Dec. 29, Mt. Roosevelt

1" breakable crust.   Not a good ski.

Dec 23. Snoqualmie Mt., Crooked almost, and South Ridge

Met up with Seth to search Snoqualmie Mt. for some good snow.  Headed up the phantom slide path, across from Alpental ski area.  The dust on crust, fresh snow, made for sonme difficult skinning, and we resorted to booting several sections.  We paused briefly at the entrance to the slot couloir, then headed to the summit.  Standing on top, the views were outstanding.  We were lured into the crooked couloir by the expanse of fresh snow.  I had heard reports that the slot couloir had beeen skied multiple times this year, but had not heard anything about the crooked.   The guidebook, by Martin Volken, recommends a rope for the crooked, due to an ice buldge that appears occasionally.  I have always found the crooked to be steep, but never in need of a rope.  Well today, with our shallow snowpack, the crooked appeared more as a waterfall than a ski run.  We skied as far down as we could, and I scouted out a short drop into the couloir from the treed side slope.  Unfortunately just out of view the run started to roll over.  Unable to ascertain whether or not the next section was snow or an ice formation, we turned tail and booted/skinned back up to the shoulder of Snoqualmie.  We dropped the South slopes/ridge down to Cave Ridge and around the back side of Guye Peak, then out to the Sahalie ski area.   Turns were excellent down the crooked and the South Ridge.  As I headed to an early Xmas eve dinner, our tracks glowed in sunshine on Snoqualmie's South ridge.  A very nice day.

First boot of the day, alongside the Phantom waterfall

Good skinning up high

Seth on the summit with views of Rainier in the distance.

Drop in, here?

A little skittery on the first turns

Getting better

This waterfall is normally the gut of the crooked couloir.  Could use a lot more snow.  We could have dropped in at this point, but were worried about more ice further down, with no retreat.

Retreat. the long boot back.

Still going

Last pitch back to the shoulder of Snoqualmie

The legs kept trying to cramp, the tour took several unplanned turns, but overall was a great tour.  The unplanned exit via the South Ridge, provided some excellent  turns.

Dec 13, Red Mt. elev. 5,890 - Take 2

Well, I didn't quite make it to the summit of Red on my last trip, but did enjoy some good turns and laid a good skin track in to access Red.  So with a little help from Greg Louie and Seth (the machine) we cruised up Red Mt..  Unfortunately the views were not as good and the snow was a little crusty, but we managed to have a good time.   Round trip time 3:48 .   Total elev. gain 3,200 feet.


Seth busting out a nice boot track

Greg and Seth enjoying the summit views





Dec. 9, NW shoulder of Red Mountain

I have a ski ordered for Francine called the Payback.  I never thought much of the name.  It brought up thoughts of paying back money.  Well this tour made me think a little more about the name, Payback.  Our climb topped out at 5,300', only 2,300' of elevation gain.   The first hour and half we climbed through the trees.  The ground was crusty from chunks of snow fallen from the trees.  Logs appeared as lumps in the shallow snowpack.  We reached the base of Red and started upward.  Despite the frigid temperatures, we were sweating in the sun.  We slip and slid, we tried ski crampons, then resorted to boot packing to make it up to the bench that lies directly below Red.   The slope above looked gorgeous, but we were negotiating for something that would require less effort.  We could see a pass to the left between Lundin and Red that looked close.  I had wanted to check for a potential route around Red and see the view from the pass.  Of course the ridge turned out to much further than it initially looked, but the snow was good and we switchbacked up, until we hit the ridge and views of Mt. Thompson.  Payback.  The turns were creamy as dropped back down our ascent route.  Payback.  Once we hit treeline it was survival skiing.  Payback.  But those turns, the adventure, well worth it.

Don boots up to the bench below Red

Final traverse to our highpoint.  Rainer in the distance

Mt. Thompson in the distance


Nov 21, Kendall Ridge

Hooked up with Greg Louie and Mike O'Brien to try out Kendall Ridge.  Would have been nice if the rain line had been a little lower yesterday, but found good snow as we broke out of the trees.   Coverage was excellent up high, and were able to skin most of the way to the ridge top.  Had good turns before venturing into the forest.  





Nov. 18, 2009 Alpental

Well, a beautiful fall turned into a cold and wet winter. A little ahead of schedule, the Pacific Northwest has begun to accumulate snowfall. I got my first lift served turns at Crystal on Friday the 14th. Good early season 28 degree powder around the Green Valley area. But since this website is dedicated primarily to human powered turns, I will call this Day 1! With fresh snow overnight and stable avalanche conditions, this turned out to be a nice start to the season. Our late 10:00 start, gave three people the chance to break in a easy skin track straight up to the top of International. With minimal effort, Don Hecker and I cruised to the top lift shack. Despite the funky liftshack smell, we enjoyed a quick break then headed down for some excellent turns. We bumped into Frank at the bottom of Lower International, and raced him to the bottom. Nice start to the season, looking forward to many more good days.

Don heading up into Lower International


Boston Oct 25, 2009

Headed to Boston, to see the other end of Interstate 90. Not a bad city, but no hills, no mountains. There is lots of water, and history.

Sept. 2009

The blog has definitely had a lack of content. Unfortunately have been nursing a broken calcaneous. After playing on it for two months was forced to use crutches if I ever wanted it to heal. Well it's been a month of non- weight bearing, and I hope I am getting close to healed. Since we have our second snowfall of the season. First was at the tip of Alta. Now, it is down to 4,000 feet and can be seen gracing the edges of Gold Creek valley. Looks like ski season is coming.

The shot of my ankle compares the good right one with the cracked left.

July 22-24, Winthrop Mountain Biking

Kevin rides through the wildflowers below Cooney Lake


Val rides the rocks

The Hecker's on Buck Mt. Loop

Francine chugs up Buck Mt. Loop

When the Hecker's invited us to Winthrop, we checked the weather forecast - HOT. Oh well, can't pass up a free place to stay. Don assured us we would be up so early we would beat the heat. Day 1 - Cooney Lake. Originally we were thinking of doing Angel Staircase, for a 22 mile loop, but after grunting up 8 miles to Cooney Lake, at 7,200 feet, we were ready to throw in the towel. We enjoyed the views and wildflowers and headed back to the car. Finished the day, soaking up the 107 degree weather in the river.
Day 2 - Rode from town up to the great trails at Sun Mt. lodge, Radar Creek, Magpie, Rodeo, Black Bear and back down the Winthrop trail for an easy 20 miles. Day 3 found us on the Buck Mt. loop. The Hecker's, Don, Val, and Sean quickly dropped Francine and I as our legs were a little weary. Did the high loop which was new to us, and enjoyed great views and a stellar descent. It was HOT, but definitely a nice week.

July 11, Crystal Mt. Northway to Henskin Lakes

Don checks out the view of Mt. Rainier as we near the top of our climb.

Francine cruises through "Lucky Shot"

Beautiful views, a little early for the flowers.

Don approaches Henskin Lake
Don requested a long ride. Not really wanting to do a long ride, I substituted a hard ride. One of my favorite climbs is up the Northway trail to the top of Crystal Mt. ski area. Six miles and 3,000 feet of steady climbing bring you to the top restaurant at Crystal. Trail was in great shape with only a couple of snow patches lingering from winter. The views, as usual were astounding.

June 30, Echo Ridge - Lake Chelan

It was the annual Curd family trip to Lake Chelan. In search of a little exercise we headed up to Echo Ridge to ride a mix of old roads and singletrack.

Jack "Easyrider" cruises the trail

The crew, Kevin, Kelly, Francine, Jack, Kristin, Jennifer

Heading for the "Shoe" singletrack

Jen Jack