The Ski Report 2002 ~ 2003

Thursday, December 19th, 2002 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 1
First day. Very windy, little snow. Was sick with flu, only skied a few runs and quit. Very late start of is opening day at Steven's Pass. Crystal and Baker opened a few days ago...Ken went to Crystal, but today is my first day. Shouldnt have gone...was sick and this just made it worse...suffered for it for several days.
Wednesday, December 25th, 2002 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 2
Christmas day...feeling much better. Ken, Joe, Rob and me rode up in the Suburban and met Tim, Rebecca, Gary, and Tim's mom in the upper parking lot. Dave H. was there camping with Gary and Felix...we were supposed to bring gear for Gary and Felix but forgot, so they didnt ski. Nice day...temps under 25° all day...decent powder but still low snow conditions. Frontside open except for Seventh Heaven. Steven's is controlling access to the upper parking lot again...mountaineers get in for free...everyone else pays :)
Friday, December 27th, 2002 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 3
About 10" in the last 12 hours and more coming down. Drove up with Ken and Jeremy and met Tim G. in the upper parking lot. Great day on the frontside...hit some stuff we usually dont ever get to. Good powder...enough to hit some 10-15 footers and run the rocks in Tye Bowl. Dragged Jeremy thru some pretty tough stuff (Tye Bowl, ect) and he did pretty good, considering he was on the narrowest skis of us all. Ken ran Machetes, I was on Ti Chubbs, and Tim was on some huge planks of...wood and fiberglass, I guess. They were wide. Jeremy was on his twintips. Ken got a GPS receiver from Lynn for has a speed indicator in it so we tested our speeds. Highest was 47 mph in rough snow coming down the last pitch from Barrier. That little toy will be fun to play with on groomer days. Forgot the grill so cold sandwiches for lunch. It snowed lightly all day until about lunch, then it picked up and looked like it would rain, but it stayed snow and the temps started dropping. Left around 3:30 and found windstorms had wiped out the power in many places...both lights on 522 were out and traffic was backed up bad...and the light at Mountlake Terrace was also out. Took awhile to get home.
Saturday, December 28th, 2002 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 4
Picked up Ken and Joe at Ken's house and met Speed after he got Tim G.'s pass in Monroe. 7" new overnight. More hassles with the evolving upper parking lot we have to get our names on the Mountaineers weekend list every week. Talked to one of the Steven's parking guys, Rob, and he said in any case, he'd only charge us $ was free. Another frontside powder day...Seventh Heaven was open so we ran that a couple times and hit Tye Bowl again with Dave. I'm still catching up and I burned some muscles in my back so quit at lunch. Ken forgot the grill again, but Dave had a charcoal grill in his truck, so we brought that...brats and taquitos. Not much snow coming down...temps 27° - 30°. Been taking camera but no good pics...most days are foggy and light is very flat. This has been the first sustained storm cycle of the year and its almost at an end. A few days of clear weather ahead before the next system begins affecting the Cascades.
Wednesday, January 1st, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 5
Spent New Years Eve at Dave and Summer's house in Mill Creek....huge party, tons of people. Up very late and headed to the pass around noon with Ken, Lynn, and CJ. Took our time getting up there. About a foot of new soft powder on the ground and tons more coming down...snowed another foot while we were there. Ran around the frontside and skied under the lights when it got dark. CJ was tearing it up...need to take him out more. Joe was there spending the night in his van with Murphy. Long day....home around 10:30pm....Ken and I decided to go back up on the 2nd, so we dried out and drove up Thursday morning. Traffic was horrible....raining all the way to the top...road iced up and the top was a parking lot. Talked to Joe for a bit...he got a job instructing at Steven's...then we just left...powder was gone and ran coming down.
Saturday, January 4th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 6
No notes. Clocked 54.3 mph.
Wednesday, January 8th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 7
No new snow in several days. Large temperature inversion over Cascades. We expected blue skies and moderate weather and we wernt disappointed. Met at Ken's. Ken, Lynn, and I drove up and Speed and Todd took Speed's truck. The whole place was heavily groomed and the runs were a bit icy, but not too bad. We ran Barrier to the terrain park a few times and Ken shot video of Speed going big on the large jumps. I even hit one for 25 feet or so. After a few runs at that, we took Lynn up on Tye Mill...her first time up there, ever. The backside was fogged in before lunch so we ran Tye a few times and Lynn decided thats her new favorite run. Headed to the truck for brats and taquitos, then went over on the backside. Took Aquarius once and ran the road a few times before we got tired and quit, around 3:30. Got some photos...will create a page and get them up soon.
Saturday, January 11th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 8
Partly cloudy, no new snow. No notes.
Wednesday, January 15th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 9
Still no new snow. Took Lynn and Duane up. Partly cloudy in the morning and sunbreaks in the afternoon. Lynn and Duane both did good...took them on the backside and took Lynn up Chief in the afternoon. Clocked 60+ mph runs a couple times. Record so far is 60.2mph, but several runs didnt record because of low batteries. Ran Zone Z's in the morning and Supermountains in the afternoon. Ken ran Supercarves.
Saturday, January 18th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 10 new snow. Took Ken and Dave H. up and met Tim in the upper parking lot. Clear most of the way up, lower mountain shrouded in fog when we arrive. Backside is less foggy so we ski there for a few runs. Came down Double Diamond on the front to check out the junior GS race course they were running in Chief Bowl. Lunch in the truck. 20° and fog in the valleys and up to 53° and clear on top.
Monday evening, January 20th, 2003 ~ Season Notes ~ Revelstoke Avalanche
The dragon roared at Revelstoke. As 12 skiers traversed a low route on the Durrand glacier near Revelstoke, BC today, another group of 12 above them triggered a massive class 5 avalanche. 7 of the 25 skiers were caught, buried, and died at the scene. As many as 15 others were rescued, with one seriously injured and evac'd under extreme conditions to Revelstoke. 3 Americans and 4 Canadians were killed. They were on a heliski trip with Selkirk Mountain Experience. Reports are still coming out and many of the survivors are still on the mountain at 7am tuesday morning.
Updated 1/21/03: reports that legendary snowboarder Craig Kelly was one of the seven killed.
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 11
Craig Kelly meant a lot to us around here. Even though he was a snowboarder, he was the Father of Snowboarding and he did a lot to advance winter sports in general. Founding member of the Mount Baker Hard Core and founder of Mount Baker's Legendary Banked Slalom. Four time World Freestyle Champion and three time US Champion. He helped put Northwest skiing and boarding on the map. Craig Kelly joins Trevor Peterson and Alex Lowe...and many others...who've lost thier lives to thier love of the open places.
After three weeks, the snows came with the passing of Craig Kelly. The mountains and passes of Washington have been graced with snow in unusual weather circumstances. Steven's got its first significant snowfall in weeks overnight and more than a foot of fresh powder blanketed the mountain this morning, with more coming down. Ken, Rob, Lynn, and I drove up and arrived in the upper lot around 9:15. Tim G. was already there and on the backside. The runs were totally snowed in and ungroomed and we ran Tye and Hogs a few times before taking Lynn over on the backside again. The snow was light in the morning and it was snowing moderately for the first few hours, then gradually turned to freezing rain. We all began having goggle problems because the thin rain/ice was building up. Visibility in places was very poor due to fog. As the day went on, the snow became heavier and prone to sliding on the ice-hoarfrost layer that has stabilized the snow over the past couple weeks....and the avalanche danger went from low to moderately high overnight. Ken caused a 20x20 foot slide on the backside that ended up depositing him in the bowl of a small tree, sans a pole.
Saturday, February 1st, 2003 ~ Season Notes ~ Idaho Trip
No skiing today, mixed rain and snow at Steven's. Two tragic events today. 7 were lost when the space shuttle Columbia broke up on re-entry over Texas early this morning, and 7 high school kids were lost in another avalanche at Revelstoke, British Columbia. There are an average of 13 avalanche fatalities a year in the Canadian mountains.
Left for Schweitzer around 6:30pm this evening...Ken, Lynn, Jeremy, and I. Drive over was unremarkable, clear skies and light traffic to Sand Point. Arrived at Connie's at the room a minute too late to order a pizza. We all got pretty drunk and fell asleep. Woke up after 9am, hungover...decided to take our time and wait until the 12:30pm session at Schweitzer...cheaper tickets. Ken got really drunk...was marginal for skiing...Lynn was pretty mad at him because he could barely walk. She didnt want to ski with him, I didnt care...Ken wouldnt get dressed. Jeremy wanted to ski, but we ended up leaving. Ken wanted to ski by the time we got back to Connie's, but we told him it was raining and he refused to ski and that was why we left....he believed us for a day or so. For the record, the weather was 30° and broken clouds with sunshine in places. So after we were back in the room, we decided to hit the huge hot tub at Connie's. It was pretty nice...until Ken took his shorts off and decided it was nekkid hottubing time. He was still really drunk. He fought with me most of the best he could...and I tossed him around the room for an hour or so. He beat up on Jeremy a bit, too. He passed out late in the afternoon and after his nap, we tried to contact Brady and his sister, Jaimie, at the bar she works at in Sand Point. After a bunch of phone tag and wandering around town, we met up with Jaimie at Roxy's and played pool for a bit before heading back to Connie's.
Monday, February 3rd, 2003 ~ Schweitzer Mountain ~ 12
Everyone up and sober this morning. On the mountain by new snow and the mountain has been heavily groomed. Took Lynn and Jeremy over to the Outback Bowl and skied the Stella sixpack most of the day. Off the groomers was pretty chunky, so we just ripped around all day on the corderoy. Lynn had lots of fun...she discovered that she likes to go fast and there was plenty of opportunity to go fast at Schweitzer today. She had a big grin plastered on her face all day long. Left the mountain at 3pm and drove down to Kellogg, arrived at 5:30pm, and got two rooms at the Super 8. Dinner at Zany's...never did hook up with Ray...played phone tag all week. Hit the hot tub for a few hours and then to bed.
Tuesday, February 4th, 2003 ~ Silver Mountain ~ 13
Up reasonably early...Ken half drunk by the time we get off the gondola. 8 inches of new snow and pretty nice off the groomers. Ran Chair 2 most of the day and took Lynn into South of the Border once. For her first run of the day, Lynn skied Steep & Deep, a single black powder run at the top of Chair 2. She didnt know it was a black diamond, but she handled it. Other than those runs, we stayed mostly to the groomers again. Lunch in Moguls lounge and back out for a couple hours. Lynn and I quit around 2pm and hit the hot tub while Ken and Jeremy stayed up until 4pm to ski North Face Glades. Dinner at Zany's, more hottubing, back to Zany's later...memory fails after that...
Wednesday, February 5th, 2003 ~ Silver Mountain ~ 14
Up early and on the gondola by 9am or so. No new snow and a little chunkier than yesterday. Ran Chair 2 mostly again. Found some trees that looked good and went in...wasnt so good. Low snow cover in many places here at Silver. Quit around 2pm and took a nap before heading home. Pulled over and given breathalyzer test in eastern Washington...wasnt drunk so the cop decided I must have been speeding. I was going 76mph, but got a ticket for 80 in a 70. Home by 9pm, 5 hours total drive time from Silver. Photos page is now up.
Saturday, February 8th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 15
No new snow, sunshine groomer day.
Wednesday, February 12th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 16
Took Rob up and skied. No new snow....still clear and warm in the afternoons. Skied groomers most of the day. Met a snowboarder in the parking lot for lunch and took him out....pretty fast kid.
Saturday, Febuary 15th, 2003 ~ Season Notes
It started on Jan. 25th in Kitzbuehel, Austria at the Super Bowl of alpine racing: The Hahnenkamm. Daron Rahlves scorched the run and became the first American to win at the legendary downhill since Buddy Werner in 1959. A few days later, it was the ladies turn. On Feb. 3rd, at the FIS World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Kirsten Clark took silver and Jonna Mendes took the bronze in the women's Super G. The day before, Bode Miller took bronze in the mens Super G World Championships. The best was yet to come. Feb. 6th: Bode Miller comes from 2.95 seconds behind to win the big one...the FIS Combined World Championships. Feb. 12th: Bode Miller wins a second gold in Giant Slalom, and Eric Schlopy wins the bronze. Three medals for Bode. No American has ever won four. In the last 2 World Championships, Americans have won 1 medal total. We've won 6 so far this year and are trailing the usually dominant Austrian team by only one medal. The Slalom is tommorow. Bode Miller is the favorite. The U.S. Ski Team is back.
Monday, February 17th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 17

Tim, Ken, and I drove up to play in some of the 7 inches of new snow we finally got. It is a President's Day holiday and Steven's was pretty full. Hit the backside right off. The first run in there, Tim fell in a low viz area and injured his left hand. The snow back there wasnt so good, so we went into the cliffs above Tye Mill. Second run thru there we found a woman whose boyfriend was trying to talk her into skiing the cliff side. She would have been killed back in there...we took her out and down into Tye Bowl and it was apparent that she was an average, intermedate skier. After a few more runs on Tye, we headed to Barrier and ran the side and the OOB near the piss shack on our way to lunch. After lunch in the parking lot, we headed back to Barrier to run in the OOB (Joe's run). Just above the crosscountry trail, I stumbled in some bumps and fell onto a tree stump, seriously bruising a muscle in my back and ending the day. Probably going to take a week or so to fully recover.


Saturday, February 22nd, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 18

11 inches overnight, biggest dump of the year so far. Ken, Speed, and I headed up early. Most crowded day of the year, too. Met Joe in the upper lot and found out Murphy (ed. Murphy is a sheltie snow dog lifetime friend of Joe's) freaked when the avi guns went off and ran away down Rt. 2. Joe looked for him all day and he was still missing when we left around 5pm. I only skied a couple of hours because back still hurts. Took every run on Seventh Heaven....hitting the headwalls along Barrier several times. Quit around 11am and sat in the lot with Joe...went back out for one long run after unch then quit again. Great day....good powder everywhere.


Sunday, February 23rd, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 19

Ken, Speed, and me. No new snow. Ken and Dave got into a fight with the clerk at Fred Meyers and she wouldnt sell us any beer....she was just being an asshole. We bought beer at Chevron. Groomer day....Joe still looking for his dog :(


Wednesday, February 26th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 20

Ken, Rob, and I drove up this morning for some groomer skiing. No new snow in several days and extreme low temps: 7° on Monday morning and 12° Tuesday morning. We have all been very worried about Murphy. We saw Joe's van parked on the downhill side of the pass, about halfway between Steven's and Tunnel Creek on the way up today, and turned around and stopped. This is in the narrow end of the western valley and is directly opposite from the Iron Goat Trail traverse. Joe has been on the pass for five days now, tracking his dog, Murphy. He has followed tracks....and followed sightings from friends searching for Murphy and strangers who have seen him...down lower and lower each day. After skiiing today, we met up with Joe again at the Skykomish Ranger station near Deception Falls and he told us he had seen tracks on lower Iron Goat and thought that Murphy had made his way out of the snow and down towards civilization. We are all praying for the best for Joe and Murphy. But we also understand that the elements in the last five days have been very wicked. Murphy is a well acclimated, strong and capable dog in the prime of his life. He has a good winter coat and knows to find shelter under the snow...Joe has seen his shelters. He has the any dog seek lower, warmer ground...out of the snow. If he can achieve that, he could survive. He has a collar, and an implant for identification. If Murphy abandoned his trained instincts to try and find Joe early enough, and relied on his basic animal instincts, I have no doubt that he has survived. Others in our group disagree...for very good reasons. The cold the first night was ravaging. The skies opened and the temps dropped very low....after an 11" snowfall that severely hampered backcountry travel. There are good reasons to think that Joe is searching in vain. I agree with them. But I have faith in animal instinct. And I have faith in the bond between a man and his dog. Joe is pushing the limits to find Murphy. We are all praying that they will be re-united. These last few days have been...the lowest point of a very bad ski season here in Washington.

As for the skiing today, it was very cold in the morning...21° at the call and 25° in the upper lot. It was 32° in Lake City. It wasnt too bad off the groomers, but any fresh snow sucked: only skied up off piste was any good. We stuck to the groomers most of the day and took fast runs. Ken and I had a wide open shot down Tye Mill with Ken's GPS running...on fairly fast, hard groomers we upped the recorded speed mark to 64mph...and both of us let up a little at the bottom for the sole skier on the run. I was on my Salomon Supermountains and Ken was on Volant Powercarves. After lunch we tried to match our Tye Mill speed runs on Barrier bowl at least 3 times. I had changed to my Volant Zone Z's after double cheeseburgers and chicken wings for lunch in the parking lot, and even blitzing Barrier bowl 3 times, we couldnt go as fast as we did on Tye. Ken's GPS...again....ate batteries and stopped we never got a good read on our Barrier speed. But judging from past runs, they were around 60mph. We skied most of the day...we arrived around 9:45am because we stopped and talked to Joe...and left around 4:30pm.

Friday, February 28th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 21

No new snow. Ken, Rob, and I met Jeremy in Monroe and headed up the hill. Ripped around on groomers most of the day. Rob was having the best day...hitting terrain park jumps pretty good. Cheeseburgers on the grill in the parking lot for lunch.

Saturday, March 1st, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 22

No new snow. Ken and I met Speed in Monroe. Harbor Stomp games were today and they finally managed to get thier halfpipe competitors. Spent most of the day in the terrain park watching Dave throw 360°s. Late lunch...grilled cheeseburgers and left around 3:30pm. Talked to Joe on the radio but never caught up with him.

Monday, March 3rd, 2003 ~ Season Notes

9 days and 16 miles later, Murphy walked into Skykomish today...alive and well...proving to everyone that dogs are tougher than you think. (ed. actually, he was found in Grotto, a virtually unknown town between Skykomish and Baring. This town is about 6 miles west/downhill from Skykomish, so Murphy had gone 22 road miles. Its quite possible that he covered triple that distance in his travels. I still havent gotten the full story, but he was seen in the Grotto area on trails and fire roads for a couple days before he was reported.)

Thursday, March 6th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 23

Finally got a decent storm. It started snowing yesterday, and Tim Goodson reported that it was ugly ugly....high winds, low viz, many chairs closed. At the morning call, there was 15 new inches. Ken and I headed up early....left Seattle @ 6:30am and arrived in the upper lot at 8:20am. Roads snowed in from just above Skykomish and pretty slick. We hung out in the upper lot until 9am and no one showed up so we headed up. No groomer skiing at all today. High winds, moderate precip, and LOTS of blowing snow all day. Barrier was cold, but the best place available to ski. We dicked around in the morning trying out various spots. Tye Mill and the backside was closed all day. We tried Chief trails and that was really good for awhile before lunch. The side of Barrier was great in the morning, but turned to wind slab fast....the main problem all day was wind slab and wind compacted snow. After 2 or 3 runs thru Chief trails, my back was hurting pretty bad....I think hitting that tree may have done some lasting damage. I was holding Ken back most of the day because I kept having to stop and wasnt skiing well. We went to lunch around 11:15am, taking a great run down thru the trees to the truck. Lynn's butcher-bought hot dogs and chicken wings for lunch. I rested on the heated seat for an hour and a half and my back felt better....and a shot of 105 vodka and a Darvocet probably helped too...and we went back out at 12:30pm. We just ran Barrier...and Seventh Heaven once. Seventh was okay...really skied out, though. The side of Barrier turned to crusty windslab and wasnt as nice as in the morning, too. The trees above the parking lots, however, were quite nice. We took 4 decent powder runs thru there before the stitch in my back was screaming again. We quit around 2:30pm and headed down. Serious injury 3 car wreck near the bottom of the 4 mile last pitch. Watched people slide into the parking lot all day...including a Subaru that hit the snow wall pretty good and wrecked a light. Its still bombing down. Steven's got another 6 inches while we were there today....12 more total today. Another two feet predicted for tommorow. Spaghetti dinner at Ken's and we are up there again tomorrow.

Friday, March 7th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 24

Ken and I met Joe in the upper parking lot. 16 inches of fresh and more bombing down. We put Joe on the old Chubbs and headed out. Best day of the year, by far. Hit the backside, Wildcatz, Chief bowl and trails....all deep, light powder runs. After lunch, Joe took Murphy up and we ran a few Barrier runs, dropping in at the top of the terrain park and shredding the trees above the parking lot. Another 10 inches today (Saturday) so heading back up this morning....

Saturday, March 8th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 25

11 inches of new powder at the morning call. Met Speed and Kevin at Ken's house and headed up. Got to the upper lot around 8:40am and parked next to Joe and Murphy. Tim Shiley showed up around 9am. On the way up Tye Mill, Speed and I decided today was the day to take Tye Rock. Everyone else skied down to the bottom and dave and I lined up on top. I went first, off the face about 25 feet and blew up landing. Dave was next and went off the point huge and cleared about 30 feet and stuck the landing. Spent a little time on the backside in the trees and decided to try Schims' Meadow. The entrance was extremely ugly and Ken got into a bad place and spend 30 minutes walking out. I took everyone out of Schim's and down to a large lunch in the parking lot. Brats, chicken wings, quesadillas. Went back for one more run and then I quit while everyone skied another hour. Drove Ken home to discover that his roommate, Rob, had cleaned him out...stealing $2500 worth of cash and electronics.

Friday, March 28th, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~ 26

A foot of new snow 2 days ago turned to mush in 45° weather. Ken and I took Bobdog up for a day of spring skiing.