Hmm, ski partners kind of bailed on me today. Luckily, Collin from Ladder 10 called as I was getting ready to leave work. He was ready for a good workout, so he broke trail from Sahalie up to the Commonwealth, where we ran into Gordy. Seemed he had driven all the way from Port Townsend and was very happy to find two other people to break trail. Snow conditions were 3 - 4 feet of totally unconsolidated snow. It was a little windpacked, but not enough to keep the rocks at bay. Made it to the Kendall ridge then enjoyed some very nice turns back down. Nice day!
With the snow getting deeper, it was time for Alpental. Rounded up the weekend crew; Seth, Greg, Scott, Eric, and Holly. We had a nice skin track to follow, and cruised up the Edelweiss side to the top of International. Talked to the ski patrol getting ready for an anticipated Tuesday opening. They were all friendly, but warned they would be throwing explosives after today. As we passed gunmount, the skies turned blue and we could the surrounding peaks poking out of the cloud layer. Had excellent turns down International, then Seth and I headed up for another lap, with a quick detour to ski Lower Rollen. Starting to shape up like an excellent ski season.
A cool 11 degrees, but nice sunshine and fresh tracks. I have been waiting about 15 years for this day. The day that Scott O. got some quality telemark gear. He had a whole new setup(K2 Work Stinx, BD O1 bindings w/ free pivot, and new scarpa tele boots to drive the package). We chased Matt and Heidi up the groomed track, then we headed for Dodge Ridge, where Matt had scouted out untracked snow. The snow was smooth and deep! Scott was ripping on his new tele setup, and we managed 3 laps of fresh pow. Francine cruised for two laps (knee feeling good). A nice start to the season at Snoqualmie Pass.
The weather forecast was lousy. Something like 7,000 foot snow levels and rain. But, Greg was on a streak! He had to get his November turns in, and this was the last weekend of the month. With little options for snow, we decided to try out the slopes of unopened Mt. Baker ski area. We arrived to a steady drizzle and took refuge in the lodge, which had kindly opened up food service for the multitudes of people that were taking advantage of the snow. We saw plenty of snowboarders and snowshoers, but not any other skiers. We eventually left the comfort of the lodge and toured up the ski slopes. The snow depth was about the same at the top as the bottom, which is saying, not much! We managed to pick our way through the rocks and despite the weather, were happy to get on skis.