11/29/2011 – What a slow start to winter. No snow in Utah, no backcountry skiing yet, and no patrol work to be had. Fortunately, I have a great family and happened upon the opportunity to enjoy Thanksgiving back in the Northwest. Also fortunate, is that my beloved ski companion, Mr. Cromwell, was available for a day of touring and was down to meet up half way between Portland and Seattle for an excellent day in the Tatoosh Range in Mt. Rainier National Park. With roughly 2-hour drives for each of us and our sadistic focus on capitalizing on every bit of daylight we could get, we both set out on the road around 4:45am to meet up before 7 in beautiful Elbe, WA and carpool into the park. We unfortunately didn’t realize that the gate blocking the road up to the Paradise area wouldn’t be opened until around 8, so we waited and were the first car through. We charged up to an assumed trailhead that would grant us access to the peaks in the Tatoosh – and overshot a bit – but who doesn’t like a bonus end of the day mega-skin to the car? Anyways, the coverage was incredible, the skiing was great in spots and less great in others, and the mountain range was absolutely inspiring. We spent most of the day skiing around The Castle (link), logging descents on both its east and west shoulders and staring at Pinnacle Peak’s incredible north east face. After a long day of exploring, we skinned back out to the car, grabbed beers in Ashford , and said our goodbyes… A great day with a great friend. Here are a few pictures of the day, enjoy!