Alpental @ the Summit at Snoqualmie
11 February 2001

With Greg occupied by a Sunday brunch, I headed up early to Alpy for some turns.
In North Bend, we were basking in sunshine and near freezing temps.  I was
anticipating some good snow as it had actually snowed in the valley (1-2
inches).  I made it to Alpy at 8:30 and was one of the first to go on the
Armstrong Express Quad.  I noticed that the trails had been groomed and was
informed (albeit incorrectly) by the parking lot guys that Alpental had received
1-2 inches of snow overnight.

The first ride up the lift was relatively cold.  I noticed that the bumps on the
last decent of Debbie's Gold had been smoothed out by the groomers.  Bummer.  My
first two runs were on Debbie's Gold to warm up.  They weren't bad for groomed -
very little ice, soft turns.  On one ride I spoke with a guy who said that it
was good that they groomed as it was skied off on Saturday.  Although I could
have used a few more warm-up runs (all this traveling to Texas is getting to me)
I headed over to Dom (a.k.a. The Electric Tree Run).  The crossover was full of
knee biting dips and the snow in the trees was extremely tracked up.  I dipped
into the woods of Dom a bit but found the going a little too rough so went back
to the bumps on the main trail.  On the lower part of Dom I was able to find a
little better snow and less tracks.

Next, I headed up the Edelweiss Chair (Chair #17) to test the legs on the
steeps.  Rather than going into the Bowl, I snaked my way along the ridge line
(like James, E, Jay and I did the weekend before) and through the woods.  I
found a bit o' ice at the beginning but most of the run was fun.  We're not
talking fresh pow or anything but some good, crisp, lighter 2-day old stuff.  I
was tempted to try the jump that Bennett and J Spin were launching but the
landed looked a bit precarious.  So, I headed over to the skier's left where
those two had found some freshies the prior weekend.  I was able to get some
good turns although it was a tad choppy.

The highlight of my three runs off Edelweiss was witnessing some "old school"
moves".  Every time I hopped on the lift, I would see this guy about my age,
dressed very 50's style pulling some 50's turn (with a little Bursey poling
action thrown in).  Needless to say I was amused.

Due to the lines on Edelweiss and my lack of stamina, I decided to call it quits
and head to the base via International (yeah, man, you gotta do 'nash).  The
entrance was, like usual, a big cluster.  The degree of difficulty increased
threefold when an older boarder bit it near the top.  He just kind of sat near
the run out point of the entrance.  I managed to make it by him and was rewarded
with ice and skied off moguls.  Fortunately, most folks were heading over to the
backcountry so Lower International was better.  I wrapped up my ski day dodging
munchkins on Sessel - it seemed like they were coming out of the woodwork the
little bastards.

Hopefully Alpental receives more snow over the course of the week.  Although
conditions aren't terrible they could be better.  Good news is that Alta
received 15 inches over the weekend so my dad and I have some hope for the
beginning of March.