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March 24, 2014

Buyout Day 2014

Smooth corn, no crowds, and free brats and beer!

Ever wish you could have your own private ski area, even for a day?

K2 does it most every year, renting Alpental for a day for their annual Family Day celebration - a day to bring friends and family to the mountain, enjoy some BBQ and beverages, do a little snow sliding, and hang with old and new pals. I'm fortunate to be counted one of the friends, and made the trip up to my home ski area with some people from the store to take part in the fun today. Alpy did the best job of grooming I'd ever seen there - they ran the groomer all the way up to the steep part of Edelweiss Bowl, and up to the ridge of Gunmount, plus rolled Armstrong to within an inch of its life. With almost no one on the hill, it was perfect spring conditions. They even opened the high traverse for a brief time, and Crispin, Stanley and I got in a lap through the shady Wall Street side of the Cleaver where we even found some fresh tracks from last Thursday's storm. Top that off with free beer and barbeque - how good does life get?

March 4, 2014

Lift-Served Skiing

Our mode of conveyance today was this A-Star AS350

I spent the last two days in the company of some powder-crazed ski industry types in Washington's Methow Valley, courtesy of K2 Skis. Representatives of several Washington shops, along with a few of the K2 power players made the trip over to Twisp on Sunday night hoping for a chance to try out the newest crop of K2 powder skis in their proper medium. I got to ride in the K2/BMW co-lab SUV, a monster 5 liter X5 with every conceivable gadget on board, and with Kevin Lewis at the wheel we made short work of the journey.

Trees sometimes got in the way of the sleds - this collision is going to net the owner's wife a new pair of skis

Riding sleds in deep snow is hard work - this happened a lot

Between bouts with huge amounts of beer and Mexican food, we managed to squeeze in a 6-hour "half day" of snowmobiling on Monday. Tuesday we had North Cascade Heli booked for the group, and we arrived with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, the weather didn't feel like cooperating - after sitting and waiting for a weather window for a couple of hours, we finally took to the air and were rewarded with a single long run in an awesome 3 feet of fresh before the clouds closed in again and we had to return to the barn. We were stoked, but hungry for more. Maybe next year?

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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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