Archive for April, 2010

Anthony Lakes TR

Last weekend we headed down to Anthony Lakes, a small resort in eastern Oregon. There’s only one chair and a smattering of runs but the top of the mountain is at 8000 ft so the snow is usually deep and light. Another great thing is they have free electrical hookups for rv’s. While the van isn’t exactly an rv we do have a small space heater and an electrical cord so we were able to squeeze in between a couple of bigger rigs.

anthony lakes camp Anthony Lakes TR

We arrived late Thursday night and the storm started gaining speed around midnight with really viscous winds. The resort is only open Saturday and Sunday so the plan was to hike friday. The weather was a bit crazy but the pow was amazing. On Friday I pretty much just rode my new circuit powder surf which absolutely killed it as long as I stayed in the powder. They had groomed a couple of the runs and with the new snow it was hard to tell where the groom track was. Flying down, ripping off turns then slamming when I hit the groom track sucked so I learned pretty quickly where not to go. I’ll admit I wasn’t so sure about the powder single. It seems like I’m always needing a powskate that can handle both powder and groom plus how much different would it feel. I wasn’t exactly looking to learn a new sport.  Well it feels exactly the same to me except there is never a question of float. Your always  ripping the pow no matter how deep it is. I’m sure others will disagree but to me, everything I love about riding strapless, the freedom under foot and the pressure you apply to the skate, all those things have a very similar feel. I know that with more rides you could explore some areas that are unique to the powder surf and I’m looking forward to checking those out. The only thing I miss is concave and the bend in the tail. I find that on a bideck I always know where to put my feet, on the powder surf you have to play around a bit to find the sweet spot but it really wasn’t that big of deal.

On Saturday I rode my FPS 151. With all the snow they had gotten during the week we were riding some pretty deep conditions. In the trees it was waist deep and really light. I’ve missed that this season. It seems like we have mostly received small amounts of heavier snow. People kinda tripped out on the skate but there was no issues with the lift. They allow snowbikes there so its not much of a stretch for snowskates. In front of the camp we built a little gap. My kids were hitting it with the help of our bungee. I saved my spine by just hiking up the hill a bit. My son Teig is resting in the gap.

anthony lakes jump Anthony Lakes TR

Being a small ski hill things are pretty low key. As we were hitting the jump after the lifts shut down the mountain manager was warming up the cat for a trip to the top. He asked if I wanted a ride up. Having never riden in the cab of a cat it was hard to refuse. I got a ride to the top and a tour of the major backcountry peeks that are all accessible from the area. It is a pretty amazing spot and the locals know what they have. We didn’t explore any of the backcountry terrain since the inbounds stuff was so sick but hopefully there will be another trip to Anthony Lakes next season.

anthony lakes cat ride picture Anthony Lakes TR

Hurricane Ridge TR goes live!!

When a trip goes really good….its hard to put it into words but I’ll try. This was the fifth season heading out west. I’ve seen bluebird, monsoon and blower pow so I know that anything can happen and usually does. Landing at Starfish headquarters Thur evening to 38 degree temps and a steady downpour didn’t make the next day seem all that promising. But waking up and seeing 4″ on the tops of cars meant things were heading in the right direction. Somehow we ended up getting to the chair before they started running and the day at Alpental was amazing, deep untracked snow from top to bottom. The first run alone made it worth the price of the ticket and all the others were just icing on the cake. Elkins got some pictures but my cameras stayed in the rig so  no pics to share. We had some driving to do so around lunch time we loaded up and headed for the ferry. Adam, Paul, Tim, Graham and E2 filled out the van roster for the trip and there were three other car loads in the line up. We caught the ferry to Bainbridge island and headed to the skatepark. It had rained a bit and there were plenty of puddles. We fashioned some homemade squeegees from cardboard and plastic bags and began the clean up. It took about an hour but it was dry when we were done. The session was great except for the little kid whose board found its way to Dane and resulted in a wrist wrenching slam for him, SUCKED!! We hit the road again and landed in Port Angeles around 9 and got a room for 7 people. Well the room was for 3 but we fit 7. Woke up to a blue bird day and the hopes of more powder like at Alpental. We reached Hurricane before the rope tow started and hiked for the road shot off the back side.

hurricane powder dowhill hike Hurricane Ridge TR goes live!!

I took a few shots and used the helmet cam to capture the day. You always wish you could have gotten more pics but you take what you get. Here’s the video spliced together like a third grader’s class project.

The course was sick and there were a ton of riders and old friends. It was a great comp with Jake taking the slope style and Alan coming in a close second. Clarke won the powder downhill. Brenden got first in the slalom with Jake coming in second and me in third. Jess ruled the girls division on a CD complete and won a Libtech snowskate. It was suppose to be a two day event but with the forcast of 80 mph winds for sunday they decided to cram the whole thing into one day, which worked great. I got to do my very first board toss to the crowd, something I’ve wanted to do for awhile. Tomoki was in the right spot.

hurricane board toss winner Hurricane Ridge TR goes live!!

Tired and hungry we headed down the mountain to eat dinner. The nights festivities included the snowskate rock band; T-bagging bandits with Clarke on the keyboards, big John on drums and Pete on the guitar along with a base player and a lead guitarist who skis. It was a table crushing, glass breaking, tooth busting mosh pit with the Port Angeles locals watching in horror. The T-bagging bandits play the summit a lot but snowskaters have to keep it under raps so as not to get banned from their home bar, that wasn’t the case in PA. I’m just glad I was there, that’s all I can say.

With the Sunday event canceled we headed to Franks shop to pic up surf gear for those going for the snow, skate wave three pack.

hurricane nxnw shop Hurricane Ridge TR goes live!!

Adam, Paul, Brenden and Jake pulled it off.

hurricane surf beach Hurricane Ridge TR goes live!!

hurricane wave Hurricane Ridge TR goes live!!

One more skate at Hendo‘s mini ramp and we headed back to the summit and more rain. Hoping that Monday would produce enough snow to hike for we hit the sack. I slept like crap, my first night on the floor, which got me out of bed and to the coffee shop early enough to see that the snow was building up. I headed back to Starfish headquarters with an extra coffee in hopes of getting someone to go out hiking with me. E2 was just getting up and scored the joe and was stoked for a recon of the conditions. We pulled into the parking lot just as it started to unleash some big flakes. It was just us two and the decision was made to start hiking.

hurricane alpental hike Hurricane Ridge TR goes live!!

I called Levitt with the snow report, and within minutes, Alan, Jordan, Katie, Graham and Tim joined us. The snow was piling up as we hiked and the upper section was unreal. Maybe the deepest snow of the season for me and it was making it a great end to an amazing trip.  I’ve heard that the summits snow can be a bit sticky and I got to see its adhesion properties for myself.

hurricane alpental sticky snow Hurricane Ridge TR goes live!!

Got 5 runs in and two of those were on my new Powder single that Jordan made for me. I’m not sure how those things handle in questionable conditions but on that day at Alpental it was absolutely amazing, thanks Jordan!!!!

hurricane alpental bottom run Hurricane Ridge TR goes live!!

The scene around snowskating just keeps getting better and better. With great events in unique locations with solid prize money it just can’t help but go up. Like everything in snowskating its up to the riders to create their own reality and from what I can tell there are plenty willing to share the load. A big thanks goes out to all the Port Angeles crew who put in a ton of work and to everyone who helped us on our trip, it really was a group effort.