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August 16, 2009:

Slush Cup '09

Lines of spectators, including many non-skiers and a journalist/photographer from the Yakima Herald Tribune, lined the Pinnacle Tarn

After the scorching heat of early August, when temperatures in normally moderate Seattle reached well into the 100's, the quality of summer skiing took a steep nosedive. Traditional spots like the Muir Snowfield and Paradise Glacier became obstacle courses of pumice-coated suncups. The road to Heliotrope Ridge remained washed out. What to do?

The Turns-All-Year Slush Cup was the perfect remedy. Peer pressure to get August turns in, the promise of a sunny day in the mountains, and the chance to catch up with friends were all the excuse needed for a crowd of perhaps 60 people to hike up the Pinnacle Peak trail and scramble down into the once majestic Pinnacle "Glacier." The Hummel family alone counted 14, including kids and extended family. Lines of non-skier spectators, as well as a reporter from the Yakima Herald and at least one park ranger all made the trip without mishap.

Warming up before and after the water sessions

The Turns-All-Year regulars were amped for fun, with many showing up in costume (outfits ranged from Lisa's "Naughty Nurse" to Kurt Hummel's "Zorro" to Santa Claus, businessman, cheerleader and more) and the hard-core pond skimmers coming equipped with PFD's. I got in two clean runs before getting sideways and losing a ski in not-so-shallow water. After a second submersion to retrieve the ski, I was seriously cold and had to change to dry clothes and a puffy jacket to recover.

Later in the afternoon, the skimmers got more ambitious - here's a Hummel brother act in progress

Not all was fun and games, as several near-drownings in the ice cold water were averted by the quick thinking of Jerry and Jen with the TAY lifering and Jason Hummel and Chris Cass in the inflatable raft. All good until the first person drowns, right? Not quite the face the year-round skiers want to present to the public, I guess, but when the avalanche danger is pretty much nil, we need something to keep us awake.

Yeah, it's me coming in too hot on run #1 and trying to scrub off speed before ramming the rocks in the shallow end . . .   Photo by Ross MacFarlane

Here's some more pictures for those of you who care:

More crowds, Lisa, Amar, Kurt, Christy, More Lisa, Team Hummel, Rockered skis were the ticket

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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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