The week following the initial opening of Alpental was both deep and untracked, quite literally. Unless you were part of the ski patrol team or a knob attempting to tour up Alpental you were unable to ride. Snoqualmie Pass was struck with a winter storm advisory that couldn’t have been any more apparent. At the base elevation of the resort there was an accumulation of eight feet of snow – eight feet in less then seven days while the top of chair 2 accumulated nearly eleven feet! Multiple records were shattered that week, some which had been standing for nearly fifty years. Interstate i-90 was shut down, the majority of the pass was with left without power and Christmas Eve was on a Thursday; there was a lot happening that week.
That Wednesday a few of us had linked up at Summit Central to take some laps on the only high-speed chair spinning (thanks to a diesel backup). It had been snowing hard for the last 3 days and and the snow was deep. Hot laps upon hot laps combined with some tasty refreshments from local Drew Bru Brewery (we could refill our growler for $10) made for a rad afternoon. Navigating over the Top Traverse to the chutes next to Triple 60 we destroyed any and all pow-pillows that existed. It was a full on Chinese downhill as we sent it through the thigh deep powder. There was no stopping this train of excitement, no one stopped to scan the scene, it was a powder plume of all time shredding savagery and everyone was charging full throttle. At some point the high energy needed fuel, we needed food and Lee’s was the only place that was able to provide any substantial sustenance; cash only (power was out). We rounded up all the change we had and spent it on much needed protein-enhanced nutrition and sent it back to the truck camper for some downtime.
Hilariousness ensued as we swapped ridiculous life stories and jammed to Jay’s ukulele. Elementary level Sharpe tattoos were drawn, the roof of the camper had to be swept multiple times, and we pulled out more then a few cars that were stuck in the parking lot. Hours had passed and night riding was upon us, with a few more inches of fresh on the ground and a few pints of IPA within, we gave it a go under the lights. There was not a soul on the hill, the lines were empty and my legs were shot, needless to say we were back at the camper after a few unwieldy runs through the trees under the orange halogen glow. One by one we all made our way into sleeping bags, sore, tired, but absolutely hyped on the snow and hilariously great day that we shared together.
Sophia’s Shovel game is strong.
The following morning we woke up to the monstrous noises of a front-end loader as it shoveled snow walls around our trucks, to no surprise another foot of snow had fallen over night. It was Christmas Eve and at some point we would all need to leave the pass to join our families for Christmas. When we got word that the pass was closed, in all directions until further notice we took our time digging out our vehicles and went over to the Pancake House to see if they might be serving any food. With the pass closed employees were unable to make it to work and with no power there really wasn’t much else for an option so we made due with some Chilean tea and crackers. Around 11AM, after pulling out more buried cars we were informed that there would be a police escorted convoy from the pass down the eastbound side of Interstate 90 at 11:30. That was our ticket out, and come 11:30 we were on our separate ways back to civilization, but we all knew that it wouldn’t be more then 24 hours until we would find ourselves back at up the pass, ready for what ever mother nature might throw at us next.