Pow Season Begins for PNW Backcountry Skiing

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 23, 2012      

This past Sunday, yours truly backcountry skiing in North Cascades. Click images to enlarge to their full envy-inducing glory.

“It’s so cold! The snow’s so light! Winter’s already here? How do I drive in this stuff?” The first day of the season is always one of my favorites. Everyone is invariably excited no matter what the snow’s like. That being said, the snow usually isn’t bad.

Sunday eight of us excited backcountry skiers headed up to Heliotrope Ridge in the North Cascades. We arrived to a foot of snow in the parking lot and the day just got better from there. Zach took great photos so I’ll let them tell the story.

Hiking up through fresh snow toward Heliotrope Ridge, Mt. Baker.

Hiking through fresh snow. It's everywhere!

Mt. Baker was enveloped in clouds much of the day, but came out for few minutes.

Seth enjoying October snow.

Rachael ripping it up. Backcountry skiing at its best.

Back to the car, now to homework!


16 Responses to “Pow Season Begins for PNW Backcountry Skiing”

  1. Scott Allen October 23rd, 2012 9:37 am

    Sometimes Colorado seems so dull in October.
    Way to make the best of your latitude!

  2. ShailCaesar! October 23rd, 2012 10:11 am

    How far did you have to hike before skinning?

  3. Lisa Dawson October 23rd, 2012 10:15 am

    Beautiful photos, Zach. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Scott October 23rd, 2012 10:24 am

    Nice!!! Great shots. I’m psyched for skiing!!!!

  5. Zach Winters October 23rd, 2012 11:25 am

    Thanks! Sorry about the excessive watermarks on a few of those photos! We hiked until the last creek crossing and then skinned. Some skinned earlier, but we opted for fewer transitions.

  6. Louie Dawson October 23rd, 2012 11:40 am

    Probably about an hour of hiking, maybe a bit more.

  7. ShailCaesar! October 23rd, 2012 11:55 am

    Thats the max i’d wanna hike in my cruel shoes! LOL thanks for info might head up there on Friday.

  8. Nick October 23rd, 2012 12:13 pm

    That top photo pops! Nice

  9. David B October 23rd, 2012 4:42 pm

    Love the opening shot.

    That’s a keeper Louie.

  10. Glenn Sliva October 23rd, 2012 6:37 pm

    Adopt me please.

  11. Boz October 23rd, 2012 10:27 pm

    way to get after it.

  12. Dragos Toma October 24th, 2012 3:15 pm

    Must be great starting the season so early πŸ˜€
    I’m still riding my mountainbike πŸ™‚

  13. Orest October 28th, 2012 7:31 pm

    Damn all of you!! πŸ˜‰
    I am SO jealous. Please take me with you. Please!!!!

    Crap, just remembered, I need to get some new AT skis and bindings first. OK, I’ll forgive you this time.

  14. Nathanial October 30th, 2012 8:13 pm

    Pictures lie, NW sucks don’t go

  15. Lou Dawson October 30th, 2012 8:38 pm

    Yeah, I heard the North Cascades are incredibly crowded in winter. People everywhwere, skiing down everything in sight. Sort of like a bluebird day in Chamonix. This especially true in the Pickets, which I’ve heard are ridiculously overrun with people.

  16. Orest October 30th, 2012 8:51 pm

    Ha!!! Nice try guys. You WILL be assimilated; there is no escape. I am stalking you through all your hidden stashes of powder this year. πŸ™‚

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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