A Morning at Alpental

The Pacific Northwest has been going off as of recent.  Snowfall had been accumulating in the feet, not the inches, over the past couple weeks around Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, as storm cycles pounded the Cascades relentlessly with wonderful November snow.  Fortunately, I “had” to go home to Seattle for Thanksgiving break, because spending a summer in Boulder working at SKI Magazine had left no time for visiting family.  Also headed home for the break was my buddy Jonny, one of CU Backcountry Club’s leaders and a Snoqualmie-slush native skier as well.  We planned a short day in the backcountry for Friday, to work off some turkey, but the weekend dumpings forced us to go Monday morning as well.

To research our surroundings, we used Alpental.com and figured out a rough idea of what the area looked like.  We skinned up to “Knoll 1” in the “Sharon Bowl” in about two and a half hours (with many stops for photo ops), took a short break on top, and skied down “Ropeline” and “Elevator Shaft” back to the upper lot at Alpental.  The snow was fresh knee to thigh deep powder, and extremely stable, which was a welcome change from the Colorado slide-prone slopes we are used to skiing.  The day completely reinforced our ideas of coming back to the Pacific Northwest after college.

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