December 09, 2009

Ice on Snoqualmie Pass

The first half of Alpental 1

I've been feeling the desire to take advantage of the recent cold snap for several days now, and I finally found a partner to go exploring with. Deverton and I drove up to Snoqualmie Pass to locate the Alpental Ice that we'd read about.

After arriving at the parking area, Deverton realized he forgot his boots. Luckily, I had my house with me which contained my telemark boots. These fit Dev well enough and he managed the day with them just fine.

Nearing the top of the first pitch

We found the ice about 5 minutes from the parking area and it was in (albeit a bit funky with soft areas, thin areas, brittle areas, hollow areas, etc.). We ended up climbing Alpental 1, which was a long 2-pitch ice climb. Aside for an interesting belay stance right below the crux, the climb was super fun and went very smoothly. The sound of running water below the ice was a new experience for me after climbing in Colorado.

We also scouted potential future climbs in the same area. I've decided there's a lot of ice in Washington when it gets cold.

Alpental 3 (saved for another day)

Alpental 4 (saved for perhaps the same day as Alpental 3)

December 02, 2009

Thanksgiving Roadtrip

Ava and I drove down to Berkeley for Thanksgiving with her family, with plans to stop and ski in Tahoe on the way down and back. Unfortunately, Tahoe didn't have much snow, so we stopped in Bend to visit Ogie. We made a couple quick laps on Tumalo before the 8-hour drive to the Bay.

The weather was great, and the snow in the back bowl was surprisingly powdery considering the escalating temperatures and time since the last snowfall.

We made it to Berkeley without incident and had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We failed to ski on the return trip as conditions were too poor to provide the necessary motivation. After an unusually great start to the ski season in the northwest, we seem to be in a lull. Hopefully the Beavers beating the Ducks tomorrow will put the universe back in balance and keep the snow stacking up in the mountains!