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Showing posts with label Alpental. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alpental. Show all posts

Is Spring Fling Pass From Summit at Snoqualmie Worth The Money ?

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Spring Fling Pass From Summit at Snoqualmie allows skiers, and snowboarders "ski more, spend less" !

From their website :
Skip the ticket window and head straight to the lift. Summit passes are an unbeatable value, providing access all season long and the freedom to hit the slopes whenever you want. We're so close it's easy to get your money's worth!
But is the Spring Pass really worth the money ?

Spring Fling Pass From Summit at Snoqualmie

Learn Backcountry Basics At Alpental, WA For Free

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If you are an avid backcountry traveller, you know that you must have "the standard " avalanche gear: beacon, probe and a shovel. But unfortunately, there are lots of people who think that having the right gear is all they need to venture beyond ski area boundaries. But just like the great American writer Mark Twain once said, "Knowledge without experience is just information".

Snowshoeing Alpental Backcountry - Snow Lake

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Snowshoeing in Washington state

I almost gave up on snowshoeing this year. After my first "backcountry ski" trip to Mt Margaret this winter, I thought it would be boring going back to snowshoeing. I am glad I kept my snowshoes.

It doesn't matter if you prefer snowshoes or touring skis, there is no substitute for getting out in the backcountry when it is snowed over. But keep in mind that backcountry can be a very dangerous place in winter.

Winter Hiking And Sledding At The Snoqualmie Pass

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As I previously wrote, sledding or tubing are not allowed around the Summit at Snoqualmie ski area during operation hours. The only two places you can do are : the Summit's tubing center or Hayak Snow Park ( also known as John Wayne Pioneer Trail at ex 54 on I - 90 ).

Another option is to come to the Summit during off- season to enjoy your snow toys.

If you and your little ones don't mind a short hike, you can try PCP ( Pacific Crest Trail ) trailhead that offers a steep approach that you can use as a hill. But since it's a popular snowshoeing, winter hiking, and ski touring trail, make sure you use caution when sledding.

This weekend we decided to combine a bit of backcountry hiking and sledding at a popular Snow Lake trail.

Snowscooting - Winter Fun For Kids And Adults !

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Being a (extra) hyperactive father to an even more hyperactive son means coming up with more fun as much as possible as often as possible. Skiing, snowboarding, snowskating, snowshoeing, sledding, tubing... are not enough for my kid. We are always on a lookout for more thrills, fun and adventures !

Browsing Craigslist for more gear, I came across a pretty interesting find - a snowscooter ! My son has already been having fun riding his push and electric scooters, and I thought the snowscooter would be a great addition to his own outdoor gear collection.

We took the snow scooter to our favorite ski area in Washington - Alpental. Its steep slopes were ideal for this fun little snow toy. Light, maneuverable, and durable the scooter worked great for both of us !

NOTE: During ski season sledding of any type is not allowed around the area. Just like our training snowboard, the snowscooter doesn't have metal edges and a leash, the safety feature required for (any) snow gear to be used on the slopes. 

That's why, you can only use it during off hours/season or away from crowds in specifically designated areas ( like sledding slopes ).

My second year at Alpental

The time flies fast . The ski season in our state flies even faster.

Just two months ago, I started my second season at Alpental working as a ski instructor, and this weekend we already had a graduation party !

The Summit at Snoqualmie offers consecutive week lesson programs for kids of all ages and abilities, lasting from four to ten weeks. The lessons take place at the same time, same place and generally with the same instructors and same group of students.
My personal opinion about this program ? It delivers results !

With meticulously designed, step-by-step "daily plans ", the low kids-to-instructor ratio ( usually 4:1), experienced, qualified, child friendly instructors, safe and fun environment - makes this program one of the best programs in our state. The instructors lead the children through the appropriate level throughout the lessons and present them with their badge ( new level ), a gift certificate and prizes at the end of the program.

I want to congratulate all my students with successfully achieving their next level, thank all of them for being such a great , tight group of friends, and hope I will see you guys next year ! I am really proud of you !

Ice Climbing In Washington State : Alpental At The Summit At Snoqualmie

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How are you doing with your New Year resolutions ( dreams/goals ) ? In my previous post I wrote about some of the activities I want to try this year. And guess what ? Two weeks into the new year, and I already can cross one thing off my list.

I've always wanted to try ice climbing, and last week I had a great opportunity to go ice climbing at Alpental. The experience was ....unbelievable !

The trip was organized by Pro Guiding Service and led by the company's owner himself Martin Volken.

The weather conditions that day left a lot to be desired : lots of fog , concrete ice, dripping rain. But we went anyway. We took a chairlift to the top of Armstrong, and walked down ( since it was impossible to ski at all ) to Stellar Falls (Kiddie Cliff falls).

The ice formations were just absolutely beautiful. Ice was very thick in many spots and pretty solid. We bouldered around for some time to warm up, then Martin gave a quick introduction to lead climbing, and set up three top rope routes ( from easy to more difficult ). The small size of the group ( 4 people ) allowed plenty of time for everybody to climb.

If you think ice climbing is not for you, think again. There are no requirements to sign up for the course ( other than decent fitness shape). You don't have to own your own ice climbing equipment : ice axes, crampons, climbing harness, helmet, snowshoes - all that can be rented. Even though the course takes place at Alpental, you don't have to buy a ski ticket, you can just snowshoe to the climbing site.

For some people this might be a "once in a life time kind of opportunity" ( something you do just to say "been there, done that), while for others - a life long hobby. Anyway, it's totally worth trying !

Pro Guiding Service also offers ski, rock and alpine guiding trips. All their guides are highly qualified and AMGA ( American Mountain Guides Association ) and UIAGM (Union Internationale des Associations de Guides de Montagnes) certified. Small client -to -guide ratio dictates to a large extent what you can accomplish on a course.

Christmas skiing at Alpental

How was your Christmas ? Did you do anything fun and outdoorsy ?

During this time of the year, lots of us like to use our favorite excuse - " holiday time off". With all this stress, shopping, cooking, decorating, looks like there is absolutely no time for us to go to the gym or spend some time in the outdoors. For some people, "holiday time" starts with Thanksgiving and is over in the first week of January.

But if you think about it, "holiday time" is just three days -Thanksgiving, Christmas day and New Year night . And there is nothing better ( and healthier) than a quick, fun work out at your local gym or in the great outdoors.

I know lots of of people who make it a "holiday tradition" to go hiking, biking, or skiing before joining their families for dinners and parties. And I am not an exception.

This Christmas day, I went to Alpental for a couple quick runs up and down the Armstrong and International. It was foggy at the base, with lots of sunshine and beautiful blue sky on the top. The lifts were open till 4 pm., but even that was enough to burn a few pounds, get some vitamin D, and re-energize for the rest of the day.

Remember, holidays are not just about gifts, it's about the time you spend with your loved ones. So, what is your favorite holiday tradition ? Don't have one ? Here are a few ones from National Wildlife Federation: