Houseblend posts by John

Chiwaukum Ski Traverse - An odd adventure in the Central Cascades

I live in the Central Cascades of Washington State among a small ski touring community surrounded by mountains that are not exactly easy to reach.  Most of the die hard locals have succumbed to owning a snowmobile as it allows you to chew off the 5 mile, 2000-3000 foot approaches that guard our access to the best skiing.  At times I wish there were more folks headed into the backcountry as we could count on occassionally having a good skin track in.  I am not super keen on the idea of owning a sled and even less excited about the prospect of finding a reliable used one for a decent price. 


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Skiing the Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt - Tips for planning your own trip

Every outdoor activity has a few very iconic trips.  For those interested in a European ski traverse, the Haute Route is the first trip that pops into most people’s minds.  There are dozens of other traverses in the alps that rival the Haute Route in terms of pure downhill skiing (The Berner Oberland), comfortable huts (The Ortler Ski Circuit), wilderness experience (The Ecrins Traverse) and other qualities that make for a good week of skiing, but like running the Grand Canyon in a dory, or climbing El Capitan, the Haute Route stands out as a monkey that most backcountry skiers will eventua


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