Jan 27, Mt. Snoqualmie. and Red Mt.

 Hooked up with Seth and Eric Noll for a tour out the backdoor of the Adler condo at Alpental.  Went up the Phantom to the summit of Mt. Snoqualmie, then dropped briefly into the crooked couloir basin (totally windblown after first pitch).  Climbed out to the West summit of Snoq. and dropped down the Commonwealth Valley to the base of Red Mt.   Red had about 8-10 inches of powder over a firm base.  Skied very well.  Then we cruised down the commonwealth and out to the Alpental road.  Got lucky and caught a shuttle bus almost immediately that took us back up the road.   Visibility was pretty poor on Snoqualmie, but the turns on Red were sweeet.  Sorry no Red pics.

Dropping off Snoqualmie Mt. into
the Crooked Couloir drainage.

Seth naviagates through the sluff and fog

Switching over to boot up the rest of Red Mt.

Jan 25, North Cascade Heli-Skiing

Whew, despite fears of dust on crust, we ended up with a great day of skiing.  Link to pictures :      Heli-Skiing North Cascades ,   Video Link

Jan 15, Mt. Catherine

Snow is getting old and crusty, but the sunshine is out!  Had a good crew for a backyard tour.  Snow was not soft, but skiing was spicy.  Everyone agreed they had skied worse, and all enjoyed the day.

Booting up to the upper bench

Silver Peak in the distance

Elissa Eng gets first tracks off the ridge

Greg Louie


Jan 14, Hyak

Quick lap, up and over with Francine.  Firm but edgeable

Jan 6, The day after I got the Flu

It started with a tickle at the back of the throat.   By Monday morning, I was barking like a baby seal.   It sounded eerily familiar.  Almost the same noise as the little old eighty year old women, I while working on Aid Car 2, two days prior.  She was laying on her back, barking like a seal.  I hear that the flu is transmitted by droplets that fly out of your mouth when you cough.  Those droplets can fly up to six feet and get inhaled by the unsuspecting. My partner had checked her lung sounds and said the noise was all upper respiratory.   Hmmm, I think that describe's me perfectly.   I should have suspected.  I should have placed a filter mask over that coughing mouth.  As I type out this report I feel like a post-menopausal women.   My hot flashes seemed to spike yesterday at 102, although the 101 today is not much better.   Menopausal hot flashes.  

But back to ski touring.   Scott Otterson and I had plans to tour Monday morning.  It was his annual one day of skiing.   He currently is residing in Castle, Germany trying to come up with software to make the electric grid handle all the new forms of power, like windmills.   It seems this kind of research isn't popular in the states.  Who needs renewables, when we have all that coal and natural gas.  Burn baby burn.

But back to ski touring.  It is always good to hook up with Scott.  Each year I wonder what piece of critical ski equipment he will forget to grab.  This year it was long list, and by the time I ran the snowblower in the driveway, I had about 3 different messages.  Originally he needed a shovel.  Then he found he was missing his climbing skins.  Luckily I have a full spare touring setup and wear the same size boot.  Of course that means, Scott does not get to telemark.  That's okay, since Scott usually falls a lot on telemark gear.   Although that meant our downhill ski was far too quick.   From then on the requests were much simpler, a pair of goggles, and perhaps some poles.

Scott on way back to source lake

Oh yeah ski touring, despite the rise of my flu, I manned up for an easy outing to Snow Lake and back.   We had received about 6 inches of new snow, but right in the middle was a nice frozen rain crust.  We joined the hordes on the trail to source lake.   By the time we hit the snow lake divide, we had left most of them behind.  In fact the visibility was so crappy that I went in circles looking for Snow Lake.  I even pointed the wrong way off the ridge to some snowshoers and definitively said, Yep, the lake is straight down there.  Luckily they turned around at that point and I did another circle and found the lake.   We did two laps down to the lake and then headed home.  Mediocre skiing, but good to hook up with Scott.   And the flu?   I went home and climbed into bed.   I am sure the day did not help for a speedy recovery.

Jan 3, Rampart

Snowshoers - they seem to have multiplied like bunny rabbits.  Maybe it's Costco's fault for selling them so cheap.  We finally pushed beyond their endurance level and got some fresh tracks.  Went with the unknown and hoped  the couloir run was filled in.  We just barely made it through the crux. 

Upper slopes were good
in the shade.

Collin enters the gut.

Hmmm, missing some snow.

Vegetation belay through the crux.

Jan. 2, Kendall - again

Was hoping to do something different, but it's hard to beat Kendall for access and variety.  Greg Louie was off from work and brought his coworker Stuart.  Don H. joined the party and we followed a well established skin track up into the Kendall Peaks basin.  This area has been pretty hammered.  With a bunch of trip reports posted about people skiing the area, the lemmings have been following.  Oh well, even with if the area was not as tracked, good snow existed in only a narrow window.  The sun up high was making the snow crusty, not too mention the steady east wind.  We made one lap up high on the ridge and enjoyed the views above the cloud bank.  Then we dropped into the fog, where the snow was holding up much nicer.   Lapped some North facing trees and found some fun stuff.

Stuart and Don make the ridge.

Greg levitates