Feb. 25, Mt. Catherine

This has been the favorite tour this year, and it certainly delivered today.   Hooked up with Crispin, and after a Hyak run, we headed for Catherine.  With lots of fresh snow, and the Steven's pass tragedy fresh in everyone's mind, we found ourselves the only group headed for Mt. Catherine today.  The light snow made for easy touring, and we made quick work to the summit.  Enjoyed 1 lap to the cliff edge, then two through the cliffs.  By our third lap we were starting to set off several small avalanches, with about a one foot crown.  Great day.

Crispin breaks trail through virgin powder.

Keeping it at snorkel level.

Up for air!

Feb. 18. Monika Johnson Randonee Race - Alpental

No excuses.  No trips, nothing better to do.  In the past few years, I have always seemed to be out of town for the Alpental Randonee race.  This year, I found myself without any excuse, and was forced to lay down my 45 dollar entry for two hours of suffering.  This was definitely the largest turnout for the randonee race, with over 150 competitors racing, in rec.(one lap), race(2 laps), and a one lap split snowboard division.  Frank had petitioned for an over 70 category, but had to settle with beating down the fifty and over crowd.   With something like twenty inches of new snow conditions were great.  The one racer from Jackson Hole was even heard to be complaining about having to break trail through fresh snow.

First transition from skinning to a short boot section.

Booting up the Fan

Tom Davies on the attack

Holly stretches it out, on her way to the rec. women's win.

There is a reason to go out fast  - the crowd.

Kevin applies skins for the second lap.

Actually the conditions were excellent if you could see.  Seth Davis finally beat the Traslin brothers from Canada.  Nice to see a local on top of the podium.  Brandon kept up with the top dogs and finished 7th.  I suffered along and managed a respectable 15th place.  Crispin had to do an equipment swap at his van after the first lap.  First his skins had no stick, then his binding started to pull out.   Looks like the Tua skis with the rainey superloops are headed for the dumpster.  Luckily, he had his "heavy" setup in the van.  It is amazing to see the progression of ski gear.  I raced on my Fat BD Justice skis, and appreciated the 110 waist on the downhill.

Holly nailed first place in women's rec.  Looks like she will be in for two laps next year.  Greg Ireton smoked the rec category in his dynafit titan boots and his DP lotus 120 powder skis.  He had the fastest first lap of both rec. and race categories.  Thanks to cruising the downhill on his powder skis.

Tom (4th) and Frank (10th) were solid in the fifty plus category.  Thanks to Martin and Ben, from Pro-ski, for setting the race course, and Outdoor Research for being the title sponsor.

Feb. 13, Alpental

With the rando race fast approaching, the fella's were itching for a practice lap.  Headed up Alpental for an Edelweiss lap and a little sunshine. 

Frank and Tom enjoy a cup of tea

February 7, Silver Peak

It's always a bit of a haul out to the Silver Peak Basin.  The views always seem to make up for the extra work.  Beautiful day today.  Unfortunately the snow was extremely wind hammered and the skiing was very marginal.    But still a good day with friends.

Jesse T. carves the windslabs off the NW ridge of Silver Peak

Skiers today: Frank, Don, Val, Tom, Jessie, and Kevin

February 1, Snoqualmie Mt.

Ran up Snoqualmie Mt. with Don Hecker and Josh McBride from work.  Really nice snow above treeline.  A little thick on the phantom slide area.   Nice skin track was already put in through the trees.  We got the pleasure of laying in the skintrack, above treeline, to the slot entrance, then to the summit.  No backside adventures with the poor visibility and wind.  However, we enjoyed the frontside turns.

Don makes turns off the summit.

Josh works the new skis.