Dec 29 Kendall

Got an alpine start with Seth and Brandon to play in the Kendall area.  North facing slopes are still holding excellent snow.  Southerly aspects have definitely gotten crusty.  Good times.


Seth boots along the ridgeline

Brandon opens it up on
the lower slopes

Dec 23, Chair Peak area

Linked up with Seth and Crispin/Dave for a few laps around Chair Peak.  Skied North slope of chair to Snow Lake.  Skinned up towards Gem Lake and skied one lap from the ridge back to Snow lake.   Skinned across the lake and over Snow Lake divide.   Back up into Chair Peak basin to the thumbtack and then skied to source lake and out.  Best snow was actually above source lake. Made for a nice finish.

Working the ridgeline to the N. slope

Dave and Geeb

Crispin and Geeb


Dec 21, Kendall trees

After a good week of sidecountry skiing at Alpental, ventured out on skins to Kendall trees.  Had a large group that included Frank, Silas, Crispin/Dave and another couple.  Found some good snow and spun a few laps.  Silas would like it known that I couldn't catch him on the way out.



Dec 14, Chair Peak Basin

Don Hecker heads for the thumbtack
Headed up to Chair Peak basin with Francine, Don, Silas, and Crispin.  Despite our marathon day yesterday, Crispin had no problem breaking trail to just below the thumbtack.  At the notch to the NE Slope we parted with Crispin and Silas and let them track up the backside.  The rest of us enjoyed good turns back down to Source Lake.   

Ascending into Chair Peak basin

The gang minus Don taking the photo.

Kevin and Francine



Dec 13, Red Mt. and bonus run

Wow, what a great day to be out!

Crispin and his new dog, Geeb

Topping out on Red Mt.

Greg rips some turns off the summit



All tracked up!   Nice.

Bonus lap, extra 1,000 feet of vertical

Crispin with Mt. Thompson in the distance

Dec. 10, Summit West

Took two laps at west with Francine, before she started her work day.  The area was really smooth.  Amazing how well the ski hill looked with so little snow.   Good turns on the well groomed hill.   Looked like the groomers were heading to Summit Central to prepare for an anticipated Friday opening.

Francine gets her pre-work laps.

Dec. 9 Hyak

Quick lap up the backyard hill.  Waited too late in the day, and it had started to rain.   At least the ground was covered.

Dec. 7, Alpental - Thick

Thick and heavy.  Not very good skiing.  Good stuff for covering the ground.  The crowds were out in anticipation of the big dump, and with the green light from Gib, the patrol director, for one last weekend of touring before the ski area starts working to get it open.  

Don Hecker hopes Santa brings some fat skis
for touring in NW snow.

Dec. 5, Alpy Again

More snow, more wind action, more friends.  Did a couple of International laps with Greg Louie and Tom Davies.

Climbing up Rollen



Kevin one-foots it after his
ski shot half way down international



Dec. 2, Alpental

I sold big brother, Kelly, a dynafit setup.  So, finally hooked up with him for an equipment shakedown.  Alpental got a good dump overnight, and we were breaking trail at 8:30 by ourselves.  The hill is really filling in nicely and should be in pretty good shape for the rest of the season, unless we get a monsoon rainstorm this week.  We had about 10 inches of new snow over the raincrust.  The way it is snowing tonight, avalanche danger is definitely going to be going up. 


Dec 1, Alpental

I got started about 12:30 with temperatures in the low forties.  Actually was a pretty nice day with the sun coming in and out.  Weaved through the creeks at the bottom of Alpental and made good time up to Chair 2.   Area was pretty quiet with only two snow shoers ahead of me, and tracks from a morning group of two or three.  Snow from Chair 2 to the top was about 4" of new over the raincrust.  Conditions were springlike.  Contemplated International for a descent, but stuck with what I knew, and retraced my uptrack down Rollen to Gunmount and back over to Debbie's Gold.  Skiing was pretty sticky, but was able to avoid hitting any rocks.  Hopefully we will get a good dump for tomorrow.

Top of Chair 2, Alpental

View into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Nov. 27 Silver Peak Basin

Did a quick tour up into the Silver Peak basin.   I was able to drive the Subie all the way to Windy Pass.  Unfortunately, I was unable to turn around, or park out of the road.  I ended up putting the car in reverse and backed up until I found a spot I could park.  After my ski,  I ended driving in reverse all the way back to the hairpin.  The road uphill from the hairpin is pretty well covered in snow.  Ollalie meadows does not have an abundance of snow.  On the way up, I started on the PCT then veered right looking for the logging road.  Had to bushwhack through the small pine trees.  On the way down I just stayed on the road, which was pretty good.  The car ruts were getting filled in with wind blown snow.  Up higher in the basin the rocks are definitely exposed.  I was able to easily ski around them, but if it snows a little, there could be great potential to shred your ski bases.  Snow was very firm with small patches of windblown snow that were okay to turn on.  Another day.

Mt. Snoqualmie on the left, Lundin Peak, Lundin Couloir,
  then Red Mt, and Mt. Thompson on the right.

Rocks in Silver Peak basin

Able to park, unfortunately could not turn around.

Nov 26, Kendall Lakes

Well, if you can't have snow, I guess that sunshine is the next best thing.  Toured up into the Kendall Lakes basin.  This is basically a logging road until the last bit.  I made it to the upper Kendall lake, but didn't have the energy or time to go for the summit ridgeline.  Ski down was an exercise in power wedging.  Snow is continous to the trailhead, but just barely. 

Road\trail into Kendall Lakes area.

Powered by the blood orange - San Pellegrino -yum

Nov 24, Alpy

Climbed 2/3 of the way up Debbie's Gold, then turned around and made survival turns through the breakable crust.  Currently there is just enough snow to tour, but just barely.

Nov 19, Stevens Pass

Louie had the day off from EVO.  So, despite rain predictions, we cruised to Stevens Pass for a little storm snow.   Had three guys break trail to top of Tye Mill then we busted out a skintrack to the top of Double Diamond.  Unfortunately the snow was way too deep and thick to link any decent turns.  Oh well, good to get outside.  Stevens is planning a limited opening tomorrow.

Nov. 8, Grand Ridge to Duthie, Issaquah, Wa.

Francine has second thoughts, halfway through.  Duthie
Despite the rains, Grand Ridge trail system is looking great.  Rode from sunset to Duthie, did quick nip into that trail system then streeted it back to Issaquah Highlands, where we climbed back into Grand Ridge.   15.5 miles.

Oct 25, Day Numero Uno - 2012/13 Season

Woohoo!  What a great day to start the season!  Headed to Paradise on Mt. Rainier with Greg Louie, Frank Neuman and Elissa Eng.  It was snowing lightly as we geared up in the parking lot.  We had just enough snow to put our skis on in the parking lot(5400ft.), and start heading towards Camp Muir elev. 10,800ft.   About Pebble Creek(7,200ft) we started to break out of the cloud layer and pretty soon I was wearing a t-shirt as we skinned up the Muir snowfield in glorious sunshine, with Mt. Adams poking its head out of the cloud layer to the south of us.    A group of 4 skiers had broken trail ahead of us, and provided an easy skintrack to follow all the way to Muir.  We made good time to Muir and took a quick lunch break.  We soon started to cool off in the crisp clear air, and it was time to start skiing!  Whew, good turns.  I think we were all in agreement that the turns below Camp Muir were about as good as we had experienced on Rainier.  It was great day to hook up with friends and start the season with a bang.  It's hard to not ski the Muir snowfield and not be blown away by the amazing views.

Elissa, Frank, and Greg.  Our destination, Camp Muir is on the shoulder of Rainier
 in the upper right portion of this picture.

Frank with Mt. Adams in the distance

Frank at Muir

Elissa leads the charge




Frank cranking out the powder turns


Whew!  lot's of turns.

Mt. Adams in the distance