Top lift Shack at Alpental

Opening day at West was a lot of fun.  Plenty of soft snow if you got off the groomers.  Nice to see lots of familiar faces.  Sunday was a little firmer, so after a few laps with Louie and Kris headed to Alpental for a quick lap.  International was fully tracked out.  Found some good snow left of Lower I but it was still pretty heavy.  Good to see the season getting started.

Dec 1, Snoqualmie Pass

Managed to hook up with Crispin after running down to Issaquah to make sure my heart pumps well.  Even  impressed the nurses with my  over 18 minute treadmill time.  Heart seems to pump perfect.  Caught Crispin after his first lap down Wall Street.   We went out the source lake winter trail and up towards  Snow lake divide, making one lap back to Source.  Pretty thick and bad lighting.  Lap two or three we dropped from Pineapple pass back down through Big trees.   Lots of wind up high.  Variable conditions but we had a good time.  Not a ton of snow up high.  Hopefully we get a little more snow out of this current cycle.