PNW

Winter Is Finally Showing by Chance Keso

Cold beers after a good day on the mountain.

Cold beers after a good day on the mountain.

As I sit here and write this I have spent the last dew days staring at the NOAA.gov forecast for Silver Mountain. You know what? It’s finally looking good. Colder temperatures, and lots of snow falling on the hill. Which is good to see. I’m tired of having to watch where I am skiing. Those little exposed rock and baby trees are getting annoying. That hasn’t stopped my friends and I from getting out there to make some turns.

Last light on the mountain. Skier: Casey Winchel.

Last light on the mountain. Skier: Casey Winchel.

Right now Silver Mountain is only running on the weekends, but is going to seven day a week operation here in a few days. Last weekend wasn’t the best up there but it was a great couple days. Waking up late to head up and let the snow warm up on the groomed runs since they were less icy was our excuse to head to the bar before we started skiing. It was nice to start the days off with a Bloody Mary and a cold beer. Though my friend Casey and I have had a patch of bad luck with every time we order a beer we blow a keg. Hey, a partial free beer!

Watching all this snow falling around us is getting us even more excited to get that first deep powder day in. I don’t my friends and I can wait any longer. We looking forward to getting those fat skis and jumping off of everything we can find. With all this new snow falling in our mountains remember to ride with a friend and stay safe. Respect the mountains.

When the snow is the best the sends are much more reserved.  Chair 4, Silver Mountain. Skier: Casey Winchel.

When the snow is the best the sends are much more reserved.

Chair 4, Silver Mountain. Skier: Casey Winchel.

A little something extra on the ride down. Wardner Peak in the distance. Silver Mountain, Idaho.

A little something extra on the ride down. Wardner Peak in the distance. Silver Mountain, Idaho.

Deer Park Campground - ONP by Chance Keso

Nestled high in the Olympic Mountains is a truly magical place. The Deer Park Campground is a small campground on Blue Mountain, just outside of Port Angeles, Washington. The views from the campground and the summit are incredible. On my last trip there it was slightly different. It was foggy and rainy day. Typically you would see across to Vancouver Island and almost all the way to Seattle. Being up on top of the mountain in the rain was a very welcomed experience. Especially after all of the wildfire smoke that has been sitting across the North West lately. 

Foggy days from the summit. 

Around 14 sites are at the campground. With a few walk-in sites tucked away by the Three Forks Trail head parking area.

This last trip I took up the mountain was to do a little work for a brand. It was a nice little solo escape for a night. I pulled in around 1 PM and proceeded to set up camp for the night. Well, the little bit I have to set up for camp. 

Camp all set up.

This past trip in the rain made me realize I need an awning or a tarp for the rainy days. Probably a tarp..

The rainy days are always a nice change for shooting up there. I was looking forward to that. I've been in a creative rut lately and I felt like being back in one of my favorite places would be just what I needed. When it rains so many of the small plants on the mountain begin to sparkle in the light that casts across them. 

Just a short hike out from my campsite is a large open field where you can almost always find a group of deer wandering. I only saw two on my walk to here off in the fog. 

Just up from camp is perfect spot to sit and relax. I personally like to sit here and watch the clouds roll by. On a clear night its a perfect spot to stargaze. There is also perfect spots right next to your campsite to set up a hammock and spend the day relaxing. 

The fog makes for an incredible time to be at Blue Mountain. There is just something about the quiet stillness of the place that is something I have not experienced anywhere else. I always look forward to my time there. I can't wait to go back there.

In the meantime I have to head over to Spokane as I get ready for this next school year to start. I am heading over a little bit earlier than I normally would. I think it will allow me to take one last little trip before school starts. The tentative plan is to head down into Stanley, Idaho. Stay tuned..