Prepping for Jet-Setting

As this post goes up I’m packing gear, skis, and gumption to jump on a plane to Utah tomorrow morning. The agenda for the week includes some skiing in the Wasatch, a lot of car time, some Crested Butte corn, and finally, the ‘ol GoreTex Grand Traverse.

It’s funny to look out at this week while taking antibiotics and Sudafed for sinus infection, but I have a good feeling about how things will pan out. In the mean time, I know it’s been a slow news week, so here are some photos from recent outings.[divider_line]

About a month ago, I had the opportunity to guide a day for the Air Force 304th Rescue Squadron. The Air Force says that “These battlefield Airmen are the most highly trained and versatile personnel recovery specialists in the world”. Essentially, they’re parajumping combat paramedics trained to navigate any terrain they come across. They came to us at Mountain Savvy to spend a day out evaluating and traveling through avalanche terrain. Conditions were less than ideal:

The 304th, laughing their way through the rain.

In spite of the rain, these boys had a good time. With multiple deployments under their belts, they had some great combat medical stories, and their ability to maintain good humor in nasty conditions was readily apparent. We had a good time even though it was raining.

Down we go, into the wild white yonder.

Leave it to the Air Force to stand and laugh while a partner struggles out of a tree hole. These guys may be great medics, but their learning curve is still steep as far as skiing goes.[divider_line]

Just this week, after moping and groaning about the demise of the PNW’s pathetic winter, we were blessed with another small storm. I jumped at the opportunity to get out and have my second (how sad) powder day of the season. I had to work in Portland at 2 pm, so Peter Innes joined me with unbridled enthusiasm for a 05:30 start.

Dawn breaks as Peter skins out of Little Zig-Zag Canyon, site of a recent accident.

This was also my first true dawn patrol day of the season, and my either on-or-off schedule does necessitate early starts under normal circumstances. We traveled through an area that had buried one, and almost two, unwary skiers the day prior. We came up to and decided against skinning through the feature that avalanched on that pair, and we had some welcome feedback on our prudent decision-making when we returned home. It’s rare to see that you made the right choice. This was a nice pat on the back.

That’s the moment we’re looking for.

When the sun first slides across the hills beyond Mt Hood is the most glorious moment of the morning. This is the reason that we love to get out early. To have already skied one pow run before the sunrise is a guarantee that the day will work out in your favor.

Peter tried hard to blend in with the trees before he starts his powder education.

Finding stable powder in widely spaced old-growth on a considerable hazard day is another guarantee. Peter’s still learning to ski pow. I didn’t need any education– there’s little better than unbridled turns through the trees. Pure joy.

The morning light, and the end of the ski day. It’s a tough lifestyle.

Wrapping up your five hours of skiing before many people have even left for the mountain feels like being part of a secret club. When I slid into work with ten minutes to spare, it felt like highway robbery.[divider_line]

You can look forward to some more content coming soon. Some weeks you set ’em up, others, you knock em down.

In the meantime, check out the goods at They bring you the best in fast and light skiing, in the first such store of its kind. If you like skiing more good snow than everyone else, they’re the place to go, and plus, you get to support a small business owned by a ski bum like you

Category: Skiing


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