March 24, Repeat - North Slope Chair Peak

It was so good Friday, that we went back for more.

Crispin leads up the ridgeline towards Chair Peak.
  We came over the thumb tack notch to mix it up, and took a couple of short laps just beyond where Crispin is standing.  Our final lap we started at the ridge notch visible, just right of Chair Peak on the right side of the photo.  A little more wind affected, but nice fall line turns.

Silas plans his powder line.

Crispin dropping in off the ridgetop

Charlie spoons nicely

Nice - Crispin



Charlie and Silas show off the "wild" rear tail rocker

Great day - did a couple short laps down to the Snow Lake cliff band, then climbed to the upper ridge notch for 1,900 feet of wind smoothed turns to Snow Lake.  Silas managed to break his custom Kam Leang built skis about 200 feet above the lake.  Luckily he was able to limp home.

March 24, Repeat - North Slope Chair Peak

It was so good Friday, that we went back for more.

March 23, North Slope of Chair Peak

Possibly the best conditions I have ever had on what is normally a stellar run. 1900 vertical feet from Chair's NW ridge down to Snow Lake. Whew, it was nice. Hooked up with Greg Louie and Collin Darrah to chase after Crispin and Silas, who had an hour lead on us. Never caught them, but sure appreciated the skin track.

Greg and Collin tour across the north slope of Chair Peak






March 17-18, Poker Run - Vantage, Wa.

Hooked up with my almost neighbor Scott and his buddy Jason for a little break from the snow.  Two days of riding along the Columbia river near Vantage.  Weather was perfect and it was nice to work some different muscles.  Event was a poker ride put on by Fringe mc club and the NWMA.  Scott managed to get the winning poker hand.  Jason took home a trophy for second place in the endurocross event.



March 8, West shoulder of Red Mt.

Greg with Mt. Rainier in the distance

Kevin with the north facing chute right behind

Nice turns - West shoulder of Red Mt.

Greg kicks off some pinwheels

Greg and I headed out to try and circumnavigate Red Mt.  I think I have been up to the chute, off the north side of the west shoulder of Red Mt. three times now, and have yet to pull the trigger and drop off into the unknown.  Today was a beautiful bluebird day with rapidly warming temperatures.  With the fresh snow lingering from Tuesday and the hot weather we were both pretty tired by the time we reached the West shoulder of Red.  Gazing at the chute off the backside, we could see the chute looked skiable, but certainly did not look pretty.   It seems to take the brunt of any North winds, not to mention the ice glazed rocks above the sides of the chute.   It didn't take much imagination to envision a hard layer of ice under a thin layer of wind buffed snow.  I think we were both happy to not push it, and just ski the West shoulder of Red.   Turns were okay off the top, but turned extremely sticky by the time we hit the floor of Commonwealth Valley.   We did ski cut a few slopes and enjoyed firm turns on a nice smooth base.  It's always interesting to set off a few wet snow slides and see how much momentum they pick up.  We were definitely concerned with avalanche condtions today, and expected that we would need to slide off some of the new snow on our way down, before being able to safely ski.

        Unfortunately, this evening I heard that another fellow backcountry skier had met his maker.  Steve Romeo, from Jackson Hole, was killed with his partner in an avalanche on Ranger Peak in the Tetons.  Steve was well known due to his website .  Although I did not know him personally, his website was a daily check for me, and I had emailed Steve on occasion for equipment advice.   He definitely will be missed.

March 3, Solitude Ski Area - lift served

Last day of the ski vacation.  After 3 days at Brighton, we had a great time enjoying the better fall line that Solitude provided.  Really enjoyed the area, and couldn't believe the lack of people on what was probably one of the best weekend days that Solitude had this year.

Jack boots up Evergreen Peak,  Solitude, Ut.



Jack and Kevin

March 2, The Day my Niece broke her back.

Len, Madie, Jim, Kris, and Jack 

Maddie loaded up, waiting for the heli.

As were entering the Brighton backcountry, off the Great Western lift, we stopped to get a family photo of the Webers.  After the photo, Jack and Maddie headed off down the ridgeline.  Unfortunately, Maddie managed to catch a bush, and lost her left ski.  She went flying down into a depression and managed to fall against a couple protruding rocks.  She immediately was in great pain and didn't move.  Luckily a snowboarder had the phone number for patrol and got the rescue effort started.  The Brighton ski patrol did an excellent job of assessing the situation and getting her down to an area where a helicopter could evacuate her.  At the hospital, it was determined that she had a compression fracture of her L1 verterbrae.  There was no nerve damage and surgery was not needed.  She was fitted with a plastic torso brace to minimize movement of the L1 verterbrae and given a huge handful of pain killers.  After two and a half days she was released from the hospital and was flown home for a week of rest before she returns to Boston for college.  She will need to wear the brace for a couple of months, but should have no permanent damage from the injury.