The Ski Report 2002 ~ 2003
- Thursday, December 19th, 2002 ~ Steven's Pass ~
- First day. Very windy, little snow. Was sick with flu, only
skied a few runs and quit. Very late start of season...today
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 ~
- 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 Christmas...it 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 ~
- 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 policy...now 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 $5....today 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 ~
- 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
- Still....no 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
- Updated 1/21/03: MountainZone.com reports
that legendary snowboarder Craig Kelly was one of the seven killed.
- Wednesday, January 22nd, 2003 ~ Steven's Pass ~
- 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
- 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
- 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 12:45am...in 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 day....as 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
- Everyone up and sober this morning. On the mountain by 10am...no
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
- Tuesday, February 4th, 2003 ~ Silver Mountain ~
- 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
- 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.
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 ~
- 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
- 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
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 instinct...as any dog would...to
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 working...so 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 open...to
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
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.