My favorite parts of going to the mountains are the scenery, the action and the friends. My least favorite parts are long drives and bad conditions. When the stars align and the Nino stays at bay, there are good odds that one can find the good without the bad. The closest mountain pass to my home in Seattle is Snoqualmie Pass. At an elevation of 3,000′ it has problems staying cold during many of the balmy winter storms that roll through the Pacific Northwest. But, when the freezing levels are low and the precipitation is consistent, the terrain that exists between this modest pass elevation and the summits rising three thousand feet above is some of the best in the West. The holiday season brought the gift of cold stable powder to the Pass area, and I was fortunate to get out for a few tours with great friends to sample the goods. Here are some highlights.
Hopefully this cold and snowy beginning is a harbinger of things to come, but even if that proves not to be the case, the good times sure were good.