Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Leavenworth Ski Trip

First, a (kinda lame) story. My dad, my brother and I were on a chair lift up at Snoqualmie Pass on a Wednesday night, when my dad asked my brother how his passport application was going. He replied with, " What passport?" My dad had been planning a ski trip to Whistler since fall and I was all ready to go, but my brother forgot about it, so it had to be cancelled. So on that chair lift ride, we decided to go on a ski trip around Oregon. Later, my mom nixed that idea because it was too far and too expensive. Next idea: Ski around Washington. Ok, my mom said, but you have to use up the points for Worldmark condos. 

Problem: There are really no Worldmark condos that are closer than an hour to any ski areas in the western half of Washington. So, the solution was to suck it up and stay in Leavenworth (a small town with a German attitude), but drive between an hour to an hour and a half to the nearest two ski areas. 

Now don't get me wrong, I adore Leavenworth. In fact, I'd totally move there if they had a job opening for a chemist anywhere near there (which they don't. I totally picked the wrong profession!). Seriously, my heart belongs in the mountains, specifically the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains. Hillbilly, podunk town USA.

Unfortunately, February and March are the slowest months in Leavenworth. Nothing is open, except the restaurants and bars. Especially on weekdays. But we were determined to ski!

On Wednesday, we all got up bright an early and were at the lodge at Stevens Pass by 9 am, when the chairlifts opened. We skiied a ton! The snow was great, it was super sunny, and we even got to watch a guy jump off a cliff and live to tell about it. Pretty awesome stuff. I also skiied with my mp3 player for the first time, and now I wonder why I never did before! All I can say is that the right music really makes the day all better (i.e Alter bridge is 1000000000000000 times better to listen to while skiing than Merle Haggard, but don't get me wrong. I love the Hag.)

Wednesday night, we roamed around town for some grub and stopped in at Ducks and Drakes. German town, gotta eat German food. And drink beer. Lots of beer.

Chilled on the couch, iced my knee. Ok good to go.

Thursday: Mission Ridge in Wenatchee. Best. Ski. Day. Evarrrrrrrrrrrr!
Mission Ridge should be renamed Windy-but-totally-awesome-on-a-clear-day-with-five-inches-new-powder-but-has-a-totally-unreliable-quad-chair Ridge.
From the top of the quad chair, you can literally see for miles. In every direction. Except when there are clouds in the way. The coolest part was that they had groomed all the black diamond runs on the previous Sunday because they were so low on snow, but then they got 5" new powder between Monday and Thursday that no one skied on because they are closed for the first half of the week so we basically got to ski on powder on super steep runs. Which is my favorite. The steeper the hill, the better!
After a great day of skiing (minus the ouch in the knee part), we headed back to Leavenworth. Grilled some steak and sweet potatoes, went to 8 different bars before deciding to have a beer at Uncle Uli's, then crashed into bed. 
Friday: We were too tired to ski Snoqualmie so we just headed home. And then I headed back to Leavenworth with Tim later in the afternoon to stay the night. But... about halfway through our drive, traffic came to a screeching halt on the way up to Stevens Pass. Turns out there was a head on collision about a mile ahead of us that blocked the road for 2 hours. Didn't get in to Leavenworth until plenty after dinner time, so we ate leftover sandwiches and chilled on the couch. 
Saturday: Ate at Sandy's, grabbed a pretzel on the way out of town and boogied home over Blewett and Snoqualmie. Took some pretty pictures going over the pass, then headed home. Overall, awesome trip. 
  I so can't wait to go back to Mission Ridge.

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