Day One – February 25th, 2006 – Stevens Pass, Washington, Yankland, America (North Edition)
Riders: Squirrel99 (host), Zbo (our guide), peeforward (newbie), Greydon Clark (recent SF to Seattle tranny), and 666 (racking up weekend flight miles).
Weather: Overcast ("should have been here yesterday" weather), beautiful vistas of flat-light, but with Zbo breaking the skin-track you always have a nice view
Snow Conditions: Powder on the north-facing slopes, and some sun-baked powder on the other aspects. We dug a pit and didn’t like the results….about 12" down, an ice layer existed and made the steeper slopes pretty sketchy. On Zbo’s first turn, anout 6" of slough ripped out of the slope…so we decided to play it safe and stick to the trees.
Gameplan: Start at elevation 4,061 feet and hover up and around 6,000 feet. Total skin distance = around 5 miles. Plan – to ride Hogsback over to Tye Mill, ski down Orion Chutes, traverse under Jupiter Chair, and begin skinning up to Mary Jane, ski down "could a’ skied", skin back up just below Mt. Josephine, ski down, then skin up to "Da Burn," ski down to nordic track, skin about a mile back to the Jupiter Chair, and then to the Bar to throw down some Stevens Ale.
Two cameras shooting on this day….Squirrel99 and 666.
Music: El-P – ‘Depp Space 9mm’
Washington, king of coffee madness….just look at the right-hand side of the menu. I think I’m in love :
They have snow here….C A K E D.
US Highway 2, up the Skykomish Valley….
The first ascent….Zbo breaking trail:
Zbo making first tracks down "could a’ skied"….the whole face sloughs out on him:
666 in Cascadian fluff:
Peeforward likes to do tele-str8line-turns in pow…we like this guy:
666 places an order for extra powder:
Peeforward living it up….
Greydon Clark with the signature pink poles….
…and now in the other direction….nice!
Skinning up to just below Mt. Josephine:
We are up on the looker’s right-hand side, just below the peak:
Peeforward battling Greydon for most refined tele-turn…
666 bored on this lame run….
Squirrel leaps into marshmellow sauce….
Next, we skinned up to Da Burn….some nice stuff just above us..only if we had blue skies and stable snow:
Backside of Da Burn:
"Ok guys…its 2:30 pm…we need to get to that chair before 3:30 pm…oh yeah…there’s about a mile skin once we get down this run" – Zbo
The snow was a little settled/wind affected on top, but then turned to blower on the way down. Greydon doing his best to save the trees….cool pic IMO:
Zbo showing his hot, hip techniques….
….same technique but in better snow:
Greydon feels left out…..
Squirrel99 schralping the pow…
666 finds an air….to which Squirrel gets hella crazy with his photo techniques:
666 testing out his freshly tuned edges….
666 gets hungry for some toasted bark….
Greydon milks the run to the bottom….the snow got better the further we descended….
And like clockwork, the weather gets good at around 4 pm….the frontside of Stevens:
666 – ACTUALLY STANDING ON THE HWY ON STEVENS PASS!!!!!!!!! right where the webcam looks
The original plan was to get a shot of espresso at every ghetto coffee stand back to Seattle. However, it got dark, we were all spent from skinning and skiing, so we decided to only go to the HOT spots.
First chance for coffee anyone????
Oh yesssss….the best quad-mocha I’ve ever had…..
Harry and the Hendersons was filmed here…I was star-struck to be quite honest with you. Greydon and I can feel the love at this place.
Harry says "what are you doing, get me the hell out of here."
To give you a perspective, Greydon lends a hand to compare the difference in size to an actual Sasquatch print.
Day Two – Alpental, Snoqualmie Pass – Land of snow, apples, trees, cliffs, and the best spines I’ve ever ridden.
Riders: Squirrel99 (guide), Zbo (finder of RAZR), Pollard (McHuckster), Greydon Clark (a loving man), and 666 (thinks Alpental PNWNS).
Weather: Overcast ("should have been here two days ago" weather), flat-light, with a little more flat-light thrown in.
Snow Conditions: Pretty much consistently soft untracked pow/spines every run. Snow was super stable, much more than Stevens.
Gameplan: Start at elevation 3,200 feet, hit top at a give-or-take 5,400 feet. Major plan….hit the Lower Traverse BC gates as soon as they open and repeat. Squirrel is the tour guide showing us the goods. First runs down include Breakover trees, then a run down Snakedance to warm up while waiting for the BC gates to open. Basically, the rule of the day was to look for "Danger Cliff" signs…since 99% of the time it meant a nice filled-in skiable face below.
Dnb and drink….
Here’s a pic from Vegas…
Konkr3te Jungle to skiing caked spines in about 45 mins….
Mt. Fuji in the distance….where all the apples come from:
Alpy gnargnar and the goods of ch-ch-ch-chairThr33:
Obligatory Washington roofpack shot….
Mount Denny OB vicinity……ummmmmmmmmmmmmm
I’m told you have to bootpack this stuff….the ridgline is too gnar to climb….
I really wanted to hit that saddle on looker’s right…..but that would mean starting a bootpack…so we’ll leave it for next time.
The crew traversing up to P.Pass…
so Zbo can hit this……on draft dodger ridge.
666 makes a rare appearance in front of the lens…
and finds a small piece of heaven…
Yes….I think he likes Alpy
Same run…666 finds another untouched pitch:
Next run…over to Knoll 4 – Stokes Bowl/Ghost Bowl areas – 666 schmearing the pow…
Pollard joins us to jump off of things….like this one:
666 loves Alpy…
Pollard and I found this chute….so he str8lined it…
Hiked over to 261 and then down Hummox area – 666 loves Alpy.
We found a line for Geoff Small….
and some more goodies down the ridge….
Pollard and I roll up to another perfect air….Pollard points it:
Squirrel uses his state-of-the-art photog’ skills to shoot it:
666 loves Alpy
Squirrel gets mean….
Zbo sanouks the swallow tail…..
Squirrel finds an acorn…..
Pollard gets deep…
…so…as you may have guessed it…POINTS IT!
Zbo rides the spine to str8line:
666 loves Alpy.
Squirrel gets into the action…to line up for something…
A quick stop on the summit for another quad-mocha…ya’ know to test the difference between the Sasquatch one, and then down to the Issaquah Brewery to taste some Rogue Chocolate Stout on tap….
We saw the local hero there as well Raaaawwwwwwlllllllll!
BIG BIG BIG BIG UPS for BC-Flow and Squirrel99 to let me sleep on the floor of the ski tuning closet, it was so nice and comfortable in there.
Another one for Mrs. Clark for making us pizza by scratch!!!!
And of course Zbo – he found my RAZR that I lost in the powder in the Alpy backcountry. Love you!