Thursday, December 16, 2010

Skiing in a Storm

I was super psyched to get a new pair of sunglasses and goggles from Julbo a couple weeks ago and have been wearing my new glasses around town. They are definitely fashionable enough for the city but I knew I needed to test them out in the mountains. Fortunately, both Jonathon and I had an open day in our schedules for skiing on Tuesday.

After a two hour drive out of Seattle, through the crazy traffic associated with the urban jungle, we finally made it to the Alpental backcountry trailhead. It was snowing lightly and forecasters were calling for heavy snow and high winds later in the day. It had rained 5 inches in the mountains a couple days prior, so we might have been pushing our luck thinking we could fit in a day of skiing.

We put on our skis and started skinning towards Pineapple Pass. My new sunglasses are just the right color for the flat light associated with snowy weather and I was glad to have them for the uphill portion of the day. Since the snow had melted so much from the recent rain event, many of the streams were now open, making for some sketchy crossings. The recent avalanche debris from the massive rain event had blanketed the skin track. We continued up, getting a little wet from all the snow but not too concerned about the storm. As we started to get higher and move out of the trees, the snow and wind started to pick up. It must have been snowing 2 inches an hour and the wind was starting to blow the snow sideways so that the exposed skin on my face started to sting. It was a good time to put my new goggles. They did not fog up and the lens color is ideal for bright and flat light. Jonathon observed some cracking on the snow surface and we decided to call it a day. We skied down and started to make our way back to the car.

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