Day 19: Feb. 22, 2016
- White Pass
- Vertical for the day: 28,000
- Year total: 323,000
The lone-wolf SkiZer usually does his skiing solo, not always by choice.
Day 19 of the season brought a welcome change: SkiZer made the trek south to White Pass to ski with cousin Tom Olason and his buddy Mick LaBerge. The two were excellent guides, revealing their hidden powder stashes and resort wisdom.
Tom and I last skied together 40 years ago when we were in college at Western Washington University. Equipment has changed and the hair (what’s left of it) is mostly gray, but we both still have the alpine fire.
White Pass feels like two different mountains, with a “frontside” that has some steeps and a “backside,” known as Paradise Basin, that offers gladed powder skiing and rolling cruisers. We spent most of our day in Paradise Basin, searching for untracked turns in the two inches of new snow.
Our best runs were off West Ridge, a Paradise Basin traverse leading to treed skiing and powder. Again and again during the day, the West Ridge access led to untracked snow.
At midday, Tom and I returned to the frontside for some steep skiing. We found it on Mach V, Hourglass and Roller, all of them offering thrilling drops and untracked snow.
After a break for lunch and a coffee fix for the caffeine-addicted SkiZer, we headed back to the Paradise Basin powder. Mick and Tom led the way, unlocking the secrets to White Pass. For a lone wolf, it was great to be back in the pack.