Wednesday, December 13th, 2000 ~ Steven's Pass ~1
Ken and I met Doug in Monroe this morning and drove up to Steven's. Was very cold, between 8°- 15° all day. Low snow cover and only the front side is open so far. All lifts running except Tye Mill and Seventh Heaven on the frontside. Hardpack groomers...was demo day so Ken and Doug tried out several different pairs of skis. I hurt my knee right before lunch so I quit early.
Saturday, December 16th, 2000 ~ Steven's Pass ~2
Reported 10° and 3" of new at the morning call. Ken and I got to the upper parking lot by 9am and met Ben Baker there. We had expected a good powder day but ended up getting wet. The temp had risen to 30° on the frontside and near the top on the backside, and it sank down to about 15° near the bottom of the backside. Jupiter opened today so we spent some time in the trees back there. Tried to get a table for lunch at 1pm and all the lodges were full so we just left. Was windy and mixed rain/snow most of the day.
Thursday, December 21st, 2000 ~ Steven's Pass ~3
Met Doug and Tim Goodson in Monroe and we all took my truck up to Steven's. Was warmer today for a change, 22° all day. Not much new snow. Skied the backside most of the day until it closed. Ran into Todd L. and a couple friends. photos
Saturday, December 23rd, 2000 ~ Steven's Pass ~4
Ken and I took a new skier up today, a friend of Ken's named Jason. We met Dave in Monroe and drove up to Steven's. Nice day, 5" new and 25°, good light powder. Skied all over the mountain, mostly on the backside. Jason did very well, kept up about everywhere. Ate lunch in the Soft Landing. Left Jason there and the three of us went back out to ski. Dave broke a binding outside the lodge and we took Barrier up and he skied to the truck on one ski and changed skis. We hit the backside some more then got Jason and skied under the lights for an hour before we left. Skied from 9:30am to 5pm. The pass was dead, wasnt a soul on the mountain.
Sunday, December 24th, 2000 ~ Steven's Pass ~ Christmas Eve ~5
Met Tim and Ken at Ken's house and drove up to Steven's. A few inches of new snow on top of yesterday's powder and temperatures around 29° made for a nice day. Powder runs every time on the backside. We tracked up all the trees and had a good time...lots of jumps and fresh powder. No crowds at all, the place was empty. photos
Monday, December 25th, 2000 ~ Steven's Pass ~ Christmas Day ~6
Ken and I met Doug in Monroe and drove up to Steven's. Still fairly cold and a trace of new snow. Met Tim, Rebecca, and her boyfriend at Barrier about 10am. Skied a little on the back, a little on the front. Little bit more crowded than yesterday. photos
Friday, December 29th, 2000 ~ Silver Mountain ~7
Ken, Doug, Tim Goodson, and I drove over to Kellogg thursday night and got two rooms at the Silver Horn Motel (Super 8 was full). Woke up friday morning and headed up the gondola. About 30° on top and no new snow in days. Skied over the entire resort, showing Doug and Tim the place, but mostly ran groomers due to poor snow conditions. Lunch at Moguls, I slept while they went to Zanys to catch up with Ray and Zany. They all came back and woke me up and partied til 2am. We all thought Ray looked a little haggard, and we understood why when he told us about his wife. She was killed a year ago on a jetski Ray was driving and the Idaho authorities had been pursuing manslaughter charges against him. It had forced him to take on a new partner at Zanys and it obviously changed his life. Sad news from a man we all remember as an upbeat and happy guy.
Saturday, December 30th, 2000 ~ Silver Mountain ~8
Spent today doing pretty much the same as yesterday...no change in the conditions. I brought along a Sony digital video camera on this trip to begin experimenting with it. Its a small camera, slightly less than twice the size and weight of one of the Olympus digital still cameras we use, so I can stuff it in my camera pocket and take it anywhere I take the still cameras...which is basically anywhere. The DV quality is good in motion pictures but stills taken from frames of the movies are not nearly as good as photos from the still cameras. But I am going to try posting a few stills here as a possible prelude to some streaming media-type movies. The only limitations I see so far are the size of the movies and my motivation for doing it. photos
New Years Notes
I didnt ski on either New Years Eve or Day, the other guys skied on the 31st while I relaxed in the motel. Lots happened in those two days, though. The most serious was Ken hitting a tree limb on New Years Eve and bruising several ribs on the left side. Apparently he followed Doug through a dip in a trail in the trees and didnt realize a patch of green was hiding a sawed-off tree branch 5" in diameter and four feet off the ground. It hit him in the ribs just left of the heart and tore through his powder suit, totally destroying it. As a medical precaution, he immediatly began drinking alcohol and taking painkillers so he could continue skiing. more to come...maybe
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2001 ~ Schweitzer Mountain ~9
After a couple days rest in Kellogg, we decided to drive up to Schweitzer for a change. The resort up there has added a significant amount of new terrain in an area called Outback Bowl and we wanted to check it out. Got two rooms at Connie's in Sandpoint and headed up the mountain early. There was much better snow coverage and far less rocks showing than at Silver. Temps were just below freezing. The new area is pretty steep in places and makes Schweitzer worth going back to again when they have some more snow. A high speed six-pack accesses a lot of pretty good gladed tree skiing and Outback Bowl is quite a bit steeper than Schweitzer Bowl. They have built a village at the base now, too. We ripped around on long skis all day but didnt do much besides groomers due to several skiers having New Years hangovers and injuries. Left around 2:30 and drove back to Seattle. Me, Ken, Doug, Tim photos
Saturday, January 6th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~10
Slim Shiley, Ken and I decided to brave the crowds and go up to Steven's Pass for the day. Very little new snow on top of frozen rain from yesterday made interesting conditions. It stayed below freezing, but the sun was out in full force and softening the snow nicely. Tim has a cast on his hand to repair a small bone in his hand that he broke skiing last year and just neglected until now...so he cant use poles or get his jacket on. He skied on the K2 Gyrators without poles and wearing fleece and Ken, feeling sympathetic, skied on his fats without poles. Since Ken destroyed his powdersuit anyway, he skied in fleece too. I had planned on skiing my Ti Chubbs but the bindings have deteriorated so badly that they are not really safe to use, so I ended up skiing on my Supermountains again. I used poles and dressed appropriatly. The snow all looked nice, but was variable between hardpack/ice, heavy/wet, and ankle deep powder due to the sun's influence. We tore around the backside to stay away from the crowds, riding Southern Cross chair the most and staying over on Orion Chutes and Andromeda Face rather than our usual stomping grounds, again because of the sun's effect. We hit the Soft Landing around 1pm and sat out on the deck in the sunshine and relaxed for awhile and watched the lift line crowds before heading back over and closing the backside. After that it was time to go and we were treated to a nice little powder run off the side of Barrier on the way to the truck. photos
Thursday, January 11th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~11
Still no real snowfall in the Northwest this year. An inch or two a day for several days convinced us to go up and make sure, though. Ken and I met Doug in Monroe and drove up to Steven's. Was snowing and snowed all day. Light dusting of powder over everything with variable conditions beneath...it was nice in places and crunchy in places. Ran groomers on the backside as soon as we got there and were the first ones back there. Lots of jumps off of rocks and downed trees...Ken and I both flew multiple times. Met Tim Goodson and his mom a little before noon at the base and they wanted us to take them into the powder stash on the backside so we did that then went over to the front to run through Big Chief Trails a few times. Left about 4pm. photos
Friday, January 12th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~12
Met Doug in Monroe and went up to Steven's with him for his friday night shift as host. I met his boss and a couple of the hosts and patrollers and applied for a job hosting...sounds promising. Skied with Doug about half the night and alone the rest. First time for any real night skiing in several years, but I had a lot of fun. Found a great jump off the side of Barrier just before we left and arced a 25 footer and a 30 footer off of it. Spent the night ripping around on the Volant Supercarves and had a blast. Lots of thick fog and a moderate crowd of high schoolers up for the night but still wasnt a bad night of skiing...and I hope to get a job on the host team too.
Saturday, January 13th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~13
Slim Shiley, Todd, Dave, Jason, and I met Ken at his house and drove two cars up and met a couple friends of Ken's in the upper parking lot...so there was 8 of us all together. A little bit of new snow has finally graced us and it made for good day in the backcountry. I hit a tree though, and had to quit a little early. Sprained both wrists, bruised a rib, and probably have a concussion, but seem to be typing okay so I must be fine. Everyone had fun and was a good day....snowing hard in the afternoon and will probably be good tommorow. Everything hurts, must sleep now.
Sunday, January 14th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~14
Ken, Kevin, and I made it to the upper parking lot by 8:30am and Tim and his mom met us there shortly after that. Fourth straight day for me skiing and I felt pretty good when we got to the resort, but went downhill from there. There was 4" of new snow overnight and the temperature up there has been constant at 28°, so it was nice snow just about everywhere. We hit the backside and skied the traverse to a jump a couple of skiers had made yesterday and hit that a few times and ran through the trees. Fog was thick at first but began lifting by noon. By 1pm, we were ready for lunch and I was hurting from (I guess) a bruised rib right below my left collarbone so after lunch I stayed at the Soft Landing for a couple hours before skiing back to the truck to sleep. Percocets for dinner and no more skiing for a couple days.
Saturday, January 20th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~15
Met Ken, Chuck, and Steve at Ken's house and met Tim at the upper parking lot at 9am. Ken bought me a lift ticket and lunch and we just took it easy. Lots of ice with a little new snow. Made a few backside runs, ate cheap at the Outer Limits, and went back over. Hit Schim's Meadow on the way back down the frontside and had a bit of trouble in the entrance due to the ice.
Sunday, January 21st, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~16
6" of new snow, finally! We picked up Dave in Bothel and Dave, Ken, and I headed up to meet Tim, who stayed at a cabin near Leavenworth. Got to the upper parking lot around 9am and there was about six inches of new snow...while the snow report was saying they had gotten one inch overnight. We blasted around the backside, having fun in the deep powder and hitting jumps and rocks everywhere. Tim left a little early and we took a break at the Outer Limits and Ken bought lunch before we headed back out for a couple more hours. Ended up being the best day of the year so far. photos
Monday, January 22nd, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~17
Ken and I met Doug in Monroe and we headed up again to play in the powder. No new snow since yesterday, but temperatures are staying in the mid-to-upper twenties so the snow was still good. Met Tim G. and his mom in the upper parking lot after an hour and a half delay for a single car accident at the east end of the Baring straight...had to bring in a helo to take them out. I ran my old Chubbs and Ken, Tim, and Doug all ran Atomic Powder Cruises. Has some fun running the trail below the cat track below our trees...Doug fell in one of the holes and we had to drag him out. Several runs backside and a run to the truck for lunch was all for me and I slept while they skied a couple more hours...between the old Chubbs bouncing me around, hitting trees and bruising ribs, and skiing 7 of the last 12 days, I am whipped. photos
Sunday, January 28th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~18
Tim, Ken, and I left Seattle saturday night loaded with supplies and headed up to Dave's cabin near Skykomish. Dave was already there and we made dinner and Tim and Ken started drinking. Then they started wrestling. Fun was had by all. We went to bed around 2am and got up around 8am. I woke up and woke Ken up. Ken woke Tim up. They started drinking again then they started wrestling again. Tim popped Ken and gave him a bloody lip. They drank some more and we ate breakfast and headed up the hill. It was icy hardpack and a groomer day, which was a good thing because Ken was pretty drunk by this time. We skied the backside a few times until Ken decided he couldnt ski anymore and we headed for the truck. All this time Ken was umm...being belligerent and drunken and generally not having a good time. He fell alot, several times on his face. At one point he did a nice headplant front flip. He fell on Barrier on the way to the truck and some snowboarder punks on the lift laughed at him and that didnt help. I picked up his poles and gave them to him and he skied off, breaking the poles into pieces and throwing them down...he finally made it to the truck and we all sat down and warmed up and had lunch. Naturally, Ken and Tim drank some more. It was in the low twenties outside but we soon warmed up and, after a few shots of vodka, whiskey, and tequila, Ken thought that if he just put on his short skis he would be fine. So we all skied down to Barrier chair to give it a try. Ken fell in the lift line and had problems standing because he had no poles...and just because he was having problems standing. A friendly, helpful, lift attendant came over and asked Ken if he was okay and Ken's response sent the poor creature scurrying off to its den where it promptly called security. All four of us managed to get onto the chair, despite Ken reaching across me to punch Tim and grab at his poles, and the chair moved about 8 feet and stopped. I turned around to see why and everyone was staring at us. That was my first clue that there was gonna be a problem. I looked around and didnt see anything out of the ordinary...all of us had our poles and skis...and the only thing I could figure is that it might be the 280 pound psychopath sitting to my right flailing ski poles and screaming obscenities at Tim, who was sitting to my left. Sure enough, Security came and asked Ken if he'd please get off the chair...they asked if we were with him. At first we said no...but we didnt want them to think Ken was just getting on chairs with strangers and slapping them around so we admitted that, yeah, he does kinda look familiar. We rode Barrier up and skied back down and found Ken at the truck. They took his pass for the day and told him not to get on any lifts. Tim and Dave went back out and skied a little and Ken and I relaxed in the truck...by this time he was running out of steam and wasnt much of a danger. We headed back down to Dave's cabin and cleaned up and packed up and headed to Lake City to watch the end of the Super Bowl.
Tuesday, January 30th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~19
Huge powder day. 15" of fresh light powder fell yesterday and overnight....even though Steven's only reported 7" new this morning...we saw the storm coming and they couldnt fool us. Ken and I met Doug and Tim in Monroe about 8am and we were on the mountain (after Ken got his pass back) by 9:30am. Hit the backside traverse into the trees right away and many times. Snow was beautiful...light and fluffy and blasting up in our faces as we ripped through tight trees and hit every rock, stump, jump, and drop we could find. We took a couple runs off of Shooting Star and then went back over to Jupiter and the wind and snow had filled in our tracks for more freshies. It snowed hard all day and by 3pm we were back in the truck, tired, soaking wet and headed down the hill. Easily the best powder day in the last 12 months.
Saturday, February 3rd, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~20
Met Ken, Tim, Todd, Jeremy, and Dave at Ken's house and drove up in two cars. Dave skied friday and said it was snowing hard and sure enuff, there was 12" or so of fresh new powder. It has been snowing pretty much nonstop since monday and the slopes are absolutely fat. Ken and I dragged the other four all over the backside, alternating between Jupiter and Southern Cross chairs. Dave hit a nice 20' rock drop to start the day and all of us got air off of rocks and jumps. Powder was around 20" deep, with drifts waist deep in places. Skied Wildkatz for the first time this year and it was pure freefall thru fresh powder in the trees to skier's left. Ken, Dave, and I watched a pine marten play peekaboo with us in a tree for five minutes before skittering off thru the deep snow in the glades off of Southern Cross. Cooked sausage on a grill in the parking lot for lunch then went back out and skied several more hours before quitting...nearly a nine hour day. Skied down past the Mountaineers lodge and thru the trees to the truck at the end of the day; Dave and I launched off the hill and into deep snow on the steep slope right above the trucks. photos
Sunday, February 4th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~21
Snowed 12" overnight on top of the 20+ inches of powder already there. Met Ken, Tim, Rebecca, and thier mom at Ken's house and got to the upper parking lot around 8:30am. We parked and shoveled out a spot in the parking lot around the truck and geared up for steep and deep. The last two days have been avi beacon and backpack days. Yesterday wasnt bad, only a soft powder avi danger really, with very few slopes releasing deep and wide. Today was another animal altogether. Today there was about 36" of relatively new snow over, basically, a sheet of ice, and it wasnt scared to let loose. We got to the top of Hogsback and Tim forgot his pass so he went to the truck while Ken and I took Rebecca for a run on the backside. First run down was deep untouched powder...on the groomer. They were still blasting in the back so we went down the goomer to the cat track and ran that around to the bottom. Rebecca fell in the bottom corner on the cat track and tweaked her knee, so when we got to the top of Jupiter, we traded her in for Tim and she headed for the lounge. Tim had retrieved his pass, but managed to leave his gloves in his car. Since Ken never wears his gloves, he gave them to Tim and we took off for the trees. The powder was just epic. We could do no wrong and we were ripping straightlines thru the trees and picking up face shots on every turn. Nothing looked too big to jump off of and I hit several over 15' and one around 25'. We took Southern Cross and hit the powder fields where we saw the pine marten yesterday, ripping thru the trees as they got tighter and steeper until it was just scary. Wildkatz sounded good and we ran that next. I took the trees to skiers left and a line Ken rode yesterday and touched off the first avalanche. It took me off my feet for a couple of seconds and was kind of a problem because I was in such tight trees but I was able to get on my skis and out of its path fast enough. A bit later on the backside I kicked off another one that knocked me down for a second and as I got moving again a much bigger slide that Ken triggered above me hit me in the side and took me a little way down the canyon before it stopped. On the traverse trail into the trees on the other side, more than half of the trail was avalanched over....some from the patrol and some natural. We headed down to the truck around 2pm for lunch. Grilled brats in the parking lot and decided we'd had enough. It had warmed up to 37° in the parking lot and corn snow was beginning to fall. Intermittent heavy rain on the way down the hill insures a ridiculously high avalanche danger tommorow, and tonight road crews have both eastbound routes out of Seattle closed for avi patrol. Weatherman says its gonna rain all week. February hath arrived. photos
Wednesday, February 7th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~22
Drove up to Monroe and met Doug and we drove up to Steven's. No new snow in the last couple days, and it was 17° when we arrived in the upper parking lot around 9am. It wasnt real icy off the groomers, but the groomers were so nice we stuck to them most of the day. Ran both chairs on the backside several times and the three main chairs on the frontside several times too. Doug and I both talked to a few patrollers today and applied for a job on the Steven's pro patrol. We are both enrolled to take the Wilderness First Responder course at Rescue Specialists, Inc. in April, but we are hoping to begin working as non-responding members of the trail crews until we have first responder licenses. We finished up the day around 3pm and headed down the hill.
Friday, February 9th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~23
Doug and I went up around 3pm and skied the groomers a bit. No new snow in a few days. We talked to the lead patroller, John Meriwether, about a job, but at this point we need to get the WFR license before we can be of much use. Doug worked and I skied around a bit under the lights, mostly on Barrier and Hogsback. We headed out around 9pm.
Friday, February 16th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~24
More snow moved into the area late in the week and temps are staying low on the mountain. Steven's reported 12" at the morning call, but when Ken, Speed, and I got there, there was more like 32" of fresh powder. We went directly to the backside and had face shots on our first turns in. The powder was very deep, deepest of the year so far, and very light. We had powder pouring over our shoulders at times. We skied all over the backside, alternating chairs and skiing hard in untracked powder. Dave stuck his first try at a 180°, landed it backwards, and skied into Ken, who had fallen after going off the same jump...I narrowly avoided both of them. He tried a few more 180°'s, but none were as pretty as the first try. Dave and Ken were magnetized today, hitting each other at least four times. Later in the day, off the side of Barrier, Dave fell in front of Ken and Ken kicked him in the head with his boot on the way by...Dave needs a helmet. We barbequed hot dogs in the parking lot for lunch and dried out for an hour and went back out. We hit all the biggest rocks in Tye Bowl and Chief Bowl, ran the trees along Wildkatz and cut over to the cliffs below Schim's and traversed out. Lots of big air off rocks and just general craziness.
Saturday, February 17th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~25
Snow stopped last night and Steven's reported just a few inches overnight, but its Saturday and the kids wanna go skiing. Met Ken, Dave Hunter, Tim, and Kevin at Ken's and took two cars up. Rolled into the parking lot at 8:15 and were on the backside by 9am. Still plenty of untracked (if you know where to go) a day after the big day...and we hit it all pretty good. Took Barrier-to-Seventh-to-Tye Mill then dropped over and alternated runs on the backside for the morning. Ken and I were on, of course, our fat skis. Since Dave broke the bindings on all his skis, we put him on my Volant Zone Z's and he seemed to do okay on them, for being a bit shorter than he is used to. We managed to get Timmy to actually ski on real live fat skis too, we stuck him in Ken's nasty old beat Atomic Powder Cruises. Wonder of wonders, he was able to keep up with us all day, everyone was happy, and life was good. We had lots of fun on the backside until noon when we headed to the truck for lunch. A few beer brats and tequila shots later and we headed up to the top of Double Diamond and cut into Chief Bowl, hit a couple good rocks, and went down in Chief trails. We ran thru there several times over and over. A few small hits had been built in one area and I tried 3 180°'s. The first two I got all the way around and landed, but fell both times trying to turn around out of it. The third time I didnt quite get all the way around and I fell as I landed. Its tough skiing backwards in shin-deep powder on single tip fat skis. I am more confident now that I can stick it if I try it on a groomer. photos
Sunday, February 18th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~26
Ken and I picked up Speed at the Bothel McD's and met Tim and him mom in the upper parking lot about 8:15am. About 3" of new snow and 26° when we got there. I managed to leave all my stuff except my boots at home, so I ended up skiing in my Obermeyer shell. We hit the backside and the powder was revived a bit by the overnight snowfall. We took several runs on the traverse trail and thru the trees, cutting over far to the right to hit the little trees above the cat track, where the snow was still untouched. Headed to the truck for lunch and the temperature had risen to 36° and it was beginning to get thick. I slept in the truck after lunch while they skied a couple more hours and then we headed out. Got home to find out the racing world mourns the loss of Dale Earnhart, killed doing what he loved, smashin and bangin on the last lap at Daytona. Long live DEI.
Monday, February 19th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~27
Tim picked me up around 4pm and we headed up for a little night skiing. Temps are still holding below freezing and it was a clear, starlit night with no wind at all. Skied Barrier, Hogsback, and Chief all a couple of times. Nice night out ripping...Tim on his white DXK's and me and Supermountains. By 10pm we were the only ones left on the hill. We missed the last chair up so we hit the bar for a quick shot before walking up to the car. It was such a nice night we both just wanted to stay and camp in the parking lot under the stars, but Tim has to work tommorow so we headed down the mountain.
Wednesday, March 7th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~28
All the snow is melting. Ken and I headed up and skied the slush at Steven's and the temp got up to over 50° on the pass and it was 68° in Monroe on the way home. Skied very high speed groomers on Chief, Barrier, and Hogsback mostly. Hit big air in the park a few times.
Saturday, March 10th, 2001 ~ Mount Hood Meadows ~29
The ski season seems to be fading fast. Ken, Tim and I decided to take Rob on his first skiing adventure and we picked Meadows for something different. We drove two cars down friday night, arrived around midnight, and camped in the overflow parking lot on Mt. Hood. On the mountain by 8:30am saturday. Light to moderate crowds, we just ripped around on groomers all day, taking it easy and teaching Rob the basics. Had lunch on the sundeck beer garden and got a call from Dave on the radio. He had driven up that morning and managed to find us by borrowing a patroller's radio to call us. Rob headed down to the cars for a nap and the four of us went up to ski Heather Canyon for the first time. Its a huge area and once you are down in it you feel small. Its much like areas at Whistler/Blackcomb...a very big and open canyon.We quit around 3pm and headed down to the Huckleberry Inn, where Tim had reserved us a room for saturday night. After a bit of relaxation and a bite of food in the Huckleberry restaurant, everyone started drinking and we went down to the Ratskeller to play some pool. The place was pretty crowded and we had fun. Some guy who wasnt quite as good of a pool player as he thought he was tried to pick a fight with first Ken, then all of us...basically because he didnt like to watch. I think we all beat him at least once. I held the table until after midnight, then gave it away to some girls and we left as the cops were headed in. Everything after that is a little hazy, but from what I understand, Tim and Dave went to a local party for an hour while Ken, Rob, and I went back to the room. At some point they came back. In a successful bid to top Ken's pissing in the hallway in Kellogg over New Year's, Dave woke up, jumped up on a chair, and pissed on his coat in the middle of the night. Somehow we ended up in the same bed and Dave wrapped himself around me, to the delight of everyone awake. I was not awake.
Sunday, March 11th, 2001 ~ Mount Hood Meadows ~30
We didnt get on the hill until about 11am today...took time to wake up and have a big breakfast at the Huckleberry. We headed down to park at the satellite base area for a change and got front row parking...mainly because no one was here today. The Hood River Express quad chair is the only chair at this base area, and it was marked entirely - top to bottom - as a "comfort zone". It was all groomed flat and was nice, fast blue runs with three sets of rollers off to one side. It was a good chair to ski with Rob on so we stayed and ran it about a dozen times. Rob improved significantly on sunday and by the end of the day he was almost linking turns and staying in control. He had no fear of going fast and falling, so once he was able to turn a bit he was moving along pretty good. On one of the first runs, however, Dave and I were standing down the run reading a wildlife sign when, without warning, Rob came plowing thru us. He just missed me but he nailed Dave and Rob's ski sliced right thru one of Dave's new carbon Scott poles. We left Tim to ski with Rob for a bit, and after Dave got another pole, Dave, Ken, and I started ripping around. First we flew by a snowboarder and at the chair he was upset about us going fast. Since there was all of 20 people using the runs and also since the snowboarder punk was going as fast as he could when I passed him, I just laughed at him. A couple runs later we decided to get a pop at the small lodge at the base of Hood River Ex. On the way down, we dropped into a run and there was a mom with a little girl skiing along on one side at the bottom. We took the other side of the run and passed her at moderate speed well over 50 feet away from her, and she glared at us the entire way. We hit the lodge and regrouped everyone and headed back out. When we got to the chair, the liftee stopped Ken and told him he had a couple of complaints about his skiing (I thought he was skiing fine...shrug) and he would have to give him a black mark on his ticket. That drew howls of laughter from the rest of us. I got no black mark, probably because I was wearing a nondescript green jacket and black pants while Ken was wearing his blueberry suit. Since we knew who told on us, we went hunting. Ken has always wanted to saw a snowboard in half and he carries a saw around with him in his backpack. We didnt see them on Hood River Ex so we went over to Shooting Star, which is now a high speed quad. It also has high speed winds. We rode a chair up, creeping along, almost all the way up with no problem. At the top, 50mph winds started blasting the chair about 100 feet from the top. The top of the ridge was scoured down to ice. Dave and I went into a big terrain park off of Shooting Star and hit a couple of good jumps each. We ran down to the base area and rode the Mt. Hood Ex and it was windy at the top too. We skied around a bit more and headed to the cars for lunch in the parking lot around 3:15pm. While eating lunch and deciding wether to ski more, we found out the Hood River Ex closes at 4pm, so we called it a day and headed back to Seattle.
Wednesday, March 14th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~31
Snowed 12" overnight so Ken and I headed up and met Doug in Monroe. Was a bit of powder and sunshine and we just played around a bunch. Spotted a new drop from Hogback and took a 20+ footer and landed on my face. Hit a bunch of drops on the frontside and back and ran thru the terrain park a few times and managed to clear the trick jump gap twice.
Saturday, March 17th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~32
Very little new snow and about 68" of base. Picked up Ken and Dave and met Spoon in Bothel and rolled into the upper parking lot at 9am. Joe was there with his dog and a friend and we all headed out to the backside. I was on my Supermountains and having no fun in the crud so after a few runs I switched to Ti Chubbs. Skied around the backside a bit. Ken helped pull a snowboarder kid out of one of the creekholes. Dave got hung up in a tree in such a way that he couldnt get out and started screaming bloody murder. Spoon ran up the hill and dislodged him, but not before we were all sure Dave was dying. After a short lunch, we decided it was groomers and jumps time. I put on the Supercarves and we headed to the park. Was able to clear the gap jump no problem and pulled my first dozen or so rail grabs off of various jumps. Spoon tried to single ski straight down the rail grind and wrecked spectacularly, wracking himself and nearly ruining a knee. After a bit more self-abuse, we called it a day.
Thursday, March 22nd, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~33
Sunshine and groomers day. Spring skiing is here and Steven's has as much base as they have had all year, around 75". Things were a little icy this morning, but the clear skies and sunshine soon softened the snow nicely. Ken and I met Doug in Monroe and got to the upper parking lot around 9:30am. We spent most of the day on Barrier or Hogsback, but hit the backside a little and Chief some. Lots of high speed fun and a few big jumps in the terrain park. The place was virtually empty and we had a relaxed lunch in the upper parking lot...polish sausages on the grill...and went back out and skied until closing (night skiing ended last Sunday). Earlier today at The Big Mountain at Whitefish, Bill Johnson, 1984 Olympic downhill gold medalist and first American to win gold in an alpine event, crashed in an FIS downhill race at an estimated 45mph. He is in a coma and in critical condition at this time. photos
Saturday, March 24th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~34
Me, Ken, Tim. Was 55° in the upper parking lot and 72° in Gold Bar on the way down. Ripped around on the goomers all day...lunch in the parking lot. Had a lot of fun with Tim. Ken clicked his ski off on the way up Tye Mill and I caught it just as it was falling.
Saturday, March 31st, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~35
Bought a season pass for $400 today. Snow sucked, mixed rain and snow. Took 4 runs and quit. Me, Ken, Dave Hunter, Jeremy. Bill Johnson's condition remains unchanged after brain surgery last week. He is in a coma at Kalispell Regional Medical Center in Kalispell, Montana. He turned 41 today.
Sunday, April 1st, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~36
Ski season is quickly coming to an end. Ken and I drove my truck and Tim and his mom drove his car and we went to meet Doug in Monroe. Doug was late so we left him (turns out he got a speeding ticket) and headed up. Was marginally better than yesterday. Doug showed up around noon. Slushed around for awhile and camped under the awning in the parking lot for lunch.
Wednesday, April 4th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~37
Heard rumors of sunshine so Ken and I headed up to see. Took our time and ate at the Mountain View for breakfast and arrived in the upper parking lot around 9:30am. The place was heavily groomed and the sun was out. We ran a few groomers and took a few passes down the backside traverse, going higher and higher on the traverse until we were over the top and far out in the backcountry. Came out behind the chairlift several times in very nice soft snow. Headed down to the truck to take a break, switch skis, and fill water bottles and ran across Doug on Daisy teaching a couple of kids how to ski. Ken and I headed back to the traverse after that break and hiked some more. Found some great untouched snow and nice tree skiing. Quit around 3pm and hung out at the truck with Doug and Co. for a bit, then headed down to Skipper's for dinner. photos
Friday, April 6th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~38
Me, Ken, Jeremy.
Thursday, April 12th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~39
On our day off from Wilderness First Responder training, Doug and I went skiing at Steven's. Was a bit crunchy and no new snow so we stuck to the groomers and just ripped around.
Monday, April 16th, 2001 ~ Steven's Pass ~40
Today was the last day of the season at Steven's. Yesterday, Sunday, was the last day for the general public, but today was employee skiing so Doug and I went up. It was 48° in the upper parking lot when we got there and the snow is melting fast. There were a lot of employees tearing around and it was a pretty nice morning skiing around with all the hard working true mountain lovers. Hogsback was the only chair running but people were ripping it and building kickers and generally getting crazy. One run we exited Rockin Blue at top speed and took Daisy faster than I've ever been thru there before. The snow got a bit sticky and slushy around 1pm so Doug and I headed out and took the scenic route back to Seattle. By the time we got to Index, it was 75° and mostly sunny....summer is here and most of the snow is gone in the central Cascades.
Saturday, April 21st, 2001 ~ Mt Baker ~41
Ken and I drove up, Tim Shiley and Todd drove, Tim Goodson drove, Doug drove, and Dave Hunter drove his motor home up to Baker and we camped out Friday and Saturday night. We circled the wagons in the upper parking lot and began to party. Saturday morning was nice, blue skies and sunshine. Ken and I took one run thru the backcountry and then decided to stay on the groomers. photos
Sunday, April 22nd, 2001 ~ Mt Baker ~42
Doug, Tim Goodson, and Todd went back to Seattle, so it was just Ken, Tim, Dave, and me on Sunday. The weather changed completely from yesterday. We wore full gear and it was like the middle of winter, quite a contrast to yesterday. We skied Razorhone Canyon several times. photos
Sunday, April 29th, 2001 ~ Mt. Baker ~43
Ken, Bobdog, and I drove up Saturday afternoon with Jeremy following us with Eilean, Theresa, and Trish in his van. We rolled into the parking lot after a drive up thru pouring rain. It was snowing in the parking lot but it was still bare. Tim drove up and arrived around 8pm and we had a couple of tarps set up. We partied while it snowed and by morning there was about 6 inches of new snow in the parking lot. We hit the slopes around 9:30am in a mild blizzard. It was a powder ski day, and the snow was heavy but not too bad. Today was the last day of operation at Mt. Baker. photos
Saturday, May 5th, 2001 ~ Mt. Batchelor ~44
Ken, Rob, and I in my truck, and Timmy and Jeremy in Tim's car, drove down and slept in the Batchelor parking lot Friday night. Woke up to 30° at 8am, but it soon warmed up to 60° or so. Was a little icy early, but the snow softened up and was nice most of the day. We rode the Pine Marten Express most of the day. Lots of high speed carving and ripping. The chairs closed at 1:30pm and we headed down the hill to the room we had reserved at the Riverhouse. We ate at Crossings at the Riverhouse and it was as awesome as ever. photos
Sunday, May 6th, 2001 ~ Mt. Batchelor ~45
Got up around 8am and headed up the hill. Was a bit warmer than yesterday, blue skies and sunshine. We were ripping the groomers very fast a couple of time...about as fast as I have gone all year. Was a little icy early, which contributed to high speeds, but warmed up later and was starting to get sticky when we left, about 1:30pm. Partied in the parking lot for a few hours and met some guys riding a new prototype toy from Burton. Had dinner at Shari's in Bend and took a nap in the truck before driving home. photos