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December 13, 2012

Powder Turns on Red

The DOT and Alpental Pro Patrol were doing target practice on Snoqualmie Mountain this morning, and after a failed attempt to bypass the artillery by skinning up and around the howitzer (we asked, they said no) we made other plans. They had set up the re-conditioned 105mm howitzer in lot #3 and proceeded to take pot shots at the Phantom for some time (we could hear the rounds from down the road) while Crispin, Kevin and I headed up Commonwealth Basin with an eye on Red Mountain. Crispin's new dog Geeb was stoked to be out in the snow and didn't seem perturbed by the shots though he still needs a little ski avoidance training. Skiing was stellar, as evidenced by the photos!

With Alpental scheduled to open this weekend, uphill travel is no longer permitted within the ski area boundaries for the remainder of the lift-served season - this includes Mondays, even though the area is normally closed that day. Alpy patrol takes their job seriously and does tons of control work - let them do what they do without having to worry about people skinning up through avalanche zones when they are setting charges.

Crispin, Geeb and Kevin on the flanks of Red Mountain

Giving the Huascarans a workout    Kevin Curd photo

Crispin gives the crust a piece of his mind. Lap #2, Red Mountain adjacent.

Fresh snow. Brilliant sunlight. Kevin knows what to do.

December 10, 2012

It's That Time of Year . . .

Yes, it's virtual Christmas Card Time again.

Best Holiday Wishes and tons of fun in the snow to all! May your turns be deep and fruitful, and all your trips round trips. Here's a digital version of our family picture for 2012:

Here we are - shirts courtesy of Lindsay, wrinkles courtesy of years of skiing with inadequate sunscreen, photo by our 6'7" cross-dressing friend Derik Kleinhesselink

December 6, 2012

Alpy Preview

I was convinced there was sufficient snow coverage at Alpental to take out the new Huascarans for a few laps. Kevin had been making almost daily trips up the ski area for a while, and even after the 1.5 day rain event of this week, the bottom was filled in enough to slip through without hitting much. After all, skis can only stay new so long, right?

Tom Davies joined us for a lap, and we followed a track set by Crispin, Silas and Victor an hour earlier. Dropping into Upper International for the first time each year always feels good, especially when there's fresh snow underneath and no rocks to dodge at the entrance. Snow conditions ran the gamut from 8" of windblown fresh to scoured icy stuff, but clean tracks are clean tracks in any language. Kevin and I did it again for good measure.

With more snow on the way, Summit West looks ready for an opening tomorrow and Alpental as early as next week . . . stay tuned! Oh yeah, the Huascaran/Mercury combo kills it . . .

Tom and I crest the ridge at the top of Alpental    Kevin Curd photo

Backcountry skiing in variable snow not tough enough for you? Kevin does it on one foot!

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November, 2012

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China: Wandering in the Middle Kingdom

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"Incoming" covers developments that have personal interest to me (ie. gear I might consider acquiring, or events I feel may impact the sport of skiing) - it is by no means meant to be a comprehensive enumeration of gear or events in the ski world at large. Feel free to contact me via the link below with news or images that may be of interest . . .

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