Spree Alpental Demo Day

What: Spree Alpental Demo Day
Where: Alpental:
When: March 9th

Big demo day on March 9th at Alpental if you want to check out 2014 gear from K2, Rossignol, Nordica, Burton, Atomic, Elan, and SWIX.

The event is a fundraiser for Outdoors for All:

Demo some 2014 skis and snowboards thanks to over 15 different ski and snowboard reps and our friends at Sturtevant’s. We’ll have live music, free lunch from provided by Red Robin, and a beer garden hosted by Pyramid. Bid on brand new gear in our silent auction. Challenge your friends on our race course. Take a look at some of the amazing adaptive equipment Outdoors for All uses to help individuals with disability enjoy the outdoors. Oh, and we would say have fun…but that is a given!

NWAC Report on Alpental Snowboarder Death

Just noticed that NWAC has the report for the snowboarder death in February at Alepntal, Alpental Ski Area Back Country – WAC Bluffs Avalanche Accident [pdf]:

Three snowboarders entered the 80s chute in the back country to the east of Alpental Ski Area, and triggered a slide. The slide caught two, one of whom was able to self arrest. The other boarder was carried over a steep cliffy chute and died from trauma.

Here’s the high level summary:

Time and Date: ~1145 AM PST, 2/19/2012

Submitted by: Aaron Opp (Snoqualmie Pass Professional Ski Patrol) and Mark Moore (NWAC)

Location: back country (beyond ski area boundary) on east end of WAC Bluffs in an area informally known as “80s chute”, just to east of top of Chair 1 at Alpental Ski Area. Alpental lies just NNW of Snoqualmie Pass, central WA Cascades, WA USA)

Slope specifics: starting zone elevation ~ 3800 ft., ENE exposure, 45+ degree slope

Fracture line details: SS-AR-O-R2-D2; Slab size and structure—approx. 1-2 ft deep (width unknown currently) soft slab (Fist to 4F hardness) presumably released to lower density layer above freezing rain
crust; initial avalanche likely triggered second slide on lower bench

Avalanche details: Slide caught two (of party of three), one of whom was able to self arrest; remaining victim carried about 400 vertical feet down a 45-60 degree cliffy chute

Fatalities / Injuries: Three snowboarders triggered slide–one not caught, one caught and able to self arrest, one caught and carried down through very steep ice and rock filled chute, and kille

1 Death at Alpental

Sadly on February 19th Karl Milanoski died at Alpental, Snowboarder killed in Alpental avalanche was devoted father:

Karl Milanoski, a 41-year-old Seattle man, was swept off a cliff by an avalanche near Alpental, one of four resorts at The Summit at Snoqualmie. The Seattle Times reported Sunday that Milanoski, who was skiing in an out-of-bounds area, inadvertently set off the avalanche, which swept him over a cliff and 500 feet down the mountain.

We were up skiing all day at Alpental today, spent the day almost exclusively on Chair 2 and oddly didn’t hear a thing. The danger was clearly high. It took them until around 9:30 to get Armstrong going, they did a ton of bombing, some of the bombing results in slides 3-4′ deep above Cascade Traverse/Lower International, and patrollers were warning folks to respect all closures today.

A Turns All Year poster pinpoints the location as:

The Alpental accident occurred on the 80’s chute/E.S.A.D. past shot8. From staring out the front window and across the street it looks like a pocket above let loose or was remote triggered and flushed the rider out over ~300-400+ft of near vertical.

Here’s a King 5 video on the accident, Snowboarder dies in avalanche at Snoqualmie Pass. They describe the location as Denny Mountain which doesn’t really pinpoint things.

Update: Here’s the NWAC report on what happened.

Vertfest Schedule & Tickets

What: Vertfest 2012 – Festival of Freeride and Mountain Mettle
When: February 18-19, 2012
Where: Alpental
Price: $40-$80 (tickets)

Tickets now available from Brown Paper Tickets.


  • The Monika Johnson Memorial Rally
  • The Stanley Cup Fun Race
  • After Party and Awards w/Head Like a Kite

Sunday Seminars and Clinics

  • Intro to Spliboarding Seminar – with Neil Provo and Chris Tretwold: All day seminar – 9:30 to 3:00
  • Sidecountry Steeps clinics – with Kim Havell: AM clinic – 9 to 12 , PM clinic (women’s only) – 1 to 4

  • Terrain Selection Clinic – with Rob Gibson and John Stimberis: 9:00 – 12:00
  • Companion Rescue Clinic: 1:00 – 4:00
  • Lighter, Faster–and, More Fun: Lightweight Backcountry Tips Seminar: 9:30 – 3:00
  • Ski Photography Seminar with Grant Gunderson: 9:30 – 3:00
  • Landscape Photography Seminar with Jason Hummel: 9:30 – 3:00

Alpental Opening Tomorrow

Who is going to show up late to work on Friday? :) Certainly sounds like a few of my ski buddies are. Sadly I think I’ll be at a riveting real estate forecast talk for my other blog and day job.

Unfortunately doesn’t look there is new snow in the forecast:

Overnight: Mostly clear, with a low around 26. East wind around 10 mph.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 34. East wind between 6 and 9 mph becoming calm.

Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. Northwest wind between 7 and 9 mph.

Friday: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 31. West northwest wind between 6 and 8 mph.

Alpental Maybe Opening December 2

Good news Alpental fans! According to a Turns All Year post, Alpental may open December 2, Alpental 2011_2012:

We are looking at just about enough snow to operate (Dec 2nd?), so the plan is to begin setting up, and perhaps even do some avalanche blasting, starting on Monday Nov 28th. That means that Sunday the 27th will be the last day of unrestricted uphill travel and we will begin the winter travel policy.