Ski Story

I don’t have very many good ski stories.

I skied a couple of times at Anthony Lakes while growing up in Baker, but it was expensive and I had a job on weekends. (I remember going to Little Alps once – a lost area in the same basin as Anthony Lakes.) I did some winter camping in Boy Scouts, but mainly it was sledding.

I went to Eagle Mountain in the Poconos once while we were living in New York.

After we moved to Seattle, Odette and I tried cross-country skiing but she found it too aerobic and I didn’t think it was fast enough. We snowshoed with Will when he was really small.

When he turned five I signed us up for lessons at The Mountaineers Meany Lodge near Stampede Pass. We were charmed by the ecentric quality of the lodge and returned for nine or ten seasons. We learned to ski pretty well there, among other things.

When Will was eight he wanted to learn to snowboard so we took a joint lesson at Mt. Bachelor. The snow was really hard and the terrain was too steep. Will, who skiied pretty well for an eight year-old, found himself at the bottom of the learning curve and didn’t like it. He never tried again. I got hooked, though, and took lessons at Meany. Eventually they asked me to teach at Meany when the teenage girl they thought was going to instruct flaked out. I went through the training program at Skimasters and got PSIA certified and taught for Skimasters for ten years after that.

I started doing some backcountry ski stuff on randonee skiis and switched to snowboard as I got better on that tool. After a season when a bunch of backcountry snowboarders got killed in avalanches I realized that somebody needed to offer training and I proposed a snowboard committee to The Mountaineers. The reception wasn’t exactly enthusiastic. I got shuffled off to the backcountry ski folks who thought that they already had the turf because they didn’t prohibit snowboarders if they were course graduates. I went to their committee meetings for a year or so and got them to allow me to lead trips. I took the Gary Brill avalanche course and got Canadian recreational avalanche certification. (Which still doesn’t keep me from getting into stupid situations.) I offered to teach a backcountry snowboard seminar for Meany but they chose not to publicise it and then cancelled it for lack of signup. I led backcountry snowboard trips for the club for three seasons before they decided that I needed to be re-educated about avalanches because one of their other (ski) leaders got killed in Cement Basin during a storm. I declined.

(Here is an accident report written by a committee I chaired five or six years before the Cement Basin accident. We recommended that they require leaders going into the backcountry during the winter to have had avalanche training. The Mountaineers board declined to accept our recommendation because they felt that they wouldn’t be able to keep leaders if they imposed too many requirements.)


  • I snowboard as much as work and conditions permit.
  • I taught snowboarding at Snoqualmie Pass every weekend in January and February for a lot of years
  • Will was a ski instructor for Skimasters specializing in the littlest kids
  • Will’s middle school spent every Friday in January and February at Crystal and he skiis better than I snowboard
  • He was the webmaster for Meany Lodge,  we stopped skiing there when we started teaching for Skimasters
  • We tought at Snoqualmie Summit West and we’ve skiied at Sun Valley, Alta, Snowbird, Park City, Snow Basin, Solitude, North Star, Squaw Valley, Timberline, Mt. Bachelor,  Mt. Baker, Stevens Pass, Alpental, Hyak, Ski Acres, White Pass, Mission Ridge, Crystal Mountain, Meany and of course Anthony Lakes, but
  • We get to Whistler every chance we get and it is our favorite mountain
  • Will has done some backcountry stuff with me (Mt. Pilchuck, Pineapple Pass) including a really great trip up Mt. St. Helens.
  • Odette likes ski areas in the off-season

Here is a book list.