See ya Next Season

In my blogging career, I have found the best blogs to be content specific. This one was created for the topics of winter and all things related to snow. While people will be charging the volcanoes well into the summer, I focus my attention toward the RIVERS. And while I would likely be tempted with the occasional search for SPRING CORN, I am headed to Spain in about a month to study European Human Rights and Sustainable Development, and also need to be training for this little ADVENTURE planned for July. Therefore, check back here when the snow begins to fly in the fall. Until then, here is a nice little VIDEO TRAILER to keep you dreaming.

If you came here looking for updates on my life, I will be:

blogging about Spain and general life, law, and leisure interests at www.dropping.blogspot.com

blogging about all things kayak related at www.theRangeLife.com

and, blogging about my Expedition to Peru at www.huallaga.irvacationtohell.com

see ya next season ...

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Mt. Catherine

A few years ago, a few of us (including two dogs) attempted Mt. Catherine. It was a weekend, and despite a start before the lifts opened, we were turned away less the 500 up from the car by inhospitable patrollers who were having no part of our dogs or the members of our group who did not have passes. Apparantly, they are quite protective of the nordic trails. With the Mt. Hyak area recently closing for the season, we went for another pre-work attempt at Mt. Catherine.

Oh, we had some nice weather along the way. A great perspective of Mt. Snoqualmie.

Rado trying to keep up through the old growth forest. Although we had to turn down before the summit due to time, the skiing was surprisingly good!

Probably the steepest terrain that Rado has experienced.

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A couple shots

On a recent and random trip to the snowlake basin an assortment of most every form of weather was experienced. I really liked liked this shot of us hiking into the abyss.

We must have spent some karma points for the clearing that was timed perfectly with our lunch at chair lake and our decent.

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Bad Conditions or Bad Attitude?

Mt. Baker's conditions report is hands down one of the best (and by best, I mean say it like it is, not marketing B.S.) snow reports I have seen. This one from the other day:
“[T]he conditions are never bad, rather it’s a bad attitude or inappropriate clothing.”

They also have their snow STATISTICS PAGE up and running. Surprising how little snow we have actually gotten - at least compared to previous years. Already gets me excited for next year with early rumors about a la nina setting up.

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Snow Doughnuts

First, a thanks to the SEATTLE TIMES for this story and picture.
"This is no joke. We did not build it," said Mike Stanford, an avalanche-control expert with the state Department of Transportation (WSDOT). "They are a natural occurrence in nature."

Stanford found frozen doughnuts of snow on the top of Washington Pass in the North Cascades this week when he was doing avalanche-control work.

I think this story it pretty cool. I would definitely rather find one of these than any pot of gold or SASQUATCH. If you think this is as cool as I do, here is another story on NPR. Ok, now I'm craving some COFFEE.

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A little poetry brought to you by the NORTHWEST AVALANCHE CENTER, during the current Pineapple Express (ie. Warm rain at 8-9000 ft. above sea level).
In order to smile now, think of long term gain,
And of recent snow stabilized by the rain—
It’s a process we value that helps cleans the slate,
But while it’s occurring, don’t go and tempt fate.

For as liquid water moves down through the snow,
It loads and it weakens, increasing downhill flow—
Wet loose and wet slabs are the common close,
Of this abysmal weather driven by warm, wet flows.

With the weather and stability both looking quite bleak,
Don’t find yourself up the proverbial creek—
Give the snowpack a while to settle and slide,
Know that this sloppy snow won’t be a good ride.

But if you must go out, stay on gentle terrain,
Away from avalanche runouts that could be a pain—
Avoid cornices, chutes and other terrain traps,
As these are places that will fill with bad crap.

Be positive and look to when temperatures plummet,
That’ll be a better time to head for the summit.
Old wet weak snow will refreeze and strengthen,
Decreasing the danger as day times lengthen.

But unless the forecast is a total bust,
We may just be left with dust over crust—
It’s not a bad thing, and good for stability,
Time to work on your edges and carving ability.

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Doesn't get any better ...

The past two weeks have been simply insane! In my five years in the Northwest it has been hands down, the best, most consistent skiing I have experienced. And it would rival any two week period I have experienced elsewhere. Unfortunately, my patience and commitment to capturing ski photos are lacking. That and my trusted point and shoot digital camera has just too long of a delay to capture those good images. Nonetheless, here are a few shots I got on the final day of paradise (before a warm front brought rising snow levels) ... enjoy ...
Tim Holmberg in the zone

Brock Gavery trying to find a balance

Timmy in between face shots

When your guide says, "don't ski below me because there are some big cliffs down there," He's not just saying that to ensure fresh tracks. Tim didn't heed the advice, and went for an unexpected ride down the mystery slide. He dropped the icy waterfall above his right fist ... luckily into a pillow powder field.

Timmy getting ready for take-off

We'll be dreaming about this line during the warm rains

Tim gives a little extra in the turn for the camera, but the snow depth needs no extra, and speaks for itself

... ah, these weeks will live on in memories far more vivid than any image can capture ... thank you ULLR!