1996-1997 Ski Report

Monday, Oct 21, 1996~(#1)~Earliest opening day ever at Mt. Hood Meadows!!! We have attended the Seattle Ski Show 3 or 4 times in the last week and on friday Monique Pelletier, the Mount Hood Skiing Ambassador, told us at the Mt. Hood booth that they had gotten 20" and were thinking about opening on monday. We went back sunday afternoon and they said they would definatly open three runs on monday and lift tickets would be $15. We left Seattle at 8pm sunday night and took the back way up to Hood, going along the Columbia on SR14 to Hood River and crossing into Oregon there and then taking SR35 up to Government Camp. Ken paid $53 for a room at the Huckleberry Inn in Government Camp when we arrived (at 1am). Up at 10am, skiing by 11am~~in OCTOBER! Only three runs open were Daisy, Buttercup, and Red; all green and blue runs. Neither one of us had ever been to Mt. Hood Meadows before and it was the first day and it was my first time on skis since I blew up my knee, but we still skied just fine. We found a good trail or two through the trees on the far left edge of the resort and the groomed open runs felt good just to ski easy down. Waterfall (#17 on trail map) was the only black diamond that was open inbounds and it was barely a black diamond but Five Bowl (#16) was accessable if you blatantly skied past the "closed" and "out of bounds" signs, which we did. It was closed for a reason; mainly not enough snow; but it looks like it would be fun with more snow. The resort itself is very nice. None of the Quads were running and the mid-mountain lodge was inaccessable, but it would really be nice if they were. Lots of rocks and cliffs and jumps. We quit about 3pm, got gas in Government Camp and cruised home. Me and Ken. I drove the GMC. Skied 4 hours. Room:$53 Gas:$75

Sunday, Oct. 27, 1996~(#2)~Mount Hood Meadows: Nice blue skies and sunshine. Up at 7am because of daylight savings time. Ate breakfast at the hotel restuarant and were on the mountain by 9am. There was a lot of people there but most of them were skiing Mt. Hood Express Quad. We skied the most on Shooting Star. The only chairs open were: Daisy, Buttercup, Red, Mt. Hood Express, and Shooting Star. Ran the Chubbs and had a great day, knee not hurting. Snow was wet and heavy in the afternoon but groomers were great; it was classic spring skiing. We drove up to Timberline lodge and walked around there after we were done skiing. Got a ticket from Oregon State Patrol on I-84 on the way down. Stayed at the Huckleberry Inn. Me, Ken, Brady, & Tim. Took the GMC. Skied 6 hours. Room:$68 Gas:$70

Sat., Nov. 10, 1995~(#3)~Mount Hood Meadows: Sunny and 68 degrees, classic spring skiing conditions. Stayed at Huckleberry Inn. Me, Ken, Eric, & Tim. Took the GMC. Skied 6 hours. Room:$68 Gas:$70

Sun., Nov. 11, 1996~(#4)~Mount Bachelor: Same as yesterday, slightly cooler. Skied in my Obermeyer jacket liner. Stayed in (Bend) Me, Ken, Eric, & Tim. Took the GMC. Skied 6 hours. Room:$78 Gas:$90

Mon., Nov. 18, 1996~(#5)~Mount Hood Meadows: Big powder day- 20 inches of new and Mt. Hood Express/Shooting Star open. Skied the Chubbs but I still got tired fast in all the pow and was pooped by 2pm. Ken skied his Atomic Powder Cruise for the first time. Slid the truck into a snowbank at the bottom of the access road to Meadows on the way out. Snow on ground into Sandy. Snow & rain mixed most of the way back. Ken drove some down and most of the way back. Snowstorm in Seattle dumped 8 inches at my house the night we returned. Stayed at Huckleberry Inn. Me, Ken, Todd L. Took the GMC. Skied 4 hours. Room: $68 Gas $70

Thur., Nov. 21, 1996~(#6)~Steven's Pass Opening Day: 45 inches of base and the new Quad running. Powder not bad at all, ran the Chubb's all day. Me, Ken, Todd l., Todd H. Took the GMC. Skied 4 hours. Gas:$35

Fri., Nov. 29, 1996~(#7)~ Mount Hood Meadows: All chairs and areas open except for Heather Canyon. It was quite icy in places, especially at the top, and it snowed all day. We hit the big cornice at the top a couple of times and I got some air there. Skied the Cascade Express alot. Tim wrecked the GMC south of Chehalis on the way back. Weather:28-32 degrees-40mph winds on top of the cornice. Me, Ken, Tim. Took the GMC. Skied 5 hours Room:$84.80 Gas:$90

Sat., Nov. 30, 1996~(#8)~Crystal Mountain Resort: Stayed at the Best Western in Enumclaw friday night and got up around 10am and went up to Crystal. It was raining hard at lower levels and snowing midway up the mountain. We took REx to the top first and skied down to the Green Valley Chair, got on it and at the top we went into NBC. Tim had never been in NBC so we skied the Gun Tower out. After that the conditions started going downhill. Green Valley and REx closed due to high winds. we left around 3pm. Me, Ken, Tim. Skied 4 hours. took the GMC. Room:?? Gas: $40

Tue., Dec. 3, 1996~(#9)~Steven's Pass Night Skiing: Ken and I left Seattle about 4:15pm and drove up to the pass. Western Washington is getting dumped on; 30in. in 48 hours at Crystal and 18in. in 24 hours at Steven's. All runs machine groomed and soft powder knee deep off the runs. We skied all chairs except Brooks. Lots of good jumps, rock drops, and cornices. I hit a tree stump after a big jump on the run between Barrier and Brooks (Broadway run). I landed a 6 foot jump perfectly at high speed, a jump we'd taken 3 times before, and as soon as I came down I saw some powder and ran right through it. It was covering a stump and I hit it with my left ski tip and went down hard. Scariest wreck of the year so far for me. The weather was great; 18 degrees and crystal clear and no wind. I skied my TSBD's and Ken skied his DXK's cuz I felt like real skis and Ken's Powder Cruises are still in the shop. Me and Ken. Skied 4 hours. Took GMC Gas: $20

Thurs., Dec. 5, 1996~(No Skiing)~I-90 Closed: We tried to go up to Snoqualmie Pass for a little night skiing and were turned back at I-90-North Bend because of too much snow. State Patrol told us the pass would be closed all night. On the way back across the floating bridge the transmission in the GMC finally went out. We made it off at the Rainier Ave. exit and got AAA to tow us home. Me, Ken, and Tim.

Sat., Dec. 7, 1996~(#10)~Crystal Mountain Resort: Got the GMC repaired in under 20 hours (for $2070.00) and left friday night and got a room at the Best Western Park Center Hotel. Partied hard in the hot tub, ect. Got up at 7am and drove up to Crystal. Ken drank about 2/3 of a fifth of 105 vodka between Greenwater and Crystal (about 30 minutes). We all told him to stop but he thought if he drank enough he'd "ski us all into the ground". He was mistaken. He could barely get his skis on. We went up Midway and saw that (lucky for Ken) REx was closed due to high winds. So we went to the Campbell Basin chair and took it. Eric rode with Ken and said Ken was passing out on the chairlift. At the top he could hardly stand and couldn't ski more than 20 feet without falling over. He got about 200 feet or so down the run and fell over and couldn't get up. After a while a ski patroller came along and pulled Ken up. He fell back down. The patroller picked him up again. He fell down again. The patroller put his poles down, took off his skis, walked around and grabbed Ken by the jacket and pulled him up off the snow. As soon as he let go Ken fell over backwards. That was pretty much it. The patroller took not only his ticket but his whole ring of tickets and he called for a sled to haul Ken down to the lodge on. Ken didn't want to ride the stretcher down but the ski patrol wouldn't even let him try to ski. They bundled him up like a big burrito and carted him down to the first aid shack where a nice lady tucked him in and he slept while we skied. Later a couple of patrollers told us he had wandered off and they found him under a bus in the parking lot. After that they hid his clothes so he wouldn't leave. The powder was awsum. REx opened and we got first tracks in 24 inches of new in the North Backcountry. We only got 4 or 5 full runs in all day but they were all long, killer pow, NBC runs. We retrieved a still drunk but skiable Ken around 3:30pm and headed up to Snoqualmie Pass for some night skiing. Ran my Chubbs all day. Me, Ken, Tim, and Eric. took the GMC. Skied 5 hours. Gas:$30 Room:$75

Sat., Dec. 7, 1996~(#11)~Snoqualmie Pass Night Skiing: Left Crystal after skiing there all day and drove to The Pass for a few hours there before going home. Ken needed to ski since he slept most of the afternoon and it was close and we all still felt pretty good. Ski Acres was pretty skied out but we had fun anyway. Eric hit the big jump at the top of Thunderbird twice and got 30 feet in distance and height both times. He even landed it once and skied out. I started on my Chubbs but switched to my TSBD's on the 3rd run. Me, Ken, Tim, and Eric. took GMC. Skied 2 hours. Gas:$20

Sun., Dec. 8, 1996~(#12)~Steven's Pass: Met Tim and Ken at Ken's at 10:30am and drove the GMC up to Steven's Pass. The whole mountain is in operation and there is 10 inches of new. We took a few runs on the backside, did Chief Bowl and Chief Trails. Tim and Ken went too far down and had to walk from upper parking lot. The snow was killer; lots of deep powder on the backside. Ran the Chubbs. Me, Ken, and Tim. Took the GMC. Skied 4 hours. Gas:$20

Wed., Dec. 11, 1996~(13)~Steven's Pass Night Skiing: Got the GMC back from tune up and we drove it up to Steven's. 11 inches in the last 24 hours, but it was a little heavy. We hit the Barrier Quad first then a few runs on Hogsback, then Chief and back to Barrier. Did Tye Mill twice, once full speed. Took a couple of high speed runs on Barrier too. I ran my TSBD's, Ken-DXK's, Tim-K2's. 28 degrees. Positive wire from coil to distributor came off on the way down the pass and stalled the truck, but we fixed it and ate at Jack in the box. Me, Ken, and Tim. Took the GMC. Skied 3 hours. Gas: $20

Sat., Dec. 14, 1996~(14)~White Pass: Left Seattle 9pm Fri. night and drove up to Packwood where we had reservations at the Pacific Crest Lodge. The accomodations were lousy, mainly cuz of the owner's attitude and the hot tub was a long walk and only open 2pm-10pm. Got up and hit the slopes by 9:30am. White Pass has one high speed detachable quad chair and that was the only chair we rode both days. They claim 1500 feet of vertical and they make the most of it. Cornices, cliff and rock jumps, a big snowboard park with big jumps and a whimpy half-pipe. I took a 25 foot cornice drop into powder and Eric got big air off the jumps in the snowboard park. There was lots of good tree skiing too and we noticed that hardly anyone was a) skiing the trees and b) skiing the powder. That was O.K. We hit the trees off of Main Street several times and by the time we were done it was pretty torn up. The powder was fair on Saturday, with 6 inches in 24. Weather: 28 degrees, clear and calm. Me, Ken, Tim, and Eric. Took the GMC. Skied 5 hours. Gas:$90

Sun., Dec. 15, 1996~(15)~White Pass: Got on the mountain about 10am. A little colder and windier than yesterday and no new. The powder was getting crunchier and nastier. We skied the same stuff as yesterday but gave up about 3pm when the wind and rain started coming. Ran my TSBD's on Sat. and the Chubbs on Sun. Ken drove from Packwood to Federal Way where we stopped to eat at Red Robin (which was absolutly terrible) Me, Ken, Tim, and Eric. Took the GMC. Skied 5 hours.

Wed., Dec. 18, 1996~(16)~Steven's Pass: Ran up to Steven's for some weekday skiing. There was no new and conditions were only fair. Temperature stayed in the mid-teens all day. I hadn't slept at all the night before so I skiied from 10am to 2pm and quit. Ran the TSBD's on hardpacked fast snow. They finally built the half-pipe but it was closed for some reason. Me, Ken, Todd L., Melvin. Took the GMC. Skied 4 hours Gas:$30

Sat., Dec. 21, 1996~(17)~Steven's Pass: 12 inches of new but the conditions were still a little crusty in places. Skied the traverse over to the cornice by the power lines about 4 times and got fresh tracks there. Skied that and the backside trees the most. Ken and I skied a chute on the front side that is accessed from behind the Double Diamond chairlift/ski patrol shack. Eric fell and hurt his ankle, I was tired, and we are going to Mt. Baker tommorow so we left around 3pm. Me, Ken, and Eric. Took the GMC. Skied 4 hours. Gas:$30

Sun., Dec. 22, 1996~(18)~Mount Baker: We got a room at the Coachman Inn in Bellingham for $48.50 and soaked in the hot tub for awhile. In the morning there was 12 inches of new and the powder was thigh deep; deepest powder we've seen this year. We only skied 3 or 4 runs and left cuz me and Ken got in an argument and neither of us wanted to ski afterwards. Me, Ken, and Tim. Took the GMC. Gas: $60 Room: $48.50

Wed., Dec. 25, 1996~(19)~Steven's Pass Christmas Day: Second year in a row we were at Steven's on Christmas. We were supposed to meet Tim on Big Chief between 12 and 1pm but he didn't show up til 1:30pm and we never found him. There was a little new but it was very wet snow with a thin layer of crust over the top. We skied the same stuff as Sunday and a little bit of other stuff. Finished with two great runs in (wet, crusty) fresh on Barrier Face; starting near the top in the chutes. Weather: 20-25 degrees, cloudy. Major snowstorn hit Seattle this night. Most snow I've ever seen in city; by 6am Friday there is 16 inches at my house. Me and Ken. Took the GMC. Gas:$30

Sat., Dec. 28, 1996~(20)~Steven's Pass: Snowstorm dropped 20 inches in the last 24 hours at Steven's. It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get from Lake City to Steven's due to bad (unplowed) road conditions. The snow was great, thigh deep powder and the backside opened about an hour after we got there. Skied Wild Katz for the first time ever and loved it. Me, Ken, and Tim. Took the GMC. Gas: $30

Sat., Jan. 4, 1997~(21)~Steven's Pass: 24 inches of new = thigh deep powder. We got to the upper parking lot about 9:30am, hit Bobby and Nancy chutes once and headed to the backside. The snow was soft, pretty light and deep. We forged a trail into the back cornice and skied that and the trees several times. Good day for jumps, cornices, and rock drops. Ken got his new Volant Power Karves and skied those. I skied my Chubbs and Tim was on his K2's. I was sick so I quit about 1pm and slept in the car until Ken and Tim got back about 4:30pm. Me, Ken, and Tim. Took the GMC. Gas: $30

Tue., Jan 7, 1997~(22)~Steven's Pass Night Skiing: Steven's has had 19 inches in the last 24 hours and the upper mountain base depth exceded 150 inches but now has dropped back down to about 145 inches due to the rain recieved this afternoon. We got to the mountain about 6pm and skiied most of the mountain, staying on Tye Mill the most. All three of us ran Volants tonight: Me-Chubbs, Ken-Power Karves, Chuck-TSBD's. Quit about 9pm. Me, Ken, and Chuck. Took the GMC. Gas $30

Thurs., Jan 16, 1997~(23)~Steven's Pass: No new snow and icy/crusty/hardpacked conditions. Ken bent his Power Karves in half on a small jump on Big Chief, ending the day. Earlier, I had fallen at speed on an ice sheet and ripped a buckle loose on a boot. Overall it was a pretty bad day. Me, Ken, and Tim. Took the GMC. Gas:$30

Sat., Jan 25, 1997~(24)~Steven's Pass: 26 inches in 24 hours and very cold weather made for a good powder day on the Pass. We skied the backside all day. The place was packed with people. I skied my Chubbs, Ken skied his new K2 Fours. Me, Ken, and Eric. Skied 6 hours. Took the GMC. Gas:$30

Sat., Feb 1, 1997~(25)~Snoqualmie Pass: Got new Salomon Equip boots and took them up and tried them with my TSBD's. No new snow; skied all groomers. Me, Ken, and Tim. Skied 4 hours. Took Tim's Subaru. Gas $20?

Sun., Feb 2, 1997~(26)~Steven's Pass: 7 inches of new overnight. Skied normal powder runs. I skied my Chubbs. Me, Ken, and Tim. Skied 6 hours. Took Tim's Subaru. Gas $20?

Sat., May 10, 1997~(27)~Timberline: Why? Cuz the truck didnt wanna go all the way to Mount Batchelor Friday night. The trans started slipping about the time we hit the border so we decided Timberline sounded good. It is a poor ski resort. Its just not much fun to ski there but at least we were skiing. Ken and Tim wore shorts and tee shirt and Chuck and I wore sweats. I drank some health food crap of Chucks the night before and I had bad cramps all day. It was a clear, bright, sunny day and Chuck and me got sunburned. Temp in the 60's Me, Ken, Tim, Chuck. Skied 5 hours. Took the GMC.

Sun.,May 11, 1997~(28)~Mount Batchelor: We decided we would rather die in the desert than stay at Timberline another day so we pushed the old truck on up the hill. It was worth it. Mount Bachelor is always a great place to ski. It was 70 degrees at the base lodge near the Pine Marten lift at noon. The snow was much nicer than on Mount Hood and we had the whole mountain to ski on. No bumps few jumps lots of extreme high speed runs. Ran the new Northwest Territories quad once...it leads to good stuff.