Tag Archives: skiing

Family Skiing at Snoqualmie Pass

From the top of Chair 1 at Alpental.

Snoqualmie pass is the major east/west migration route through the Cascade mountain range from Seattle.  It is also the home of The Summit at Snoqualmie, an amalgam of four ski areas that each have a unique and distinctive vibe despite being commonly-owned.  There is Summit West, a perfect place for families to learn to ski.  Summit Central has the terrain park and is popular for night skiing.  Summit East (a.k.a. Hyak) is my family’s low-key favorite.  And finally there is Alpental, which has the steeper terrain and backcountry access that expert skiers love.  I’ve been skiing at Snoqualmie pass for over 20 years and have had a season pass there for the last decade.  I won’t tell you where my secret stashes of snow are located, but here are a few other things that I have learned:

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Skiing in Austria with the Family

Check out my post on We Said Go Travel!

 

Skiing in the Rain

Not actually a rainy day.

I called the snowphone after lunch from work to check on the ski conditions.  It had been ten days since I last skied and I was feeling anxious.  TNT, the local snow reporter, told me that the eight inches of fresh snow that fell that morning had made conditions that he was going to dream about for years.  I knew that by the time I got off of work, picked up the kids from school, made dinner, and got out the door again, these conditions were likely to change. Read more »

Skis and Fish

I squeaked in another ski day!  With the rising spring temperatures, the rapid loss of snow at the local ski areas, and the distance to the high elevation Alps, I thought my ski season was over.  But I resisted sending my ski equipment home when the opportunity presented itself, in the faint hopes that I could find the snow again.  That hope blossomed last weekend when we went to Lunz am See.

BOKU has an aquatic research center on the shores of the lake in Lunz, about 150 km west of Vienna.  The center is the second oldest active research center in the world that is dedicated to the study of freshwater ecology.  Ashley was invited to take part in a five-day course there on the basics of fish, zooplankton, invertebrates, and stream morphology.  Since everyone at her institute at BOKU loves to go to Lunz, she invited the rest of us along thinking that we’d also enjoy the opportunity of hanging out at a mountain lake for the weekend. Then, late last week, one of my collaborators at BOKU told Read more »

The Ski Adventure

Several years ago, when Ashley first mentioned the idea of a sabbatical to Vienna, I began to daydream about skiing in the Alps.  From watching the Olympics as a kid I knew that Austria is the center of the skiing universe.  I had listened to friends talk about skiing there and read all the stories in the many skiing magazines that come through our house.  News of last year’s low snow accumulation and short ski season only increased my excitement, because I figured that there couldn’t possibly be two years in a row like that, regardless of climate change.

When we finally got here, though, reality set in.  Vienna is in “lower Austria” – the lower not referring to the southerly direction – and the big mountain ski Read more »

What’s wrong with queuing?

We had our first Alps skiing adventure yesterday at a ski area about an hour outside of Vienna.  With Cascade-like weather (a couple of degrees above freezing), we loaded as a family for the ride to the top.  The ski passes here use electronic chips that are sensed as you pass through turnstyles.  You just have to make sure that its in an upper lefthand pocket, or the turnstyles will lock.  By the end of the day it seem like I was almost taking my jacket off to get the pass to register.

Zoey seemed ready to go, but Logan was a little aprehensive about the steepness of the first pitch.  After a little bit of coaching, with me skiing backwards, she remembered what she could do and skied her most challenging terrain yet.  After lunch, with the girls eating strudel in a smoke-filled chalet, I was able to really get some turns in, but the top of the mountain was socked in so I was limited to the lower moderate runs.  Besides Ashley and me, we saw only one other teleskier.

So what people say about the lift lines in Europe is mostly true.  Though no one skied over my skis, there is no order and cutting is accepted without even a frown.  On a busy Saturday just after the holidays, there were alot of people, and I used my elbows a couple of times to keep people behind me from getting between me and the kids.  I hooked up for a few runs with a local, and watching him ignore the people cutting in front of us helped me to maintain my cool.  I will never scowl at the lifty police at home again.