Hooked up with Chris B. and Greg for a tour. Yesterday we had a frozen rain event, but the new snowfall today made for tolerable skiing. About 6-8 inches over the crust. Crust was firm enough that you did not break through. As usual, just gaining the ridge was an adventure.
Alpental was pretty tracked out, so decided to get a little human powered skiing. Hooked up with Greg Louie and Justin Herx at the Alpental parking lot. Word was two groups had skied the slot yesterday, so we had a nice uptrack to follow. As we neared the top, caught up with Silas and a large group of about 8. Lucky for us, all but two ignored the slot and headed back down the frontside. That put Greg as 3rd person down the slot for the day. Justin was happy to have his first chance at skiing the slot. Weather was perfect and snow was pretty darn good as well. Slot skied a little narrower with early season rocks. The apron was definitely a little thin on snow and Justin found most of the rocks. After Greg busted out the super steep skin track back to the frontside we enjoyed great snow all way down the frontside as well. Justin even had to ski the waterfall, although he did opt out on the last pitch. Nice day.
|Greg scouts out the Slot|
|Skiing out from the slot|
|Justin avoiding rocks|
Greg Louie powder shot
Justin skis the phantom waterfall with the valley below.
It was time for a real tour. Phoned up the hardcore crew. Conditions looked good! Met up with Seth, Ian, Crispin, and Greg at the Alpy parking lot. Crispin had talked to probably one of the few that actually had been up towards Chair Peak. Recommended route of travel was Snow Lake trail to Source lake Overlook. Skinned up into the Chair Peak Basin, then decided to climb up to the NE ridge and take a look at the backside. North Slopes looked good! Skied almost to the lake, then skinned back up. With skin track in place dropped one more line off the backside. Back to the front for more good turns, followed by a luge run down the Snow Lake trail. Good day, lots of vertical. I was pretty wiped by the time I got home.
Seth and Ian boot the final pitch to the ridge.
The Gang, minus Greg taking picture
Kevin Photo by Greg Louie
North Slope of Chair with Snow Lake frozen over at the bottom.
Took a break from drywalling and made a quick lap up Hyak. One hour round trip, lower lot to tip top. Hyak has been skied pretty hard. After this weekend it might have moguls. Checked out the chair progress. Backside has the cable tensioned, no chairs to be seen. Front side missing the lower bullwheel, and needs the cable strung. Crews are concentrating on the backside chair. A fleet of snowcats descended from the mountain with the workers, as I skinned up. Skiing was excellent with my fat skis.
Turkey traffic lights up the Pass
Cable ready to be installed
I told everyone at work this morning that there was not enough snow at the pass. I stated the forecast looked very weak for much snow this week. Fortunately I was wrong! As I drove home on dry roads, the weather began to change, snow. Snowing hard, the DOT was quickly trying to transition to chains required on I-90. I got home and ran the snowblower, then waited as the snow accumulated. After about 8" of new had built up on the railing, it was time to head to Summit West. We managed two quick laps. Snow was almost too light, but we were not hitting the ground. Rumor is West will open on Tuesday. Guess tomorrow I will be chasing the grooming snowcats up the hill.
Frank, Greg, and I headed up to Chinook Pass for a couple of turns. Unfortunately the DOT workers were hanging around telling people that the pass was closing for the season at noon. With nothing better to do, we quickly hopped out of our car and made some quick road side laps. Snow sucked, but the company was good and it was a lot better than a day at work.
For Francine's birthday we made the drive to Paradise and started our ski season! Day numero uno of the new ski year, with freshies! Anticipation increased as the snow on the side of the road slowly increased. By the time we made it to the parking lot there was over two feet of snow along the road. Coverage was excellent. One did have to be wary of buried rocks on certain aspects up high. Made it up to about 7,200 feet then skied back down into the sunshine. Best ski was off the back of Pan Point, where the wind had not effected the snow. Perfect start to the season. Greg you should have got out of bed!
|Eric and buddies pass us by.|
|Francine headed up|
|Kevin scouts our line off Pan Point|
|Francine gets first powder turns of the year|
|Lunch with a view of the Tatoosh range|
|Francine with West side of Pan Point in background|
Hooked up with Eric for a little Taneum adventure. Found a couple of trails that I may not need to repeat. From Cle Elum took Northridge trail (steep, rooty) to Manatash Ridge(lots of fun) to Blowout Mt. trail then down Goat Peak trail. Of course after walking our bikes around the switchbacks on Goat Peak trail and Eric losing his bike over the edge we decided to cut out on a private road. When we got to the gate (with new barbwire) we opted to slide out bikes under the gate, rather than continue down the black diamond trail. Full day adventure! Racked up 65 miles including some road time.
|Eric, after that rock, in the foreground, popped his bike off the trail|