Feb. 29, Anthony Lakes, Day 4

Francine skins up the shoulder of Lees Peak  (with Angell Peak in background)
We were checking out of our house, the Orville Chandler Ranch.  It was super nice, with views of rolling meadows and the Wallowa mountains in the distance.   House comfortably slept four couples and was about a half hour from the ski hill.   We had planned to check out another ski resort, but with good snow at Anthony Lakes, and no good snow anywhere else, we drove up for another day.   Don was heading home, so it was just Francine and I.   We planned to return to the Angell Peak Basin area and ski a couple of laps.   We had half-off lift ticket coupons, from staying at our house.  We used them to buy a single ride on the chairlift.   6 bucks for the two of us to get a ride to 8,000 feet.   From the top of the lift, we skied down to Hoffer lakes.  From the lakes it is about 1,000 feet vertical to any of the surrounding peaks, Gunsight, Lees, and Angell.    We toured up into Angell Basin and skied a lap off Lees Peak and Angell Peak, then headed home.   The relief is not that huge here, but the skiing has plenty of steeper lines.   Some looked quite impressive.    Awesome trip!  We will be back.  The great snow quality could definitely spoil someone from the northwest, where our snow always seems to be thick and heavy.  At Anthony Lakes the wind would blow and refresh the slopes.

Lap 1, off Lees Peak

View of Lees Peak as we ascended ridgeline to Angell Peak
Views from the ridgeline.

Kevin, lap 2 off Angell Peak


Low Angle Pow at the finish.

Feb. 28, Anthony Lakes, Day 3

Francine rode the lifts this morning.  Her feet were still recovering from her touring boots, and she really liked the inbounds terrain.  Snow has been great!  Don and I started at the car, and toured up into Angell Basin.   It's about 1500 feet of elevation gain from the parking lot to the top of Lee's Peak.   We did one lap, and were in the lodge by noon(3 hour tour) to meet Francine.  Francine showed up at 12:30 with a big smile.  She could have skied longer, but the boys were done.

Don skinning up through the trees.

View from the top, looks good.

Don gets some powder on Lees Peak.

Nice day.
Don on Hoffer lake.  We finished on the short pitch right behind Don.
 Our run started off the top of  Lees Peak, the rocky thing in the back.
!,000 foot drop to the lake.  We skipped the sporty line that diagonals through the rocks.
I did see tracks on it both days, next time!

Feb. 27, Anthony Lakes, Day 2

Another great day skiing.  We poked out into the backcountry after lunch.   We found some pretty steep stuff!  

Don Hecker, Anthony Lakes side-country



Steep with lot's of trees

Don H.

February 26, 2015. Anthony Lakes, OR.

First day of our trip to Anthony Lakes we were greeted with 6 inches of new snow.  Thursday was half off lift tickets and Francine and I skied for 40 bucks including parking permit.   Great day with fresh snow.  Ski hill has one lift with 900 feet of vertical, topping out at 8,000 feet.   Terrain had great variety and snow quality was excellent.  We were in Anthony Lakes with Don Hecker and former co-worker Larry Jensen and his wife.   They checked out the cross country trails while we skied. Anthony Lakes motto was, "were still the same".   Super cute small town hill that I will definitely be revisiting.

Don Hecker


Lunch, soup was good!  Wendy, Don and Francine


Feb. 24, Tiger Mt. Off the Grid

More mountain biking:  Couple of rides at Grand Ridge, Tokul, and even rode to the top of the ridge above Roslyn, where we found Jake with a trail tool raking out the trails.  Weird year, it felt wrong to be riding Roslyn so early in the year. 

Don enjoys primo conditions on off-the-grid at Tiger Mt.


February 12, Alpental Side Country - tour

Dan gets a hop in his turn,  Chip's Couloir - top of Sharon Bowl

Well, I missed the final day of lift served skiing at Alpental yesterday.   Well, maybe they will re-open?  Unfortunately, the snow is definitely gone.  I was amazed at the difference in snowpack, since I skied 5 days ago.  It seemed like almost another foot had melted away.   You can still link turns, top to bottom, but there is no way they could run the chairlifts.   I hooked up with Dan Larson and Francine for our tour today.  The snow was springlike and skied quite well.   We managed to ascend up through snake dance, just outside the rope boundary.   We climbed up into the zone adjacent to Nash, just further North, outside the ropelines.  We worked this area over back in December, and it was kind of depressing to see that it actually had less snow now.   Anyhow it was a beautiful day and the turns were good, as well as the company.

Francine digging her new skis

Francine and Kevin


Feb. 10, Rocky Top, Yakima

Francine headed higher in Yakima.
Had to escape the rain at the pass, so headed to Yakima hoping to find dry dirt.   Dirt was barely dry enough to ride without causing too much trail damage.   The main loop is about 11 miles and gets more fun as the ride goes on.  On a more negative note, Alpental has shut down operations until they get more snow, effective after today.   Bummer.

Feb 6, Day 26 - Alpy

Rain was the story of the day.  Rained all day long.  Word was they had about 5 inches of mank, yesterday, up top.  Anyone hoping for a little more snow at the top of Alpy, sorry.  Nash opened up today and skied very well.   By the end of the day the soft slide debri was pretty smoothed out.  Once again, have to say, I have never seen Alpental so low on snow.  Left side of lower I was quite rocked out.  If they run lessons this weekend, I would imagine the lower slopes to be virtually unskiable after Saturday.  Sessel was fine today, but the snowpack is just too thin.  Get Nash tomorrow, it's going , going , gone.  Rode the snowboard from 10-2:30.  Everyone out, maybe twenty people, enjoyed the good skiing, despite the rain.

Feb. 2/3 Whistler

Annual Rick trip.  Probably one of the lowest snow years in a longtime at Whistler, but thanks to snowmaking all the main runs were in good shape.  Good times.

Jan 30, Alpy Shot

Rob and Bill, Chair 2 Alpental

Bill and Rob stopped by the house and motivated me out onto the ski slopes.  Lowest coverage I have ever seen up top at Alpental.   Spring skiing was fun, just watch out for obstacles.

Jan 28/29 Schweitzer

With Scott Sumner scheduled for rotary cuff surgery on Feb 2, he was running out of ski days.   He had been trying to make it to Schweitzer to visit his buddy Carl.   We loaded up the truck and made two days of skiing.  Perfect spring conditions, with firm groomers in the morning, and getting just warm enough later in the days to enjoy soft bumps on the frontside.  Ground was barely covered in snow, but as long as you stayed out of the trees you were okay.

Sunshine ;)

Scott and Dianne

Francine and Heather H.

Dianne - smooth

Jan 22, Stokes Bowl, Snoqualmie Pass

Greg Louie drops into Stokes Bowl
Greg Louie spent the night after skiing a great day at Alpental.  He had some brand new Atomic Backland ski touring boots.  He had recently attended the Salomon/atomic product release at Steven's and had managed to score some new boots.  He was excited to get out for a tour and try them out.   Unfortunately freezing levels had gone up and rain had soaked the snowpack from top to bottom.  We toured out from Alpental Lot 4 towards source lake then up through big trees.   The trail out was really kind of a pain in the neck.  As we climbed out of the valley we began to realize that not only was the skiing bad, but the avalanche danger was not something to be messed with.  We decided to drop draft dodger and wrap the cleave to get out of the high alpine as soon as possible.  A couple of ski cuts on a steeper slope, set off good wet snow slides that started about six inches thick, over a firm crust, and quickly gained speed.   All in all, it turned out to be a good day outside.  Even if the snow was super thick and heavy, and our rain gear was soaked, it was still nice to get out.

Greg and Scott


January 21, Alpental - Opening day for Nash

Nash was nice.   Powder laps all afternoon.

Francine, Greg, Rich Honda(guest appearance from Maui) Jack, Kevin

January 19, Alpental, Chair 2 opening day.

Scott Sumner makes fresh tracks down Lower Rollen

Got out about 10:00 and did some laps on the lower mountain.  Did three or four laps of fairly untracked mank.  Decided we were ready for chair 2, so slid down to Chair 2 load shack.  Jonny was working and introduced us to the new liftie, then invited us in the shack to dry off.  After about 15 minutes patrol came through and gave the word to start loading.   Usually one would expect twenty or thirty people waiting in line for the chair.   Scott and I were the only ones there!  Nice.  Typical for early season Alpental, International was not open.   Also the ridge was shut down until almost 2:00.   However Edelweiss was totally untracked for our first run, then we veered to gun mount.  Great start to the season at Alpental!  Looking forward to Wednesday when Nash should be open.  Cascade powder lasted most of the day and Scluct still skied sweet, when they dropped the ridge ropeline late in the day.

Scott, Meister

The view from first chair

Still a little thin, Breakover Trees

January 17, Opening Day - Alpental

Slid in for the last hour of operations on opening day.  Skied with Scott S. from 3-4 on the Armstong lift.   Skiing was actualy very good.   It was raining at the bottom, but stiff winds would blow dry your clothes on the top quarter of the lift.

Gray, but good.

January 13, Grand Ridge - High Point to Duthie and back.

Francine on Grand Ridge Trail
Got out for a little sunshine in Issaquah.   Trail was in great shape.  
 Riders, Francine, Kevin, and Don.

Jan. 8, Crystal Mt. Ski Area

Scott O., Greg, Scott S., Francine, Kevin, Frank

Francine and Kevin

Absolutely gorgeous sping day at Crystal.  Of course, January is a little early for spring.  Scott Otterson put in his annual ski day.   Also hooked up with Frank who seems to be switching allegiance from Alpental to Crystal.

Billy and Scott