Author: Tim Cartwright

Tim has achieved near-legendary status snaking lines in the Pacific Northwest, Chile, Utah and now Jackson Hole. He loves to ski, so long as the mountains are steep and the snow is cold.

Weaving along Washington’s Highway 410, I can’t help but wonder where I’ve ended up. Passing through the sleepy haven of Greenwater, tall fir trees hang like curtains over the rural country road. Tiny cottages cross paths, more fit as homes for a ragtag band of munchkins. The scene keeps us in a morning trance, almost mesmerized by our trip through Oz. Thinking of the unseen mountains just beyond the curtains brings about both excitement and skepticism. Fresh coatings of snow drape columns of bright green lichen. If it didn’t seem like Washington, the sharp color contrast was an immediate indicator.…

Read More

Drawn by the promise of untracked powder, I knew my second venture to the little Goliath at the top of Highway 2 would be a memorable one. With a friendly, yet laid back management style and open boundary policy, the Stevens Pass backcountry has gained a reputation for attracting those looking for piece of solitude. While the hordes were getting ready to duke it out at Mt. Baker and Alpental, I could hardly wait to click into my bindings and leave my first Stevens signature. Earlier in the week, cold Pacific storms pummeled the Cascades, leaving behind more than seven…

Read More

There are so many variables that go into preparation for a jaunt into the backcountry, whether it’s for a quick lap outside the resort boundary or an all out charging full day tour. Planning and packing are essential. Part of having a successful outing is contingent on having the right gear and that’s where DAKINE’s newest brainchild- the Pro II comes into play. Details of the Dakine Pro II Pack After rocking the past few seasons with the popular Heli Pro model, I always seemed to find myself wishing I had a little extra room available to stuff in some…

Read More

It´s almost an oxymoron to think too much snow. In a place like Las Lenas during a record season such as this, sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad. Luckily for us, our timing was just right. After waiting for a few days to get the Marte chair dug out from the recent storm (two lift towers were completely buried at one point!), we settled for some moderate hiking above the Caris lift. As we rounded the corner, our crew just gasped. ¨Holy Cow.¨ There were no other words that could describe the majestic draw of the…

Read More

Fame and fortune can be an interesting mix, not only for the actors but locations as well. Some people may remember Magic Mountain for it’s numerous days in the spotlight, most notably for its starring role as “Wally World” in National Lampoon’s Vacation. We skiers will always remember Squaw Valley, not just for the 1960 Winter Olympics, but also for its place as the home of Snowfest in the 1980’s cult film, Hot Dog The Movie. Some stars age gracefully, but others try to keep up with Father Time. Squaw has done both. Whether it’s 1960, 1983, or the present,…

Read More

It’s official. The Northwest has declared the worst drought in more than 28 years. Governor Christine Gregoire made the ill-fated announcement on March 10. With snow pack levels at record lows ranging from 10% to 26% of average, it has been a trying season for those living in the Washington and Oregon Cascades, Northern Idaho and Western Montana . Many weather forecasters joked that Los Angeles had stolen Seattle ‘s weather. Record rains and snows have visited the Los Angeles Basin , while sunshine, warm temperatures and a stubborn high pressure took residence in the Northwest. Another slow day begins…

Read More

My sleepless nights are filled with nightmares and endless tossing and turning. In our efforts to try to make sense of an unusually cruel winter, we have been maximizing our road trip mileage. First to Utah , then to Interior B.C., and now to the Sierras, our endless snow search continued. Taunted by reports of more than 31” expected in the high Sierra, our crew from the Cascades embarked on what many people would term a suicidal tendency. I beg the question, “Are you really serious about Mammoth?” The voice on the telephone chuckles with a resounding, “Uh, I don’t…

Read More

Life from the skybox is good. Heck- It’s downright epic! We have just arrived from different portals of this vast domain, out of breath and listening to our hearts beat louder than the accompanying ‘oonce’ familiar with the Latin American club scene. Yet we relish in another fantastic bluebird powder day from our secluded perch atop Club UFO in the Valle de Las Lenas. With the fiery sun beating down from above through the Earth’s largest ozone hole, we lay stretched out amongst the comfortably inviting couches while enjoying cold Quilmes, the popular Argentine beer. FM 97.7 Radio Las Lenas…

Read More

While time takes a slower turn across North America’s major mountain resorts, there’s one place that continues to shift into overdrive. Just when other places are winding down, the sound of gears cranking resonates through the crisp mountain air. The mountain bike invasion has begun. Trails take on new form with the innovative designers of the world-class Whistler mountain bike park. Cross-Country bikes need not apply. We are talking hordes of decked out full armored combatants ready to test their skills on some of the burliest trails in the world. Ride up? No thanks, we’ll take the lift. The bull…

Read More

Something didn’t seem right. I was driving north, away from the bulls-eye Mother Nature was pointing toward the Cascades. Weather forecasters were predicting one of those storms that were measured in feet, not inches. But the plan was set in stone. Drive across the border, pick up a friend at Vancouver International, and continue along the Sea-to-Sky Highway to the Holy Land. As soon as my car steered away from the coast and with the elevation rising, so were the piles of snow. The sheer amount of snow was mesmerizing for early December. Although I knew it was going to…

Read More

“I feel so good, I feel so numb yeah.” Pump up the Volume. We’re listening to some Rob Zombie, it’s May and we’re launching a full on air and powder assault at Snowbird. Flakes the size of Canadian loonies have been falling from the sky continuously for the past five days. In the second week of May, the ‘Bird reports more snow than the entire month of January. While snaking through the initial tram pen, a few of us lucky enough to make the first ascent of the day raise our poles in celebration- taunting those who will have to…

Read More

“Tonight’s weather forecast is calling for a winter storm warning along the Wasatch front. And the Cottonwoods could see up to 5 feet of snow before this is all over!” These kinds of sentences are what keep you from getting a full night’s sleep when Snowbird beckons. You can spend all night tossing and turning, trying to pick out which lines you want to ski first. Like a thundering herd, the storm arrived (on cue from Mark @ KSL 5 TV’s 10pm update) from the West-kick starting that awesome “lake effect snow machine.” Dreams of powder days past soon gave…

Read More

Rolling the dice. Knowing when to take a hit or fold in the cards. Hitting a jackpot by betting the House. Entertaining a Vegas Casino, an adult Disneyland if you will, seems no different at times then when you cross the boundary ropes at the borders of North America’s various winter playgrounds. When skiers and snowboarders cross a rope, the one thing they seem to forget is that the odds always favor the House (in this case, Mother Nature). Over the past 15 years, we have seen many resorts become “Disneyfied.” In order to compete with the cruise and travel…

Read More

I’ve been hearing stories for the past 7 years of this seemingly mythical place in South America that contained more expert terrain than most North American ski resorts combined. Information was hard to come by so I decided that I had to explore these “exaggerations” myself. If it was going to be any year- this was the year. Gazing out the window of our Canadair Regional Jet, all that appeared below was a barren landscape full of enormous craters. The surface glowed of reddish soil surrounded by immense peaks chock full of beautiful, white snow. It seemed as if we…

Read More

We all know the Greatest Snow on Earth lives up Little Cottonwood Canyon outside of Salt Lake City. Little Cottonwood is home to the legendary Alta Ski Area and Snowbird Resort. Both offer the same snow, right? Both offer the same pitches right? Well, not exactly. According to many, Snowbird, with it’s high-speed lifts and the flying dumpster, rules. To others, the moniker “Alta is for Skiers” is tatooed on their very souls. For these two believers, it gets even more personal. Let’s get it on! Point: It’s All About the Tram A migration is happening amongst freeskiers in Little…

Read More