Jan 22, Stokes Bowl, Snoqualmie Pass

Greg Louie drops into Stokes Bowl
Greg Louie spent the night after skiing a great day at Alpental.  He had some brand new Atomic Backland ski touring boots.  He had recently attended the Salomon/atomic product release at Steven's and had managed to score some new boots.  He was excited to get out for a tour and try them out.   Unfortunately freezing levels had gone up and rain had soaked the snowpack from top to bottom.  We toured out from Alpental Lot 4 towards source lake then up through big trees.   The trail out was really kind of a pain in the neck.  As we climbed out of the valley we began to realize that not only was the skiing bad, but the avalanche danger was not something to be messed with.  We decided to drop draft dodger and wrap the cleave to get out of the high alpine as soon as possible.  A couple of ski cuts on a steeper slope, set off good wet snow slides that started about six inches thick, over a firm crust, and quickly gained speed.   All in all, it turned out to be a good day outside.  Even if the snow was super thick and heavy, and our rain gear was soaked, it was still nice to get out.

Greg and Scott


January 21, Alpental - Opening day for Nash

Nash was nice.   Powder laps all afternoon.

Francine, Greg, Rich Honda(guest appearance from Maui) Jack, Kevin

January 19, Alpental, Chair 2 opening day.

Scott Sumner makes fresh tracks down Lower Rollen

Got out about 10:00 and did some laps on the lower mountain.  Did three or four laps of fairly untracked mank.  Decided we were ready for chair 2, so slid down to Chair 2 load shack.  Jonny was working and introduced us to the new liftie, then invited us in the shack to dry off.  After about 15 minutes patrol came through and gave the word to start loading.   Usually one would expect twenty or thirty people waiting in line for the chair.   Scott and I were the only ones there!  Nice.  Typical for early season Alpental, International was not open.   Also the ridge was shut down until almost 2:00.   However Edelweiss was totally untracked for our first run, then we veered to gun mount.  Great start to the season at Alpental!  Looking forward to Wednesday when Nash should be open.  Cascade powder lasted most of the day and Scluct still skied sweet, when they dropped the ridge ropeline late in the day.

Scott, Meister

The view from first chair

Still a little thin, Breakover Trees

January 17, Opening Day - Alpental

Slid in for the last hour of operations on opening day.  Skied with Scott S. from 3-4 on the Armstong lift.   Skiing was actualy very good.   It was raining at the bottom, but stiff winds would blow dry your clothes on the top quarter of the lift.

Gray, but good.

January 13, Grand Ridge - High Point to Duthie and back.

Francine on Grand Ridge Trail
Got out for a little sunshine in Issaquah.   Trail was in great shape.  
 Riders, Francine, Kevin, and Don.

Jan. 8, Crystal Mt. Ski Area

Scott O., Greg, Scott S., Francine, Kevin, Frank

Francine and Kevin

Absolutely gorgeous sping day at Crystal.  Of course, January is a little early for spring.  Scott Otterson put in his annual ski day.   Also hooked up with Frank who seems to be switching allegiance from Alpental to Crystal.

Billy and Scott


January 6, Alpental

Well, we survived the monsoon.   House is still standing.   Hooked up with Don Hecker to assess the damage over at Alpental.   I have to say the slopes actually looked pretty good.  I think more damage was done at central and west.   We skinned up Sessel to Debbie's Gold.   We started up chair 2, but after the first pitch decided to call it a day.   Due to a temperature inversion the snow up higher was extremely soft with about a 6" ski penetration.   We decided to turn around and enjoy the firmer lower slopes.   Debbie's gold actually skied very well down the gut.   Hopefully we will get some cooler temperatures to lock in what is left of the snowpack.  Over at Summit West they were unable to start grooming out the water damage due to the snowpack still being too soft.

Don skins up next to some rain damge on Sessel

Warm up top 


January 4, Alpental side-country

I was planning to take today off.   I thought I might even take advantage of the chair lift system at Summit West, and ski with my sister and family.    I had touched base with Crispin Prahl the day before and mentioned hooking up.  In the morning I shot him an email saying I was going lift skiing.   At the same time, he was texting me about starting at 9:00.   Well, powder skiing won out.   Sorry sis.    As I write this, I can feel the effects of my cramping legs.   I did fine out on the hill.  It wasn't until I got home that both legs started to cramp.   It was a very good day!   Four to Six inches of new snow made for great skiing.  We skied a lot.  Dropped down knoll 2, then 2 laps down into stokes bowl.  One into Martin's, then out via Lower I, where we hooked up with Scott.  We are still staying pretty much above treeline, perhaps skiing 2/3 of the way down , so the runs are a little shorter, but it has been fun to hit all the different lines that drop down out of the alpine.  Coverage is pretty darn good and we could probably ski our way all the way down through the lower hillside, but going home via the ski area has made for good finishes.



Kevin with Geeb climbing out of Martin's Bowl

Jan 3, More of the same :)

Short day.  Got out with Scott Sumner and climbed above knoll zero in the Alpental BC.  One run - snow was warm and thick.  Still fun.



Kevin at our highpoint.

 Scott Sumner - Alpental sidecountry

Day 13, or Day 1, January 1, 2015, Happy New Year

Seth , always eager for more, wanted an early start to maximize family time in the afternoon.   We met at the bridge at 7:30.   As I was sticking skins on my skis, Dan Larsen came walking across the parking lot.   He had sent Tom D a text, but with no Tom in sight we headed over to Sessel chair to start our groomed approach.   Tom came running up the hill, just as we reached Sessel.   Evidently he had managed to get ready in about 5 minutes.   We headed up and out to the back bowls.   Tom , busted a lung, and kept up with Seth for a couple of laps.   Dan and I, moving at a little more sedate pace, finally caught up with them as they toured up from a their second run, our first.   Did I say this was day 13 for me.   Not bad for a supposedly no snow start.  We grouped up, and went over to Piss Pass.   The backside of which looked quite wind blown with perhaps four tracks.  We decided to stay in Martin Bowl and weaved our way down through the large boulders.  Excellent snow, and a little more sporty than our runs above Knoll One.   We stopped before Trash can, and Seth led back up and out to Widowmaker.   On the way I took a quick detour and had Dan shoot some video.   By then Seth and Tom were cruising home.   Dan and I poked our way down knoll 0, to left of snake dance and found some more good snow.   Coming back out to Sessel we were astounded by the humanity that was attacking the lower hill with sleds, snowshoes, and touring gear.   A world way from our travels in the back bowls, where in the last two days we have only seen our tracks.   Bring on the New Year.   I am liking it!

Pics to come


Dec. 31, The sweet spot

Went out and had a sweet day with Seth, Holly, and Greg.   Skied hard and fast on some good snow.   Our zone was devoid of people and we did our best to track it up.   Good stuff.  Seth said we only did 3,800 feet of skiing.   It seemed like more, but was all nice.


Greg and Kevin


up for more

Greg louie

Greg louie

Kevin gets air