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About lightD

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  • Birthday 01/14/1970
  1. Unplowed Sno-Parks - Report them!

    If memory serves, the fuel tax based funding makes up around half of the money in the motorized winter recreation fund. Something north of $1MM I think. That fund is about double the non-motorized fund's size. From the 2008 WA Parks Winter Recreation Strategic Plan: The Sno-Park Program implemented in 1975 became the core of State Parks’ new Winter Recreation Program, now consisting of two administrative components, the snowmobile program and the non-motorized program, with separate funds supporting the cost of each program. The snowmobile program is funded from snowmobile registration fees and a percentage of the state gasoline tax. The non-motorized program is funded by the proceeds from Sno-Park parking permit fees. It is important to note for any proposed future changes in funding structures, that both programs were established by the Legislature to be financially self-supporting, using dedicated fund sources, without significant additional support from the Parks Commission. Changing the current funding model would require the concurrence of the Governor’s Office and the Legislature. The funding is calculated annually based on a formula that's included in the RCW somewhere. So its guaranteed funding and it basically doubles the funds available for snowmobile oriented access vs. the non-motorized program funding. Its not really a question higher demand from motorized vs. non-motorized users driving the funding. The gas tax claw-back makes a big difference. Glad to hear that the complaints seemingly made a difference.
  2. Coming Soon: One Pass - 2 Areas?

    You're right of course. I guess I was just being optimistic. In practice, collusion is incredibly tough to prove. You usually need a smoking gun (e.g. emails that show the price fixing taking place or a key witness like in the AMD case...). And you have to have a big enough issue, politically, for DOJ or SEC or a state AG to care. Maybe if the new management is cautious they won't attract attention and the real impact will ultimately be pretty limited. It might even work out OK for skiers. Having a few days at Xtal on my Summit Gold pass is sorta cool. But I think it still makes a lot of sense to pay attention to this. There could be other impacts that are less obvious, like more limited access for non-paying customers (skiers and climbers) OR fewer ski school options (all the third party schools got kicked out of Stevens - maybe Central and West are next??). All of those things probably help to raise the value of these properties since they can help revenue, increase development options or just avoid the appearance of third party meddling and CNL and Boyne might have similar incentives. We'll see. It just makes sense to keep an eye on this.
  3. Coming Soon: One Pass - 2 Areas?

    CNL owns Snoqualmie and Stevens now. Boyne manages Snoqualmie for them and also owns Crystal outright. Stevens will be managed by 'The Stevens Pass Mountain Resort Co' this year which is headed by a CNL guy according to the article - maybe they're just keeping the current staff in place since the season is starting imminently. We ought to keep an eye on this. With CNL and Boyne running the show for all available ski options within 2 hours of Seattle, I think there's already some incentive to collaborate (collude?) on pricing and services. Giving management of Stevens over to Boyne next year might be the easiest thing to do for CNL. Running a ski area is a tough business and nothing fixes your financial situation like exercising some pricing power. I'd pay special attention both to the pricing policies and public access. I think all 3 areas still run under a Special Use Permit from the USFS so the major asset they hold - access to great skiing terrain - is really a public asset.
  4. Randonee setup

    Thanks for the stoke Dane. The Briggs photo is classic. TLT5s are next on my list to complete my 'lightweight' summer rig. It will come in at just over 11lbs for all skis, binders and boots. Far easier on the body and I hear the the TLT5s ski really well from some friends I trust. More on that soon I hope...
  5. Randonee setup

    Get the boots right first. You can fix a lot of things in the backcountry. But is your boots suck and you're in pain for the whole tour, well its tough to fix that. Also, boots that fit right and match your goals and skill level are going to make whatever skis you end up with work a lot better. Start trying boots on now. See what fits. There are probably some good deals to be had this time of year.
  6. Sierra's advice for mid - June rock

    You could ski tour near Mammoth and/or Bishop and still squeeze in some bouldering or sport climbing along with some 5K+ descents. You'll have some tough decisions to make. As long as the snow corns up....
  7. Very nice guys. Holden is on my list - its a long list, we've got some amazing mountains 'round these parts.
  8. Mt Shuksan Avi Pic

    Which day exactly? Was that Fri or Sat (looks like one of those two days judging by the weather). Glad you weren't in the firing line.
  9. Body of missing skier found

    I believe the BARK guys, along with some friends of hers were responsible for finding her. The retrieval took place today I think. Not an easy operation with the rain, crappy snow and complex terrain back there. Sad news indeed. I didn't know her but it turns out a few of my friends did. I also figured out that I know a couple folks involved in the rescue. Sometimes when you meet someone new in the BC it feels a bit random but it can also feel like its the same small set of people sharing the experience, even if you haven't traded names yet. This whole episode is reinforcing that feeling for me. Be safe. See you all outside soon.
  10. Nice! Riding that edge like Europa-cup regular. My kids really carve best when there's a lot of cocoa around. Keeps it real.
  11. snow sticking to skins

    ilookeddown has good advice. I bathe my skins in a DWR treatment early in the year as well. It really helps delay gloppage. I also try to put the skin wax on before I have issues. If its a warm day and there's a mix of colder and warmer (wet on top) snow, then I'll add some skin wax before I head out.Its important not to let the skins get really soaked. Sometimes it makes sense to adjust your route a bit too, so that you're not going in and out of the shadows. Not always an option, but going from melting surfaces to slightly colder snow when your skins are a bit wet is usually what gets the gloppage going. I'll even try to dry my skins a bit in the sun if that's an option.
  12. There's a public meeting this Thursday at 6:30P at Seattle's Franklin High to gather input on federal conservation and recreation policy issues. The motivation for the meeting is supposedly to support a '21st Century Conservation Policy' per a recent presidential directive. If you have the time and inclination you can go give Interior, the EPA and USDA (Forest Service's parent...) an earful about MRNP solo permits, NPS Base Jumping rules, washed out roads all over the Cascades, timber and fisheries conservation rules, the insane management and under-utilization of Yosemite campgrounds in the fall, or anything else. There's lots to choose from! I'm sure that many of us have something to add. If nothing else, you can see who else shows up and which groups are making a point to represent themselves. Climbers sometimes fall off that list, but maybe not this time. Here are the details - note that an RSVP seems to be required: http://www.discovernw.org/ago-signup.htm
  13. Wow. I'm always floored by your vagabonding euro-venture TRs. Thanks for the motivation.
  14. Skiing Cascade Volcanoes

    I'd cross post your request over on TAY: www.turns-all-year.com There are recent TRs from Adams and Hood that should help over on that site, as well as some info on road conditions and approach options. For my money, I think I'd start with Adams first. The S Spur/S Side is a great choice. The SW chutes are prime ski lines, though you have to be ready to traverse back to the TH and deal with some navigation issues. S Side of Mt Hood is pretty straightforward too, though there's more objective hazard right at the top (think tons of rime ice, then volcanic choss - no idea if the ice has come down yet). An early start will matter a bit more vs. Adams (though that's certainly a good call there too...). One last note - the weather has been pretty uncooperative lately. The forecast I just read has FLs at about 6k during the middle of the week. So keep a close eye on the forecast and try to be flexible. Partly sunny in Portland can still mean full conditions on top of Hood. If you end up in the weather, be ready to make your own call on snow stability and/or to deal with some serious navigation issues. Having a sport rack or mountain bike along can be a good equipment choice on days like that! Have a great ski!
  15. Has anyone been up Baker via Easton recently?

    As of yesterday it was beautiful - smooth buttery corn snow with a hint of colder/wintry proto corn above 9k. We had a really fun rippin' ski down to nearly 5.5k. The glacier was very filled in. In fact, we were able to head straight up from the drainage just East of RR grade to the summit of Sherman almost directly. The crevasse risk will probably go up somewhat in a few weeks time. But yesterday it was really minimal (though present). We also had very stable snow avy-wise because of a good freeze overnight. Things were frozen even at the TH and they didn't get loose until we were back below 5.5k on the way down, which was mid-afternoon. The new snow up high (above 8k-9k or so) is not totally consolidated below the very skiable solar crust, though it was getting transformed nicely. Also, the snow currently goes all the way to the TH and a little below. Its pretty dirty down low , but its nice to be able to slide almost all the way to the car. There should be plenty of snow for stashing a beer or two at the TH. In short, things are pretty prime right now if the weather helps out at all. Have a great trip.