PNW — Early Season Powder & Sun

Post by blogger | November 15, 2010      

Winter’s begun in the North Cascades! Fun was had this weekend at Twin Lakes and Heliotrope Ridge.

Bluebird powder with a view!

Nearing the crest of Heliotrope ridge.

Raf shredding on a splitboard with alpine race boots.

With a forecasted snow level of 0 feet on Sunday, I already can’t wait for next weekend.



19 Responses to “PNW — Early Season Powder & Sun”

  1. Chuck November 15th, 2010 10:57 am

    Hey Lou,

    I love seeing PNW TR’s on your blog. I recently moved from NM to WA, for a short period, hoping to relocate to CO or AK in a year. I know my way around CO when it comes to backcountry playgrounds, however a different story when it comes to WA, BC areas. Do you have good websites, groups, or books I can reference? We are currently in the Spokane area.



  2. Mike Traslin November 15th, 2010 11:11 am


    Thanks for sharing……It is always fun to hit heliotrope ridge!

  3. Greg Louie November 15th, 2010 11:40 am

    Chuck, the go-to resource in the PNW is Turns-All-Year:

    Or just park at a trailhead at a pass or volcano and wait for people with skis to show up . . .

    The standard book is “100 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes” by Rainer Burgdorfer. There’s also Martin Volken’s “Backcountry Skiing Snoqualmie Pass”, though it’s out of print.

  4. Jordan November 15th, 2010 12:04 pm

    Needed that

  5. Lou November 15th, 2010 12:57 pm

    I’d agree about TAY, but don’t forget us here!

  6. Roman Rodyakin November 15th, 2010 1:00 pm

    What day were these pictures taken? Was it this past weekend (Nov 13-14) or a day or two before? The forecast was cloudy with rising snow levels for Saturday west of the crest; was it actually sunny at Baker?

  7. Louie November 15th, 2010 1:01 pm

    Another one is “Exploring the coast mountains on skis”, by John Baldwin, it is a great resource for everything in Western BC. Here is our review.

  8. Lou November 15th, 2010 1:09 pm

    Louie, please link to the review here! Or you don’t get paid (grin).

  9. Louie November 15th, 2010 1:19 pm


    It was sunny in the morning at twin lakes on Thursday, and then it clouded up later in the day. On Heliotrope on Friday we were surrounded by cloud banks, but we were in the sun most of the day. Then on Saturday it was cloudy and rainy at Heliotrope. So yeah, not technically the weekend I guess.

  10. Castlerock (Mike) November 15th, 2010 1:26 pm

    When you are in college…every day is a weekend!

    Make sure you check his grades Lou.

  11. Lou November 15th, 2010 1:31 pm

    How does dawn patrol influence grades, that is the question (grin).

  12. Castlerock (Mike) November 15th, 2010 1:36 pm

    It probably makes them better. But I wouldn’t know.
    My mistake was being an EE with 8:30 AMs every day.
    If I only knew then what I know now……I guess then I would have been Louie!

  13. Louie November 15th, 2010 1:38 pm

    I utilize a complex decision making process that factors in snow totals, weather, avalanche safety, potential partners, upcoming exams, homework, current grades, class size, professor niceness, and many other things, for some reason the answer seems to always come out as “go skiing”

    Seriously though, I had Veterans day off, and I have Fridays off every week.

  14. Castlerock (Mike) November 15th, 2010 1:41 pm

    That sounds to me like organizing your life around the important stuff. I didn’t get that straight until I turned 40.

  15. Lou November 15th, 2010 2:30 pm
  16. Roman Rodyakin November 15th, 2010 2:44 pm


    thanks a lot for sharing the weather data, as well as for outlining your decision making process — as complex as it is, it should be possible for other skiers to customize it to their specific situation and have it yield the same outcome 🙂

  17. CDawson November 15th, 2010 6:56 pm

    Louie, as the old adage goes “GET IT WHILE YOU CAN”
    Or better yet “USE IT OR LOOSE IT”

  18. Mark November 15th, 2010 8:23 pm

    I used to go to a forum called Includes a good number of skiing trip reports.

  19. Jim November 17th, 2010 12:19 am

    Hey guys, where is the best snow this coming weekend around the US? Alaska was looking good til this big wind event. Same with Utah.

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