Finally got out for a ski tour this year and it turned out to be a pretty fun day up on Rainier. We had perfect corn snow on this beautiful spring January day and got a few laps in on several different aspects. There was strong winds on some aspects but for the most part it was nothing but bliss. On the way home we ran out of gas but it all worked out...GREAT BIRTHDAY!! Here are some pictures taken by one of the party members.
So work is finally kicking in up at Alpental which is pretty nice even though it's raining like crazy and the same 20 people keep lapping the runs but I'm happy to finally be getting some work in and hope it continues. The guys I'm working with are all pretty relaxed and it seems like Alpental gets treated a little different than the rest of the resorts at the pass which is good. There are not as many supervisors coming by to check up on us and we are more or less able to go on ride breaks whenever time allows. I need to make a little lift operator gopro edit but I'm still getting use to the normal roles I will be doing at this job so it will come with time. As for now I'm just hoping the snow starts coming because to be honest, the base it already super shallow and rain will only hurt what we do have.
I have realized in the last couple days just how hard it is hard to save up money on seasonal work especially in places like Washington state where seasons often blend together and become more of an extended fall than a full on winter season.
When I first got hired back in November at the pass, first as a lift operator and soon after as a ski instructor, I was pretty excited to get out skiing and hopefully make some new friends while I was at it. It is now January 6th and I would if I said that I was looking forward to skiing as anything more than a means to make money. On the web cam at Alpental it looks like there is a small stream carving it's way down the center of the beginner slope and there are bushes pushing their way through the snow as far as camera can focus.
It's only now that I've come to the conclusion that to make seasonal jobs work you need to get out of Washington after the summer rafting season and head to colder places like Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming where season are less of a melting pot and more of a definitive thing. All of my friends in Colorado are getting hit with more snow than they know what to do with and as far as I can see Utah is in the same predicament which leaves me thinking....what am I doing? Next year hopefully I can stay in Washington and keep on doing what I'm doing but with more of a permanent job, if not I will be heading to a colder place without a shadow of a doubt.
I guess it's not all bad though. I have been kayaking a lot and with all this rain the rivers have been flooding like never seen before. I'm pretty sure a buddy and I might have gotten on the Snoqualmie at the highest flow it has even been kayaked...we think it was around 27k but might have been higher because the gauge maxed out. We could hear boulders moving down stream under us and a few full grown trees past us by but all and all it was a pretty good run with one hole ride that woke me up. The middle fork road was washed out so we put on at the A-Frame rapid and it was all over in 20 exhilarating minutes...ROWDY!! It's on a run like this that my gopro decides not to work...WTF
December 31st I found myself once again on the Skykomish river kayaking...which is the best way to spend time anytime of the year. A buddy decided to take his sister out for her second rafting adventure ever in these cold temps. Giving the rafter enough time to scout wasn't hard since I brought some of my Christmas present with me out on the river...pretty good beer! We did have a small hole ride going through boulder drop when the raft got stuck in a small hole and both guys swam but the sister hung in the raft and it all worked out nicely.
Gearing up in Index
Scouting boulder drop with the rafters!
On New years day we got out for another lap and actually had a policeman tell us that we were "Fricking Nuts" as we kayaked by and he snapped some pictures of us. It looked like there were quite a few people out enjoying the river because there were three more groups on the bank snapping away with there cameras. Happy to be the highlight of someones day. These were both great runs with nothing new but still good times on the river
Just finished up a great 3 days of visiting with family for Christmas and even got on 2 new rivers while I was at it. Pretty good time!!
My break started with me driving over to my buddies house where we decided enroute to the Skykomish to instead head over to Canyon Creek of the Stilliquamish, a run I had never been on with some nice steep whitewater and a beautiful gorge. We had such a good time on that run that we decided to head over to the Sultan for a lap on another new river. Here's a little edit I threw together of the Canyon Creek run.
After spending the night at Nick's another buddy and I headed up to the Sky but decided levels where far too high so we had a beer instead and went over to check out Sunset falls....which was raging!!
Soon after the beer I drove to my aunt and uncles house on Mercer Island for a nice dinner with family that lasted until 10 when I drive to my cousins house in Seattle. I arrived just in time for them to arrive back at home from Johns parents house so it worked out perfectly. After preparing the house for the arrival of Santa I was off to bed.
I woke up at 7:30 to Allie yelling, "He came!" at the top of her lungs and from there my door was opened and the present opening started. After an hour of opening presents it was time for me to head back to the river for me and they were off to the grandparents house in Spokane so we parted ways.
Sisters knows me well
I got on the road and soon ended up at the takeout the Skykomish for a nice christmas run with a great crew. Boulder was stomping high so I took a sneak line that I didn't even know existed on the right side the whole way...not a bad line for when it's too pushy.
After that awesome run I made my way to North Bend for dinner with a family and friend from REI that I got invited to. We had a nice dinner and enjoyed some nice conversations, and ended up playing games at the end of the night.
I had a great christmas break with friends and family but I was definitely missing my family.... I guess when we do reunite it will be an incredibly good time this spring in Montana!
It's been a long time since I updated this blog so here are the main things that have happened since I last updated this thing...
I have two jobs, one at Nintendo doing warehouse stuff and another at REI working the cash register and helping customers in the ski area. The pay isn't good but REI has excellent pro deals on gear so I'll suck it up and deal with it.
I also just got a third job as a lifty up at Alpental for the winter season so that will be a nice change of pace from doing warehouse stuff and will get me out on my skis I hope.
I moved out of Doreen and Scotts house on Mercer Island and now am renting out a room in a house in North Bend with a couple and another guy who is a ski tourer so hopefully we will be getting some turns in this season.
I've been kayaking a bit on the Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and Green river but haven't really got on anything hard but just keeping muscles going so I can pick up near where I left off in spring. Here is video from a high water run of the Green river when it was around 6000cfs
I'm going to try to update this blog more regularly so keep posted!
My sister and I drove out of Seattle on August 12 and after a few hours of driving and a small rest break in Spokane to visit my Grandma we arrived in Missoula.
We had a day to relax in Missoula to go check out the parks and see some stores before Nick arrived in the afternoon and crashed on the floor.
The next morning we (Olivia, her roommate, nick, and myself) got up and made our way out to the Alberton gorge for a day of rafting, kayaking, and above all else drinking beer. Nicks friend "Tiny" who was a raft guide on the Clark Fork hooked us up with a raft and guided the girls and us down the gorge. It was a beautiful run with fun surf waves and some of the best looking canyons I have seen. Before long the beer was gone and Nick and I were sent on a mission to go get some more beer that turned into a fiasco with a huge rainstorm and with Nick, Tiny and myself hunkering down under the rafts as the rain went over head. After a while the weather cleared out and our shuttle arrived so we made our way back to the guide warehouse. Next on the agenda was beheading a few chickens so of course we had to stay for that before we headed out back to Missoula.
Overall a great day and we met some cool people out on the river!