Feb 7, Grand Ridge

Still raining at Snoqualmie Pass.  Dropped down to Issaquah for some warm and dry weather.  Trails were in great shape at Grand Ridge.

Feb. 3 Mattawa

It's been raining.   A lot.   Had fun in the rain yesterday, snowboarded at Alpental, but need sunshine.  Thankfully got the invite from Sean Courage to go find sunny weather.   Broke the dirt bike out of storage, and headed for sunny Mattawa, above the Columbia river.   With temps over sixty degrees it was the break from rain that I needed.  Trails were in great shape.   Mattawa is the kind of place where you end up riding in circles eventually, but for a mid-winter ride it works well. 

Jan 25, Mt. Snoqualmie

Summit Photo, Mt. Snoqualmie
Summit at Snoqualmie ski area  shut down due to no water pressure.    Only option was to earn your turns.  After skiing Hyak yesterday, I was ready for a little more adventure.   Drove over to Alpental for a leisurely start up Mt. Snoqualmie.   A group was already finishing their day as I pulled into the maintenance lot to park.   Ended up with an excellent skin track up to tree line.  Dug a snow pit at 5,000 feet and found almost 2 meters of snow over a firm layer.  That's pretty deep!  Total snowpack was 345cm.    After my pit break, continued around the corner, where the skin track continued.  It looked like two people were ahead of me.  They eventually dissapeared and booted  over to the south ridge.  I continued on to the top of the slot couloir then booted/skinned up to the summit, elevation 6,280. 

Top of the Slot Couloir

Jan. 22, Crystal lift served Southback

Kevin finds a clean line,
Crystal Southback

Hooked up with Greg Louie on Monday for the drive to Crystal.   Made the hike to Southback for a couple of runs that were well worth it. 

Greg Louie makes tracks

Hooked up with Frank at lunch and skied until it was time
for beer and nachos at The Snorting Elk

Jan 19, Alpental Slackcountry


Both gates open at Alpental today.   Lapped out Big Trees then Stokes.   Still a thinner snowpack then I would think by this time of year.   Big Trees was a little funkified.  Stokes skied very nice.  Strong wind scouring heading over to Big Trees. 


Kristin,  Big Trees


Scott checks the flex pattern of his new boots.



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