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May 4, 2010:

Powder Turns at Alpy

Late in the season? I was thinking so myself until I checked the DOT camera at Snoqualmie Pass last night and discovered a full scale snow storm in progress.

I got up to the the Alpental lot (actually everyone parked right next to the base of the Armstrong chair) around 10:10 AM, and joined about 10 or 12 skiers suiting and skinning up for some fun. There didn't seem to be anyone I knew, so I jumped in the skintrack solo and set a reasonable pace. I managed to put some distance between myself and the three guys who had parked next to me and started about the same time, then caught a couple other skiers along the way. Up ahead I spotted a mustard-yellow windbreaker that somehow looked familiar and figured I'd soon see who it was, but I never was able to close the gap.

When I hit the top of Chair 2, I discovered Greg Ireton there, already with skins off and nearly ready to ski. We shared stories about how the telemetry fairly shouted out to us that today was too good an opportunity to miss before heading to work. Since we were first on top, we had our pick of descents, and International seemed logical. With a couple of weeks since Alpental had closed, the hill had "healed" itself and was smooth as can be; the 10-12" of fresh on top made for the best turns of the year on Upper 'Nash and Adrenaline. Nice way to start the day!

Greg Ireton at the top of Alpental Chair #2, always ready for pow in May.

Greg on Upper International. All the moguls were gone, only the powder remained.

May 2, 2010:

Turns-All-Year Crystal Fest '10

Maybe the weather forecast had something to do with it. Maybe people were "out of town." Maybe self-powered skiing just isn't hip anymore . . .

Whatever the reason, the annual Turns-All-Year Crystal Fest, traditionally held a week or two after the official closing date of Crystal Mountain, was a rather sparsely attended affair this Sunday, with an even dozen people showing up at the Campbell Basin Lodge and another seven, according to my friend Eric, collecting at the Summit House. For the first time in my memory, no industrial-sized containers of brewed barley beverage made it to the top of the mountain, but no one seemed to mind.

The weather vacilated between sun with haze and chilly fog, and participants were hard pressed to decide between puffy coats and t-shirts. All in attendance were treated to some challenging slush-on-crust conditions on the way down, and some even enjoyed it.

The group gathers on portable aluminum pews to worship Amar's new Dynafit Stokes . . . ooooh, 106mm underfoot and only 1645 grams each!

Previous Incoming Pages:

April, 2010

China: Wandering in the Middle Kingdom

March, 2010

February, 2010

January, 2010

December, 2009

November, 2009

October, 2009

September, 2009

August, 2009

July, 2009

June, 2009

May, 2009

April, 2009

March, 2009

February, 2009

January, 2009

December, 2008

November, 2008

October, 2008

September, 2008

August, 2008

June, 2008

May, 2008

April, 2008

March, 2008

February, 2008

January, 2008

December, 2007

November, 2007

October, 2007

September, 2007

August, 2007

June, 2007

May, 2007

April, 2007

March, 2007

February, 2007

January, 2007

December, 2006

November, 2006

October, 2006

September, 2006

August, 2006

July, 2006

June, 2006

May, 2006

April, 2006

March, 2006

February, 2006

January, 2006

December, 2005

November, 2005

October, 2005

"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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