Jan. 30, Kendall Peaks Tour

Greg skins the upper slopes of Kendall Peak

Greg and I had not been in the Kendall Peaks area this year.   With some mixed precipitation the day before, I had hopes of a little fresh up high.   We had some nice pockets of soft snow, as we toured  up into the commonwealth basin.  Unfortunately, as we ascended through the trees, we could see that the skiing would not be much fun.  The snow was somewhat soft, and decent for breaking trail, but it had refrozen enough from the prior day's warming event, that it was not ideal for turns.   We told ourselves that once we broke out of the trees, things would improve.   Not so much.   Between old tracks and a firmish crust, not good.  We stopped short of the Kendall peaks ridgeline, perhaps shy 100 feet.  Conditions would have been good to top out, but with the prospect of no good skiing, we were not motivated to go higher.   We traversed East and crossed the ridge into the Kendall Lakes Basin.   Ski turns were on a firm supportive crust.  We managed a few decent turns then hacked our way through the trees onto Kendall Lake.   We went with my favorite emergency exit, for when the skiing just sucks, and skied the Kendall Lake approach road all the way out to the Hyak exit and called for a shuttle.   All in all, it was a good day.   Not stellar ski turns, but good views and we covered a wide variety of terrain.   

Getting higher.  Hyak in the distance.

Not powder

Kendall Lake

Jan 23, Pineapple

Greg was in for an early noon start.  With horror stories of solid ice layers, we headed for something that had access that wouldn't kill us.   We did find the ice layer, but it had enough new snow on top that it didn't sting too bad.   Not great conditions, but have skied much worse.

Greg heads up into Pineapple Basin
Kevin makes turns off the shoulder of Pineapple Pass

Greg cranks out the turns

Not too scratchy

No Fog - Greg Louie

Did you find the ice climber?

Jan. 19, Hyak

It's days like today that make me appreciate how great it is to live at Hyak and how cool it is to be be surrounded by friends that enjoy the snow so much.  Once again, grouped up with the neighbors, and skinned from Scott's driveway.   We had Scott, Diane,  Trapper, Melanie, Steve, Tucker, Francine and I ready for another day of fresh tracks.

Steve/Tucker, Melanie, and Francine
chat at the top of Rampart

Lap 1


Jan 18, Armageddon at the Pass

Well, according to the news, Snoqualmie Pass is covered in ice and rain.   Thankfully, the news is wrong, and the Pass has not dissolved under a deluge of rain.  What we did have was consistent temps around twenty degrees.  We had some frozen rain, but more like graupel.  Not snow, but frozen pellets and a lot of wind compacting it.   Probably about 8 inches of graupel covered by snow as today went on.  Skied fast and smooth!   Made a lap at Hyak with Ed, Francine, Scott and Diane.   Skiing was good enough for Francine and I to do another lap.

Ed Sewall, fast and smooth on the splitboard
Top of Hyak




Scott, Diane, and Sophie

Jan 16, Tokul

Squeeked in a ride between the freezing temps and forecasted rain.  Good to get on the bike.  Trails in great shape.
Kelly and Francine on Golden Spike, Tokul

Jan 15, Hyak

Short day with Greg and a little product testing.

Jan. 5, Back on Top, Mt. Catherine

Ski in the backyard.  Wrangled up my brother Kelly and avid partner Crispin.   Left the house with temps hovering just above the zero mark.  A good pace up the freshly groomed slopes of Hyak, kept us warm, and got us over the shoulder to glide out to the base of Mt. Catherine.   W meandered up Catherine on a skin track put in earlier in the week.   There were a couple of ski tracks, but plenty of room for more fresh tracks.   As usual the steep ski descent did not disappoint, and it was nice get good snow, four days after the last storm.


Crispin with Silver Peak in the distance

Ready to ski



January 2, 2017. Mt. Hyak

Day Number 6.    That's counting my first trip to the Lake Keechelus national forest parking lot.   .85 mile round trip on very flat ground.  I have very low standards as to what counts as a day of skiing.  Skis connected to feet and touch snow, count it!  

I started at the house, skinned up the road past the first sewer pond then headed up the East slopes of Hyak.   Lot's of tree blown down from the 2015 fall windstorm.   Generally worked left avoiding getting sucked up to high.  Eventually came to the edge of the powerline cut on the South slopes of Hyak.   This pic is on a powerline access road that connects into the main Hyak Hidden Valley ski runs.   This saddles out below the top of Hyak.   So I didn't actually make it to the top of Hyak.   Well, I did catch the chairlift up to the top.

I spotted this slope yesterday.   I skied it today from treeline on the left..  Very nice.  
Ankle really feels pretty good.  The touring has really helped get rid of the last bit of swelling and has gotten my muscles firing.   Aside from the one pitch here, I skied an easy groomer back to the base of Hyak.