Three Day PNW Powder Binge

Post by blogger | November 10, 2011      

In October and November, snow depth is immaterial. Any amount feels like one of the best powder days ever. Later in the season I might get more jaded, but my naivety made these recent three days feel like the best ever.

Skyler's first day of the season. I think he's hooked.

Day one and two we headed up to Heliotrope Ridge on Mount Baker. An unreal amount of people were up there enjoying the fresh snow. Conveniently, everyone stuck to the main bowl, so we decided to hike a bit further and scored fresh tracks.

Then, on Sunday we scooted up to Twin Lakes to explore new terrain (and dodge the crowds). We got our car stuck and snowmobiled up the road to the lakes. Essential ingredients for the true backcountry skier. We skinned out to Goat Mountain and had many lovely laps.

No, this isn't a resort, but 200 people seem to think so. We have a theory here at, that this winter is going to see a huge boom in human powered backcountry skiing. Looks like we might be right.

As always, go a bit farther than everyone else, and you'll find a a pow field all for yourself.

We stayed out late, and enjoyed the sun setting over the Twin Sisters and Puget Sound.

Toby on Goat Mountain.


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17 Responses to “Three Day PNW Powder Binge”

  1. Kristen November 10th, 2011 10:19 am

    Fantastic pictures!

  2. Greg Louie November 10th, 2011 10:45 am

    The same 200 people are out every week in Washington, they just all went to Heliotrope last week . . .

  3. Andy November 10th, 2011 10:52 am

    Hey Louie,

    You take some runs off the east peak? My buddy and I did the leftmost col the day before you guys got up there, along with two runs off the west peak. I have to agree with you, that’s the best snow I’ve skied in quite some time.

  4. Louie November 10th, 2011 11:41 am

    Yep, we stayed on the east peak. I think we followed your tracks down the left col. A bit icy!

  5. Andy November 10th, 2011 11:57 am

    Yeah, that upper throat needs a couple feet of powder dumped on it, but probably wind scours rather quickly, regardless… two whippets were nice to have on the up, and at least a little reassuring on the down. We wanted the middle col bad, but it looked even icier. Have to go back for that one.

  6. Mike Marolt November 10th, 2011 12:34 pm

    Well put. Early season turns fuel the passion to get back to business, to put away the bikes and shorts, and get ready to ski.

    PS got the new Tecnica AT boots going. Straight from the box to the snow. Wow, an AT boot that you can climb in, and skis like a race boot, seriously! Will give them the ultimate test in January on a 7K peak in China. No question, they will change our game for the better.

  7. Jason November 10th, 2011 12:41 pm

    ah…. feels good just to read about it! Pictures double that. Come on snow!

  8. Lou November 10th, 2011 2:17 pm

    Have to say, I think those are some nice photos!

  9. Steve November 10th, 2011 5:48 pm

    A little cleaner than mountain biking in the mud….

  10. gorp November 10th, 2011 9:24 pm

    nice pics. how far up twin lakes road were you able to drive (your car)?

  11. Gunnar, Norway November 10th, 2011 10:28 pm

    Living in the far north of Norway, Europe, in a ski resort called Oppdal, and being a devoted skier, I just have to say this to you guy´s an girls at Wildsnow; For me this site is a inspiration an a resource in every aspect. Every day. Gear, trips pictures and tests, And also; all the good comments from other readers, Just had to say it:) Thank you. And a long winter with heaps of snow to all of you. Gunnar, Norway, Europe.

  12. Mark W November 10th, 2011 11:05 pm

    Dang if you don’t wanna make everybody head to the North Cascades! Truly amazing for this early. As to beating the masses, you’ve certainly nailed it by hiking just a bit further.

  13. Lisa November 11th, 2011 6:40 am

    Wow, Louie, great photos! They make me happy that winter is coming. And now I don’t know which one of your photos I want for a Christmas present. You’ll have to surprise me. Love, Mom

  14. Crazy Horse November 11th, 2011 7:32 am

    I used to have an affair going with Ruth when I lived in the NW. Have you hit her this season?

  15. Lou November 11th, 2011 7:45 am
  16. Sam W. November 11th, 2011 1:56 pm

    Where is the powder? What am I missing? I mean, what do you think I’ve been dreaming about for the last 9 months? Skiing.

  17. Lee Lau November 13th, 2011 11:51 pm

    Wow – that first picture looked like Cerise Creek after some people told the whole world about the secret Duffey Lake stashes. Nice shot

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