Panorama Point to Edith Creek Basin

Panorama Point to Edith Creek Basin

My friend Paul and I headed down to Mount Rainier National Park to take advantage of a rare clear November day. The forecast was for cold weather but we knew the views would be great and some snow had fallen the day before so we hoped for some good turns on our skis and splitboard. The park didn’t open the road to Paradise on Saturday which is super inconvenient for those who tried to ski then but really amazing for us since it meant opportunities for first tracks. Note: I broke my camera last weekend so all of this post’s photos are…

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Granite Mountain

Granite Mountain

Disclaimer: We turned back before reaching the lookout atop Granite Mountain. If you want to read a story of success and sunny blue skies then check out our Granite Mountain post from last October. It just so happens to feature one of my favorite photographs. If you want to read a story about some friends having a good time in the mountains on a day where the weather forecast called for a winter storm warning then read on. I spent Friday and Saturday on Mt Baker’s Heliotrope Ridge and when I got home I found texts on my phone from my…

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Heliotrope Ridge

Heliotrope Ridge

With Maura and Jack in Minnesota and 6-9″ of fresh snow in the forecast I decided it was a good time for my first splitboard tour of the season. I’d had my eye on Heliotrope Ridge after seeing a couple of trip reports from early November on Turns All Year. I left work a little early to pick up my friend Dave at a park-and-ride with a plan to meet our friends Kelly and Cary at the Skagit River Brewery in Mt Vernon. Traffic was pretty terrible until we got past Everett but it wasn’t nearly as bad as our trip to Phelps Basin…

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Annette Lake

Annette Lake

This was the weekend I overcame a lot of fears on our hike. Usually I really enjoy hiking with a group of friends, but hiking with a baby sets a whole new pace and there are a lot of variables that could alter your plans at any moment. The one other time we had ventured off with a group Jack had an enormous blowout in the parking lot of the trailhead, delaying our departure for about 30 minutes. I decided it was time to get over my fear and we invited some friends to join us for a hike. Bobby…

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Blue Lake

Blue Lake

I awoke early on Saturday morning and decided to wake Bobby up with those seven little words every man wants to hear, “Where do you want to hike today?” He shot up like he’d been awake for hours and immediately started planning where we should go. The day was to dawn bright, sunny, clear, and not too cold. A rare November day that would be picture perfectly beautiful. The North Cascades highway was still open, according to WSDOT, “Avalanches typically close the highway between late November and mid December. Reopening in the spring is usually accomplished by early May.” We both feel that the North Cascades…

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Twisp River Suites

Twisp River Suites

We had headed to the North Cascades for a beautiful day hike at Blue Lake and were looking for a place to stay for the night. Without an infant in tow, and the numerous stops along the way that that brings with it, the hike would have been a 3 hour drive from our home in Seattle to the trailhead. The drive ended up taking us 5 hours. We had packed overnight bags and headed to the nearby town of Winthrop, about 32 miles from the trailhead, hoping to find a place to stay for the night. As soon as we got…

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