A Case of the Mondays at Stevens Pass

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Item: Stevens Mitch 2011
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Normally when I have plans to go to the mountain, waking up to rain in the lowlands is a good indicator that the snow gods may have delivered some freshies. But when a quick check of the mountain forecast reveals increasing rain and a possible hostile take over of U.S. Highway 2 by the Skykomish River, I get a tad hesitant.

Not today. This being Monday, I decided to make the best of it and rally the troops to the hills for a classic day of Northwest wetness. After a bit of cajolery, I talked Stuart Grayson and my brother Alex Olsen into the mission. Given the forecast we decided to take our time on the way up in hopes that it might cool off and switch to snow, but it didn’t look promising. Upon arriving at Stevens Pass, a torrential stream ran along the edge of the parking lot and a mix of rain and snow peppered our backs as we geared up in the parking lot.

Unfortunately the rain shutdown the park and we were confined to groomers for the day. Dropping into our first run from the Hogsback chair, the snow was quick, soft and encouraging. Picking up speed, I went mashing through what appeared to be a fresh stash when I felt the terrifying grip of soggy snow and flew headlong over the nose. After a few tomahawks and a reality check, we headed up Tye Mill to try out some higher, and hopefully colder snow. Through divine luck, the rain managed to keep a decent number of hairy lines untouched inbounds. No doubt we started to get freaky.

With my gloves functioning like a neoprene wetsuit , we headed in for lunch. As we sat thoroughly saturated in the lodge, the rain slowly morphed into snow and I got the camera ready for a mini-shred photo-op. Once thawed, we headed back out to find some photo worthy features.

Despite the rain, I managed to keep the camera dry enough to pop off a couple fun photos. Minus a bit of fog in my wide-angle, the day was an overall success. It could have been our stoic nature or mutual gusto for the sport, but the rain was hardly a deterrent. Stevens, as usual, delivered–rain be damned.

And now it’s getting cold again…


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