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November 14, 2009:

Cowboy Up, Cowboy Down

John Mauro gets his, and then some. Not quite as "green" as his day job, but still human-powered once we got to the snow.

It's back. It really is.

Every year I'm amazed when the snow magically returns, and this year is no exception. A thick white blanket fell over the Cascades this week and last, and cold temperatures held into the weekend. Seth and Holly put out the word that they intended to tour on Saturday (just in case they didn't get enough exercise on Sunday at the Cyclocross races), and rounded up a group consisting of them, John Mauro, Eric Noll and myself. My good friend Michael Trommsdorff, in town for a few days from Switzerland, needed a break from leadership training at software company "M", so we grabbed his "spare" skis from my basement and headed to Stevens Pass.

Holly on the way up, trying to decide on whether to take the skis as a prize for the year-long Seattle cyclocross title . . .

We arrived at the pass around 9:00 AM and joined hundreds of snow-seeking enthusiasts tromping up through the area - families with saucers, new-schoolers with twintips, booting snowboarders and practiced ski tourists packed the main parking lots and plaza area. Our group set off for Seventh Heaven and got first tracks skiers' left of the chair, then re-ascended to the ridge of Cowboy Mt. and picked off a nice line down the backside. For dessert we followed the ridge line for a bit further and found a nice waterfall line in the "pull-your-pass" area near the cliffs.

A sweet way to start a fresh season. Now for just a bit more snow, and more cold weather while the base settles . . .

Michael Trommsdorff takes it to the house. First tracks under the chair on Seventh Heaven, and the lift hasn't even moved!

Eric Noll, backside of Cowboy Mountain. Have tele skis will travel.

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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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