Feb 25, Chair Peak Circumnavigation

Forecast for the day, sunshine and powder!   Unfortunately the sun forgot to come out.

Kelly takes the steep line into Pineapple Basin

Pulled into Alpental lot 4 at 8:30 and was immediately blown away with the amount of people gearing up to go out in the backcountry.  In fact, I think we would have seen less people if we had stayed in the near side-country and skied lift served.   I do believe this, most likely, was the busiest day I have ever seen skiing backcountry in the Alpental valley.   Oh well, we cheated with a chairlift start and headed to Bryant Pass, where we were the first group headed out for a clockwise circumnavigation of Chair.   Dropping into Melakawa basin we hit a strong sun crust from the previous two sunny days and almost considered turning back for Northern slopes.  We ended up traversing west to slightly shaded slopes and managed to find some decent turns by hugging the westernmost cliffs.    Climbed to Melakwa Pass and waited for some kind of visibility.   Yep.   Yep, waited about 15 minutes and finally dropped into the abyss.  Snow felt good, wish we could see.   Quick climb under Roosevelt, led to some of the best turns of the day, as we dropped down to Snow lake in good visibility.   We were joined by the Fall City gang of John Reusch and company, who bailed on the Roosevelt ascent, suffering some of the same visibility issues we had over at Melakwa Pass.   After the Fall city crew rehydrated, we did a bonus lap up to the NE ridge of Roosevelt.  We were amazed at the number of people skinning the lower flanks of Roosevelt.  Luckily plenty of powder for all.  Fun day, and good to get some mileage on the legs.

Heading for Bryant Pass

Dropping in on lower Melakwa Lake

Grey turns off Melakwa Pass to Chair lake

It was busy at the South end of Snow Lake

Feb. 23/24 Alpental Side Country

The lift accessed backcountry saw very little action this week.   The heavy wet snow dump on Tuesday was transformed by clear cool weather into some sweet POW.   I was lucky to get out Thursday with Tom and Lori for a couple of laps, then today hooked up with Scott and my Sister's family for a couple more powder laps.   Kristin and Maddie had not had the full Alpental back bowl experience and were suitable impressed.   Great to get out with good friends, good snow, and blue skies.

Tom and Kevin at Piss Pass

Dropping into Stokes Bowl,  Lori and Kevin


Scott, Kevin, Jack, Maddie

Scott, Kevin, Maddie

Maddie and Kristin make the traverse out to Piss Pass

Maddie in Stokes bowl


Kris and Maddie

Feb 13, Grand Ridge - Both sides of i-90 and new Water Tower Loop

I have been getting some grief about lack of content on the blog here.   Well, mainly from my Dad.   While I do something active at least 3 days a week, I usually save the blog for really cool stuff and actual ski touring.   With all the good snow, I have mainly been skiing the chairlifts at Alpental and Hyak.   I did make it down to Issaquah for a bike ride on one of the warm, sunny days.   We are trying to keep our butts in some sort of bike shape.   Parked down on Sunset and rode the South side of I-90 past the high school and up the bus trail.   Crossed at High Point and rode the trail upward.   Did a loop on the freshly opened Water Tower, then turned around and bombed back to the car.   Great ride with Scott and Francine.   Thanks to the WTA for the great new trail!

Francine on the new Water Tower Trail at Grand Ridge

Scott and Francine