Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stevens Pass (12/15/09)

Looking at the forecast the night before, I thought the 15th was going to be ridiculously epic. When I woke up at 5am, I called the Stevens Pass snowphone to hear that there was only 5inches of new snow overnight. I was very much so bummed. I still went up to the mountain anyways because I was meeting my friends brian and ben up there.

When I got up there I took one fast run down skyline before brian and ben got there. It was actually somewhat fun and if you hit the snow where it wasn't so steep you would not hit the ice layer down below. Once Brian and Ben got there we went up to seventh heaven. Rock Garden looked awesome, but rode extremely variable. One turn was good, the next was horrible.

Then we went over to the backside and traversed ultra-hard up onto the beginning of rooster ridge (thanks for whoever set that traverse through the trees!). This was surprisingly really good, and brian even made an appearance in the white room.

We sessioned that for a couple runs and then decided to see if tye bowl was any good. We were 100% surprised at how well the conditions were in tye bowl. We entered the bowl near the top through the gnarly cliff zone and it was full on powder. So good. I love tye bowl early season cause it's pillow madness.

Here is me popping off a pillow at mach 12

And here is ben slaying some pooh in tye bowl

And here is Brian dropping a cliff on the way to tye bowl

After we got tired of tye bowl we "mini-shredded" all over hogsback which was fun and then called it a day after doing that for a while.

Overall I would give the day a 3/5, due to the fresh snow and the fun times in tye bowl.

Stevens Pass (12/14/09)

This day was created out of pure boredom and insomnia. All Sunday night I could not sleep, and by 6am I was fed up with staring at the walls in my room. I then decided I would go snowboarding even though I knew the conditions would be sub-par.

Got to Stevens Pass around 930am and it was full on freezing fog/rain. There was about 2 inches of fresh snow on top of complete ice. So pretty much I stayed on groomers all day. The groomers were surprisingly fun for the most part, despite my goggles freezing over after every run. Basically I spent the entire day getting iced over and goofing around all day. I got my park pass and the park was surprisingly a lot of fun.

This is a pic of the aftermath from the day. My jacket is iced over solid.

Overall I would give the day a 2/5 just because the conditions were ultra-pooptastical.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stevens Pass (11/21/09)

Story time:

Holy tits! This day was just too good. I kept on trying to comprehend that it was truly a saturday before turkey day! ..and the conditions were that good :) so so so happy!

I started off the day cutting off about 250 people (no exaggeration) in the big chief liftline. I saw my two friends in the front of the line, I couldn't believe it. I guess they got there at like 7am, now thats dedication.

Well anyways I finally made my way up to double diamond and right when I plan on getting on the lift it breaks down! I was frustrated. I was literally standing on the line where you wait for the chair to hit you in the back of the leg. They then proceeded to load the lift very slowly to let everyone off, but they wouldn't let anyone back on. Soooo frustrated. I waited in line and 40 minutes later I was on the lift.

Needless to say that run was awesome. Probably only 80 people had hit the run before me and I slayed the fall line all the way down to southern cross. So stoked. So many faceshots. Accidental cliff drop to landing. So happy. Life is good.

I then met up with my two buddies at the bottom of the lift and we hit up the aquarius face/cliffs area for a while. So good. The conditions were so good here and that's why there were no photos.

Once that began to get tracked out we went to our stash in the slackcountry of stevens. It was super dooper tasty, and since there was no rush to get fresh tracks (there were like 2 other people out there) ... I was ready to take some pictures.

Here is a pic of my buddy Brian slaying the poohtastic snow.

After that we decided to check out tye bowl via the top chutes. There were no, I mean no, tracks leading to tye bowl from the area we were hitting it. So awesome! Faceshots were had and the bowl was a pillow heaven. Popping off of pillows into bottomless pow is just so much fun.

We hit this for literally the rest of the day. It was just so good and everyone was focusing on hitting the backside because it was "backside opening day." With everyone on the backside it left us frontside goods.

Where's Brian above? and where is me below?

We sessioned Hogsback trees to tye mill-tye bowl for the rest of the day. We were just too stoked. '

Here is a video from about 2pm on the frontside of Stevens on a saturday...and people complain about Stevens getting tracked out too fast. You just gotta know where to go!

Overall I would give this day a 4.9/5, it was literally perfect besides the fact that it was a Saturday. If this was a weekday it would have been the definiton of the perfect lift-served day snowboarding.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Stevens Pass Opening Day (11/19/09)

Yesterday, t'was a good day. So much fresh snow, and there was hardly anyone there! I was so confused, I was expecting all of King and Snohomish County to be there, but nope...not at all.

So I arrived there at 830 and waited in line for hogsback to open. It opened at 845 and the liftline was not bad at all. I was a single so I snaked about 30 people too, I was stoked. When I got off the chairlift I immediately headed to tye mill for pillow madness.

It was ridiculous, so deep everywhere. Turning simply was not an option. Only option was mob-slash-mob. So much fun! I never felt like I did yesterday. My confidence was through the roof, I was jumping off everything I could find. The second run down tye mill was similar till about half way when I thought it would be a good idea to go in the trees...what a horrible idea. I got as much speed as I possibly could and I still got stuck. Damn. It was so deep too. Like "belly-button deep" easily and I'm tall (6'1). This put a damper on what was an amazing day so far but it was all good. After about 10 minutes till finding an area where I could catch some momentum, I was exhausted. That t'was until I realized I arrived at a place of pillow and fresh powder goodness. So stoked.

I slayed that and then went down to hogsback to session the parachute chutes for a while... So fun, powder all up on my grill. It was tasty. Then I decided to go over to Big Chief even though I knew it was 99.9% slayed already. The run was most definitely fun, but also most definitely 99.9% slayed before I got there. I felt that I added the extra .1% so I left for the land of skyline.

Took skyline up and traversed hard riders right near the seventh heaven area. This was good. Really good. I even took a ghetto-ass video with my video camera for my viewing enjoyment.

I hit up this area till it was time to eat some curly fries in which I was severely disappointed in. They were rock hard and tasted like fecal matter. Me=bummed. Oh well. I went back up to Skyline and kept on traversing farther and farther. It kept on delivering the goods. Me=happy. After doing the same run for like 2-3 hours, I went over to hogsback and hit all the fun pillow/tree lines for an hour till I couldn't walk. I then proceeded to ride down to my car and gave myself a hi-5 and ended the day with a smile.

Overall I gave the day a 4.25/5, but if seventh heaven/double diamond/the backside and if I was riding with some friends it would have been a 5/5 day for sure.

(left my camera in the car cause I was riding solo, so only the last pic was non-cell phone created)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Baker Baker Baker (11/14/09)

I went up to Baker, oh wait let me rephrase that, I went to the zoo yesterday, and it was tasty. Yeah Baker is known for not having any lift lines but wow...there were some stevens -pass-weekend-level-lift-lines there yesterday. I wasn't too shocked though, it was Saturday of their opening it was sunny/slightly overcast for most of the day.

For the first couple hours we (myself and kyle) sessioned the chair 5/north face/danger zone area. This area still had a lot of fresh snow which was awesome, and there were little things to jump off of everywhere (and big things too, holy fack). I don't know baker for shat, and I'm sure we hit some "insert gnarly baker local name here" runs, and they truly are gnarly.

Then things got really bad. In the danger zone area rider's left of north face, kyle decided he wanted to do a cliff drop to straight line to cliff drop. I'm guesstimating this decision was based off of the amount of thc in his system (don't worry everyone I don't smoke and ride). Well anyways, he crashed on the first cliff, did a couple scorpions, then flew off of the second cliff which was only about 10ft. I yell to see if he is ok and I don't hear anything...I begin to worry. I ride down around the cliffs and I see one of the scariest things I have ever had snowboarding. Kyle was upside down under the snow in a tree well. A skier that saw the accident too is right next to me and we move uphill to kyle and begin to un-bury him from the snow. After about 30 seconds from when we saw him from under the snow we clear his face from all the snow. This was so so so scary. This accident just confirms once again I am horrible luck and no one should ever hang out with me ever.

After we recover from this incident we realize his helmet has tree bark implanted into quite a bit of his helmet. He says he remembers hitting the tree with his head and if he wasn't wearing a helmet, this accident could have been a lot worse. Scariest accident I have ever seen snowboarding for sure.

Well we then ride the rest of the run which is really good and even a few surprising faceshots and pillow drops were found. To calm down we ride some chair 2-chair 1 "austin runs" and we are the happy again.

We then decide to ride over to heather meadows and eat some lunch and then meet up with some friends (Dillon, Daryn, Jacob, and Devin). At the lodge I wait for what seems like an eternity to get my much-loved salmon chowder bread bowl and when I finally order I found out THEY ARE OUT OF CHOWDER. I almost begin to cry I was so let down, I had to sacrifice for a chicken burrito. Oh well it was good and it made me feel like I was gonna have a heart attack so I would say lunch was a success.

We then met up with all of my friends listed above on Chair 3 I believe and we rode all over the mountain from there. My personal favorite was riding in the trees just out of bounds along chair 8. It was still poohtastic in there, and it reminded me a lot of one of my favorite areas at stevens. My early season legs wore at around 330pm and we then called it quits after a butter-filled, surfer slasher, last run.

Spinny, buttery, banana fun...

Surfer, heelside slash...

Then I came home and made myself a delicious t'was a great way to end the day.

Overall I would give the day a 3.5/5 aka 1 point above average on my snowboard scale.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Snowboard Season Has Arrived (Crystal 11/11/09)

So I went to crystal today, and it was "the good". With something like 18" or something as a snow base, I wasn't head over heals excited, but definitely excited to get my riding legs back under me.

Got to the ski area at 8:50 and by 9:15 the forest queen area was basically tracked out. WTF. It was all good though. Had some beginner run powder off of chinook which was fun, but nothing special. I forgot how out of shape I was though, damn. I got hated on by some butthurt skier too. The very second we get on the lift she starts giving me shit about me having my backpack on while riding the chairlift. Well shit backpack is attached to me in two different areas and I have my gloves on. No way I'm gonna take it off, maybe if you were polite, but not now. She asked if I could take it off and I said "nah" and suddenly her bitching stopped. Crustal (crystal) locals always gotta be hating on me.

We lapped Quicksilver the most because of the lack of gapers and there were still some pow in the trees and such. By noon it was time to eat my sandwich which was absolutely destroyed in my was all good though I just ate it with a fork.

Around 12:45 Adam and I headed back out to ride some more and we saw a few people waiting in line for rex to open. This shocked us and we asked if they were gonna open, and they said "maybe." Well we took one more run down chinook then came back up and saw a few more people in line so we figured "why not?" and we waited in line for a while.

10 minutes later we find out they are going to open up rex! We were gonna have about the 15th-20th chair up and we were soo stoked. This is when shit hit the fan though. Everyone hears about this opening and probably 1/2 of the population of the people that were there that day decide to get into line. With all the powder crazy people in such a small area, peace would not last long. A fight, yes a fight, broke out in the liftline. I don't really know all the details of why it happened, but I was shocked. This all was happening while komo4 news was videotaping the liftline...hilarious.

Once the chair finally opened up to the public (around 1:40ish), I was so excited that I almost could not even talk. Adam and I cut off a few innocent bystanders in the liftline here and there, and next thing we know we are on the lift giving each other high-5's. When we unload at the top, I bind in while moving off of the chairlift, and I'm ready to mob. Adam said that he looked down at his binding and within two seconds he heard me saying "Ight adam I'm gone, see ya at the bottom of green valley." I was so excited I could not even comprehend what was going on. Was this really happening on November 11th? Powder, and lots of it!

The run was beyond awesome, I did not cross one track during my whole run through green valley bowl. The snow was awesome too, it was fairly dry (amazing quality for early Novemer though) and about 1-2ft deep depending on places. Near the bottom I cut left near "grubstake" and I found once again no tracks and even a steeper pitch, and right at that spot I got my first two faceshots of the season, and they were my only 2 turns in that area. Needless to say I was stoked. After those turns I b-lined it to the green valley chair and I was stoked out of my mind. Adam was about 20 seconds behind and we were so pumped.

We lapped the green valley chair for a good hour longer, and we were pleased. Got some more faceshots here and there (I poached the closed area skiers left of the chairlift) and then we called it quits around 3 due to utter exhaustion and the whole area was basically tracked out like it had been opened all day.

Overall I would give the day a 4/5, but it was all I could ask for and more for an opening day.

(I will be posting way more pictures this winter, I just so happened to forget my camera in the car due to my powder frenzy. All these pics in this post were from my shitty cell phone)