!It has never felt so good to return home. After 3000 miles, many safe backcountry tours, endless powder days and new friends you could say I got my adventure fix, but it has only just started. I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to live this adventuresome.
I was welcomed home to more pow skiing, a search and rescue retreat with the Crag Rats and quality time with my little brother and family in the mountains.
I had no idea that my next adventure would come so soon. Not home a week, I was invited to journey up North to Mt. Baker.
Continue Reading - Mountain Baker And Beyond, The Closing of a Chapter is the Beginning of New One!
I made it to the Tumalo Mountain Trailhead just in time for three and a half hours of sleep before a day in the backcountry with some friends from G5. It snowed over a foot last night so it was not that hard to get energized and stoked for the day ahead.
We spent the day shredding bottomless pow, laughing and got to catch up with each other. What a perfect day. Amazing how less than 24 hours earlier I was headed to Squaw Valley feeling sick to my stomach. The tides had turned.
The very next day I returned to the same zone on snowmobile with my friend Rex. We were welcomed with radically different snow conditions and higher avy dangers as a result of the rising temperatures. Conditions change fast in the mountains.
My post from today’s adventure:
Skiing this zone yesterday was a humbling experience. We received a small reminder of the power of nature and how conditions can change in seconds out here. Grateful my buddy and I skied away to shred another day. Be safe out there friends.
Rex’s post from today’s adventure:
Really fun day in the backcountry with @skiclimb! We were on the same wavelength. Scott and I both stayed up late the night before, hanging with friends and needed to sleep in. So, naturally a noon start felt organic.
However, we encountered a rapid rise in temperature that affected the snow conditions adversely as the day progressed. We dug a snow pit at the top of the zone and the stability appeared to be good. There was no propagation or explosive energy in the snowpack. But halfway down our line we realized it wasn't so stable.
Luckily, we skied only 100ft at a time, kept each other in sight and managed our risks effectively. One of the ski cuts we performed consequently set off a significant slide on the top 6 inches of snow. Had we not picked our way down this steep terrain we may have potentially gone for a hazardous ride.
This experience reminded me of an avalanche I was partially buried up to my nipples in 2014 and gave me a returned feeling of post traumatic stress.
Even if you do everything right in terms of analyzing the snow pack, that analyzation is only valid in that specific time, location, elevation and aspect. One can ski 300 feet down the snow covered slope and encounter completely different snow conditions!
Nature never ceases to blow my mind and expand my perspective in this mountainous environment. Be careful out there everyone! ❄️🗻⛷🚀😎
Rex and I returned home safe this day. Neither of us got even partially buried, but we did kick off three noticeable slides while navigating down some expert ski terrain in the Three Sisters Wilderness.
The next day I connected with my buddy Blair. We were going to ski Tumalo Mountain and the back bowl if avy conditions permitted. En-route to the top we crossed paths with Mike for Central Oregon Avy. He gave us a professional run down to the snow conditions. After our conversation and analysis we were convinced skiing anything beyond low angle tree runs was suicide.
Blair and I did summit Tumalo, we dug a pit in a slightly dangerous area and the results were pretty mind opening. Our snow pit column test resulted in a fracture at 30cm, 60cm and 120cm. Basically, if we were to ski the bowl and trigger a slide then burial was a probable outcome.
As the conditions in the mountains worsened my mind shifted from pow skiing to work mode. Yes, I still work, however my relationship to work has changed radically. It is no longer my life, rather a means to live the life I want to live. The rest of my week in Bend was spent meeting with some of my amazing customers that I am truly honored to serve, spending time with my best friend and preparing for my return home.
Continue Reading - It’s Still All Hood - Welcome Back to Mt. Hood, Oregon --->
Mother nature dropped barrel loads of snow in the mountains over the past few days. Today was refreshing and cleansing. I am so grateful for experiences like this.
Epic adventure to the summit of Broken Top today. Fun ski off the top.
I had an amazing solo adventure up Tumalo Mountain last night. The sunrise and first track pow turns this morning were unreal. Full of happiness and gratitude.
The mountains have a unique power to enlighten a man. They can make a sad man happy, angry one kind and teach the simple concept of gratitude.
I am so grateful for the storm that rolled through our suffering mountains this past weekend. Pray for snow!
All photos were taken in the Three Sisters Wilderness near Moraine Lake at South Sister. The backcountry skiing opportunities there are endless. It is humbling to finally ski a zone I have been eyeing since the age of 12 when my father and I first summit this Central Oregon volcano.
I am very grateful to have been hooked up by mother nature this December. Thank you for all the freshies and days like this with my girlfriend Nicole :) Cheers to 2014!
It was a Mt Hood cement powder day. After years of shredding at Mt Hood Meadows I just became used to this type of snow. A powder day was a powder day. My friend and I were stoked. At the time neither of us could drive, so we resorted to using the ol thumb and hitch trick. We got a ride to the resort, clicked into our skis, rode up Mt Hood Express and enjoyed a few runs.
It was only our third or fourth run of the day. I was traversing across Show Off under Mt Hood Express to access a fun tree zone that few people journey to, and with reason. You have to cross a snow covered stream in order to access the zone. I had skied this area many times before, but never experienced what I was about to.
I made it safely to the other side of the stream, unlike most times I stopped. Maybe this was instinct! Maybe not! I looked around and my friend Sean was no where to be seen. Out of the corner of my eye I saw two ski bases sticking out of the snow. The worst had happened. Sean fell head first into a five foot deep snow sinkhole and his mouth was inches from the stream. This meant he was trapped! His only hope was me.
I paused for a few moments in disbelief. Did this really just happen?
Luckily we were a short 50 yards from the chairlift and main run. Unluckily my screams for help meant that only maybe someone on the chair would hear me, inform ski patrol at the top and they would be at the scene 20 minutes later. Sean would have passed out by this time.
I had no choice but to go into rescue mode. I crawled over to where Sean had fallen with my skis under my body to decrease the chance of me falling into the creek (which was rushing under six feet of heavy snow). I started digging with my hands. A shovel would have been great, but I did not have that luxury.
Within five or ten minutes I had reached his thighs. The snow had literally packed in around him like cement. I could tell he was panicking. I continued to yell… “Sean I am going to save you. Calm down. Everything is going to be alright.” I do not know if my words calmed him down or his extreme lack of oxygen intake.
A few minutes later I reached one of his arms. He began beating the snow with his arm in the area that his airway was. I began digging a small hole directly toward his mouth. I reached his airway and he gasped for air. At this point the only part of his face that was exposed was his mouth. For the first time in ten minutes I felt a cloud of relief. I was not going to lose a friend in my arms that day.
The hole that I had dug was shaped like a funnel and that meant snow was going to cave in over his airway again. I informed him of what we were going to do next and that his mouth might get covered in snow. Sure enough it did, but we were making some serious progress in getting him back to safety.
I continued to dig more snow out from around his shoulders. A few more minutes passed before I had his airway cleared again. Another gasp! This time I had more than a little air hole for him. His whole face was exposed. For the first time since the episode happened I could see his goggles, which had been stuffed with snow. He could still not see anything. Again I reassured him I am definitely getting you out of here Sean. Just breathe for a moment!
It took a few more minutes to get enough snow dug out around his shoulders so I could bear hug him out of the hole. Had he been unconscious there is no way I would have successfully pulled him right side up and out of this five or six foot hole he got himself into.
It took a few more minutes of pulling and digging to get him out. This was truly one of the hardest parts of the whole process. Finally he was coming out from the cement that had formed around his body. And, pop! He was out of the hole! We both sat exhausted, panting for a few moments before reflecting on the experience that we had both just gone through.
Sean shared with me that there were multiple times in which he almost passed out during this process. I am grateful that was not the case. Had he passed out I do not think there would have been hope. I would have lost a lot of willpower in getting him out and it would have taken a lot more energy on my part to finally get him out of the hole.
He also said that during the entirety of his stay down under the snow he could hear the creek rushing inches from his head. This was the scariest feeling he said. I literally felt like any moment my head could become submerged in the stream and I would drown.
I told Sean how exhausted I was and how much energy it took to get him out. I was literally digging with my hands and skis for twenty minutes to break his body free from the concrete like snow that had formed around his body.
After fifteen minutes of gathering our thoughts and breath we both decided that today was not a day to continue skiing. It was time to go home, rest and be grateful for life.
That day I learned some pretty heart warming things about life that I have never really shared with anyone.
Saving Someone's Life Will Change Yours Forever: My life has not been the same since this experience. I have become a more caring individual and truly feel grateful to have been there to save my friends life.
Life is Fragile: No matter what we may have learned as kids watching TV shows. We not Superman and we are not invisible.
Things Do Change Without a Moments Notice: Expect the unexpected. It might just happen.
There is no feeling you will ever get that will compare to that of saving someones life.
I did not write this with the intention of making you scared to ski in deep powder or take risks. In fact I hope you continue to live your life to the fullest and enjoy every moment. Do what you love, take risks, ski fast in the trees, mountain bike down trails at 40mph. Love the life you live.
Summit as friends!
Welcome to Scott's Adventure Blog!