Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:31 am Posts: 269 Location: a vanagon somewhere in WA
last year, i made a bit of a gamble. i saved up my vacation and sick time all spring and summer knowing that the hours wouldn't roll over to the new year, and i might be forced to use them all in less than ideal conditions. fortunately, the exact opposite happened, and i ended up with almost 3 weeks off in weather that i would have struggled to improve on if i created it myself.
originally, i had plans of touring around british columbia in my new syncro vanagon, or maybe visiting idaho or wyoming. but instead, the conditions seemed too ideal to venture far from home.
fortunately, "home" included a small cabin in greenwater, where i spent 6 storm filled days taking gondola laps with jcocci and kyle, quenching my summer pow-thirst and getting my legs in shape for what was to come.
heading up to greenwater nice & early in john's cool van
lots of early season terrain not yet rendered indescript by the snow
the commute from greenwater to crystal is pretty nice...
in almost a week of lift-served storm riding, i only got one action shot--saign bushwhack-riding down a steep vegetated gully, while unbeknownst to us, a small inbounds avy had buried someone not far away (fortunately she was dug out quickly and survived).
as the christmas weekend approached, we began to see more and more of this, and knew it was time to turn our attention elsewhere.
we started out with a popular roadside tour near steven's pass
and quickly found what we were looking for.
kololo insisted on another lap.
who are we to defy her will.
the happy conclusion of another pow day.
with all the low snow levels, it seemed opportune to spend some time at snoqualmie pass. it turned out to be a great christmas eve.
enjoying the trail breaking in intermittent sunshine and snow.
views of the valley during our allotted 8 minutes of sun for the week.
kyle shreds the bryant couloir
another great day in the snow.
and a quick break for some christmas festivities...
and the next day it was back to the snow.... and water. how do we get across?
well it's a start!
saw some crazy rime-cicles on the way up.
it looked to be another day filled with pow pillows.
there are no shortage of fun features in this zone, and kyle found one right away.
scott went for a little air...
and kololo followed without a moment's hesitation. that dog knows how to get rowdy!
too fast for a face shot.
sorry, saign, i should have warned you about that flat landing...
friends in pow.
saign starts work on a cool video.
see kololo get rad in the final product...
kyle hit some more pillows
we were a bit less patient on the exit and went for the more direct route.
rested up from a relaxing day of roadside pillow poppin, i figured it was time to brave the drive back out to crystal... but this time the goal was east peak, across the valley from the resort.
kyle & hannah enjoy a brief moment of sun on the skin track.
but by the time we were tearing up the pow the grey skies had returned.
that didn't stop john from busting out his camera.
john's diligence paid off with some really cool photos... i stole this one (there's got to be one shot of me in this TR!) but for the rest, check out his web site.
the pow was so light and dry we went back for lap after lap until finally i got a chance to try my hand at flash ski photography... looks like i still need some practice (or maybe a camera with less latency).
after that... well, the year wasn't quite over yet, but the grand finale deserves its own trip report. stay tuned!!