Arrgh! I don't get to go skiing until Tuesday, but then I'll ski 5 out of 6 days. Leave some for me!
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Washington Cascades 2012 Instant TR Thread - Page 3post #61 of 1512/26/12 at 11:32amThread Starter
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #62 of 1512/29/12 at 6:04amThread Starter
Mt. Baker, Tuesday, 2/29/12
Some clouds, some sun. The powder from the epic weekend was all skied out but the leftovers were good soft pack and some light crud. A very fun day with just about nobody there. Big destination resorts would die for a day like this, everyone would be out. I went into the Raven Hut at noon and there were hardly any skis or boards on the racks outside, I wondered if it was closed but it wasn't. With 10 inches of new on Wed. morning I imagine it won't be so empty.
Off to Stevens for the next three days. Only 3" of new there. What I have to put up with!post #63 of 1513/2/12 at 8:58pmThread Starter
Stevens Pass 2/29, 3/1 & 2
A bit of fresh snow every day (2-3" per day). Skied with Spindrift and Cloudpeak on the first day. It snowed lightly almost the entire three days and nights. Top honors go to Meadows and Big Chief Bowl, they were very nice. The back side was closed on the second day but why was a bit of a mystery. The signs that were put out didn't make any sense. It made the snow today better, though, particularly in Big Chief Bowl.post #64 of 1513/2/12 at 9:55pm
Best I could sort out, they were hoping to heli-bomb Susan Jane & maybe the rooster comb area - which can run big into the far skier right of back side area. Not totally sure- and the weather may not have given them a window for that anyway. By the time we called it, around one or two, I'm not sure they could have flown.
As always, it was fun to ski with Posaune.post #65 of 1513/4/12 at 1:54pmThread Starter
Mt. Baker, Sunday, 3/4/12
It snowed while we were there. It was more like white rain. There was a couple of inches of gooey new with above freezing temps. It was supposed to be clearing and partially sunny today. Not!post #66 of 1513/6/12 at 3:54pmThread Starter
Mt. Baker, Tuesday, March 6
This was, by far, my best day of skiing this year. Knee deep cold smoke powder that was soft and light all day. Bluebird skies. Lots and lots of grins. What a day!
Some clouds came in during the afternoon, but they just added to the scenic beauty.post #67 of 1513/7/12 at 9:22pm
Shit! you are one lucky son of the gun! I've been skiing Spokane area and here is nothing here, there is 6 in of fresh at the Silver I am hoping to hit tomorrow, but besides that it was dry and frozen. I did meet some very nice people because of EpicSki, Spknmike is very nice guy and he showed me around Mt Spokane today, but besides that not much exitement in this part of the state.post #68 of 1513/9/12 at 9:48amThread Starter
Mt. Baker, Thursday, March 8
The leftovers from Tuesday's epic day were still soft since it had not warmed up yet. However, the temperatures rose up to 50 degrees guaranteeing the end of this round of soft snow. Another one is coming in on its heels, though.
After experiencing heaven, it was a bit more down to earth as far as skiing was concerned. I experienced my first skiing related injury of this season. I was reefing on my power strap of my left boot as I was putting them on in the morning and my back seized up. Man, is that painful! I skied, but the day was cut short because I got tired of the stiff back being bumped around. It's a little better today and should be OK by Sunday when we go again.
It's amazing how many people go OB even when the avalanche danger is posted as high. You would think that people would have learned something from the Stevens/Alpental disasters, but they're like ants on an anthill. Take a look at the tracks in the background of this picture. They are all OB. Some that are not really visible right behind the people on the chair go right through an avalanche, disappearing at the top and appearing again at the bottom of the debris field. It looks like the skier set the slide off. There were sloughs all over the OB but more folks were hiking out all the time.post #69 of 1513/9/12 at 4:52pm
Alpental Thurs March 8
It was a beautiful calm sunny day. Temps stayed below freezing at the base until almost noon, making for some fun high speed groomers. Then it popped up to 50 and got soft. Up on top, it softened by 11am on the Bowl side, making for some fun, slushy, soft bumps. I was on GS racing skis, so I didn't love the crud in the less skied out sections, but still had a lot of fun,
In the afternoon the shadows came in and the groomers started firming up again. Nash was shaded and still had remarkably dry, light powder leftovers (with a healthy dose of hardpack sprinkled in). Snake Dance was like skiing on pile of giant ice cubes held together by almost frozen slushee -- the worst run of the day for me and it's usually a favorite.
Oh, and I never waited in line.Quote:Originally Posted by Posaune
It's amazing how many people go OB even when the avalanche danger is posted as high. You would think that people would have learned something from the Stevens/Alpental disasters, but they're like ants on an anthill. Take a look at the tracks in the background of this picture. They are all OB. Some that are not really visible right behind the people on the chair go right through an avalanche, disappearing at the top and appearing again at the bottom of the debris field. It looks like the skier set the slide off. There were sloughs all over the OB but more folks were hiking out all the time.
Agreed. It was really unstable at Alpental today too -- in the heat of the day small little slush slides were funneling down the cliffs all over the upper mountain. The backcountry looked beautiful, but I didn't really want to be there. Nash gate was closed anyway.post #70 of 1513/12/12 at 7:32am
Mission Ridge was pretty nice this last Saturday March 10. Very nice groomed runs and towards noon off piste and blacks runs got softer and was totally skiable.(not bomer side) Conditions given, it was pretty nice day of skiing. Expecting more snow towards this Thursday.post #71 of 1513/12/12 at 10:19am
Crystal was okay on Sunday. Not great because they only had 4" on top of a frozen crust. Made things interesting. East facing slopes were really crusty underneath the dust. Things got better as it was snowing heavily all day. North facing slopes had some nice wind loading. Crowds were not bad. Too bad the wind is going to cause some havoc with the fresh snow. At least with another 6"-10", that crust will get nice and buried. Although it might add to instability. Set off some slough skiing into the upper chutes off Avy basin.post #72 of 1513/13/12 at 3:43pmpost #73 of 1513/13/12 at 3:51pmThread Starter
Baker, Tuesday, Feb. 13
Lots of new snow of a fairly light variety for these parts. It snowed like crazy all day. A few face shots were experienced and the snow was knee to mid thigh deep. A lot of people were there for a Tuesday. There were actually lines on chair 6 where the feeding frenzy was in full swing. Even after everything was tracked out there was plenty of soft snow for many fun turns.post #74 of 1513/18/12 at 7:59pmThread Starter
Stevens Pass, Friday - Sunday, 3/16, 17, 18.
5" of good quality new on top of a bunch of very heavy stuff left after the warm spike. Upper mountain skiing was great, but the lower part was not as good. Got some face shots and had a great time on 7th Heaven, Tye Bowl, and Big Chief Bowl. I discovered that my new BBRs will dive if I get too far forward. I was looking to see how far forward I could get in deep heavy snow and I found out the answer suddenly and graphically.
Another 5 -6" of new. Snowed all day. Good snow, good times with old friends.
1" of new, some sun, some cloud, some snow. The snow quality was good, but things were tracked and packed, so we skied mostly groomers today and had a good time blasting around. It was snowing again as we left.post #75 of 1513/19/12 at 9:27am
Stevens Pass Saturday 3/17/12
Slept in, got to Stevens at noon and skied till about 6:30. Minimal liftlines. I was amazed at how high the snow was underneath some chairlifts. I guess they've received about 5' of snow in the last week. Snow seemed a bit heavy and with fewer skiers, the groomers don't get as skied out, so kind of lumpy. Some untracked stashes on the back side, but mostly heavy slogging through the cut up crud.
Since I stayed later, when it cooled off a bit, I tried my Stokli Spirit SC's that I picked up for $99 at Bachelor. It wasn't ideal conditions for a 65mm wide carver, but found they were really quick, not too bad for moguls. No hardpack groomers so I din't really see how they carve. I'll try them again, maybe on the those two or three days a year where we have some hardpack, or maybe where they racers train on Kehr''s/Big Chief.
Baker Sunday 3/18/12
Sketchy visibility early, then snow throughout the day, then sunshine the last 45 minutes. Met some friends there, though I got there early, so hit a few runs on chair 8. It had snowed a few inches overnight and the first three runs I was hitting untracked lines everywhere I went. After 10am the crowds arrived (such as they were). A few times down the liftline on C-5, over to C-6. Canyon was closed, but everything else (Canuck';s, Stickey Wicket) was nice. Great stuff in the trees. Did the chute on C-1 (last time I was at Baker, early in the season last year, that was barely skiable, now there's so much snow it's like a completely different face).
Getting to Baker is just...bizarre. You're driving through a rainforest at about 700 ft elevation, then the last 10 miles you climb to 3500 feet wtih the snow bank getting higher and higher. At 3500 feet you've got more snow than just about anywhere in the world and it's nicer snow than you'd expect at that elevation (even for a PNW native).
Good day, good weekend.post #76 of 1513/19/12 at 11:13am
Crystal Sunday 3/18
Got up there a little late (aboout 10:30am) but was stoked to see the sun. Sun stayed out until it started snowing around 2:30ish. Really fun day on the mountain, though the top was a very moguled.post #77 of 1513/21/12 at 4:36pmThread Starter
Mt. Baker, Wednesday, March 21
This day got an "A" in my class. It was excellent in every way. There was 12" of blower new snow on top of the many feet that have fallen this month, and bluebird skies. The temperature was cool so the snow stayed in superior shape. As the day progressed the sun drenched areas got heavier but still were very skiable and fun. The shaded slopes stayed face-shot soft and deep even after it was all tracked out. There was a crowd for the feeding frenzy in the morning, but by noon there was hardly anyone there and the snow was still fantastic. What a day!!
Tomorrow won't be so good, I imagine. The stuff that was sun exposed will be pretty hard in the morning at least, but the other slopes should be good still.post #78 of 1513/22/12 at 7:37pm
A little late, but here goes
Snoqualmie Summit Sat/Sun 3/17-3/18
At Summit for my son's race training, looking longingly up at Alpental. Some snow falling both mornings, then plenty of sun. Summit West had deep untracked but VERY HEAVY snow. Most of the steep runs at Central were groomed and firm, so I had some fun on the GS skis.
Mission Ridge, Mon 3/19
Sunny, cold, and amazing surface conditions. The groomers were great all day, but poking around the top of the mountain we were still finding stashes of foot deep untracked blower powder. The steeper runs were nicely bumped but still soft enough to be easy. No lift lines or traffic at all, of course. Managed to get in 27,000 vertical feet even though I was with my 5-year-old.
Stevens Pass, Tue 3/20
Dumping snow and very windy. On the Double Diamond side of Big Chief, the snow was falling up, and cat-tracks had weird, uphill facing cornices. The Skyline lift was brutal, and there was no visibility on the runs below it. Ended up having the best time on the backside. Corona Bowl had excellent quality snow, but I'd still hit bottom and find the icy crust below quite a bit. Later in the day I had no such problems off the Southern Cross chair. It was a tough day to keep the kids going, but once we found where to ski it was great.
Just wish I could have made it Wednesday too.post #79 of 1513/22/12 at 10:46pm
This week I joined the ranks of the silly helmet cam people. Yeah, yeah...
Here are some random snippets from Stevens Pass on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Tuesday was a classic Cascade storm day (as described by the previous poster). The weather kept the crowds away and we had constant refills - so most runs were mostly fresh until well into the afternoon. With the random entertaining bit of total white out thrown in for fun. Wednesday was the opposite of a storm day. It did not keep the crowds off the slopes and the snow got tracked out fairly quickly - but there were still nice bits of fresh here and there well into the day.
Pretty sure you can tell where the transition from Tuesday to Wednesday is...
I was shooting for one to two minutes. But after wasting way too much time for an "instant TR", I decided two and a half ( sans soundtrack ) was good enough
It is probably worth noting that the Cascade snowpack is deeper than average - which is saying a heck of a lot. For those who know the mountain, you might note that things are filled in enough that a lot of off piste tuns look almost like smooth groomers. And that the helmet cam seems to have the evil side effect of making things look way less steep than they really are.post #80 of 1513/23/12 at 1:34pmpost #81 of 1513/24/12 at 12:40pmThread Starter
Stevens Pass, Friday, March 24
The leftovers from Wednesday were still very nice. Blue skies, soft snow, small crowd, what's not to like? The back side softened up early and then got really sloppy, but the front side snow stayed light and cold all day. Everything was fun.
I liked the video, Spindrift. It's fun to see places I know. I also liked the lack of a music sound track.
This is post 4000 for me! How about that?post #82 of 1513/25/12 at 8:20pm
Congrats on 4000!
I went to Stevens on Saturday. In the morning everything was crusty and frozen over, whatever looked like soft cut up snow was basically unskiable. Took a few runs runs on groomed runs in the morning on the backside, fortunately they had groomed Orion as well as Aquarius. After a few hours the sun came out (after a bit of snow), things softened up. 7th Heaven was great, Double Diamond and Big Chief bowl also nice. Got a nice sun tan.
And, for the first time I can ever recall, 7th Heaven was open until 5:30pm.post #83 of 1513/25/12 at 8:26pm
Ditto, that was fun to watch.
Crystal on Saturday the 24th: sounds very similar to what DesiredUsername saw at Stevens. Once the sun finally came out and started softening things up, it got a lot more fun. Groomers and bumps started softening up and got to be quite fun, but a lot of the lesser skied areas with crud on them stayed pretty nasty all day.post #84 of 1513/25/12 at 8:31pmThread Starter
Same thing at Baker on Sunday. A classic sunny spring day.
Evidence of avalanches is everywhere. They have come down all over but it doesn't seem to slow anybody down. I'm amazed that we haven't had a bunch of deaths. Check the fracture line in the photo below. It's the slope on the lower part of Hemispheres, just above Gunners Bowl and Canyon. It's DEEP.post #85 of 1513/29/12 at 2:47pmThread Starter
Mt. Baker, Thursday, March 29
It was snowing HARD on top of the reported 6" of new. I estimate it was dumping 1" per hour or more while I was attempting to ski. The visibility was poor and the snow was caking on my goggles so I found a few terrain surprises. One sent me on a full summersault when my ski stopped suddenly as it dug into an invisible lump.
Other than that the skiing was pretty good. The wind was blowing and the snow was falling so hard that things were filling in pretty fast. I ended up skiing chairs 8 and 5 most of the time because there was nobody there and there were fresh lines all over the place all morning. A real treat at Baker.post #86 of 1513/29/12 at 3:59pm
Definitely jealous, wish I would have been able to get off work today. Sounds like it was snowing hard at Stevens too.post #87 of 1513/29/12 at 7:44pmpost #88 of 1514/2/12 at 9:54am
Crystal was so nice yesterday. SO nice. Okay, there was a hard layer underneath the new snow off piste in the early am, but it wasn't bad. And the new snow was really nice, much lighter than I expected. We had sun in the am and new snow starting around lunch. Lot C was nearly full when we pulled up at 8:50 but people spread out nicely--it never felt crowded.post #89 of 1514/2/12 at 10:28am
Stevens was nice yesterday. Mostly cloudy, snow at times, sun trying to break through in the am. It was windy in the morning, the backside lifts, Tye Mill and 7th Heaven were all on wind hold. Apparently the gusts got up to 60mph at the top.
When 7th Heaven started spinning at 11:30 or so I got right in line. Most of the skiers were headed towards Rock Garden so I went down Cloud 9 and was rewarded with mostly untracked snow. It looks like it had been closed for several days, not just that morning, so I was blowing through knee-deep snow. Took a couple of runs on Big Chief Bowl with cut up snow, but still lots of fun.
To make things even better, there was a free demo day, so I got to try some new skis. Much fun. Little in the way of crowds, once the backside and Tye Mill opened. Gotta love April in the northwest.post #90 of 1514/2/12 at 10:32am
Stevens on 4/1: High winds in the morning, 7th Heaven, Tye, Double Diamond and the backside were all on wind hold for several hours. Made things start feeling a little claustrophobic; even though it wasn't too crowded, there was just nowhere for the people to go. I took one of the last rides up Southern Cross before they shut it down. Whew, it was blowing! Later, the wind died down, the sun came out and everything opened back up. Most of the snow had been severely wind affected. Anything out in the open was very slabby because of it. If you got deep enough into the trees, the snow was light and fluffy, but it had to be tight trees. Even somewhat open trees had been hit by the wind. Was a fun day, but not as good as I'd hoped.
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