Local Gunnison / Crested Butte skier and Fort Lewis alum Andy Sovick has released a third Off-Piste Ski Atlas! This one centers on the excellent backcountry skiing surrounding Snoqualmie Pass in Washington. Authored by Matt Schonwald, guide and founder of BC Adventure Guides, this particular Off-Piste Ski Atlas stands a little prouder than the other two editions.
The previously released Silverton and Crested Butte editions of the Off-Piste provide a bit more of an introduction to each of their respective areas. But, this Snoqualmie edition is more than that, featuring 80 routes that span from low-angle trees to 60-degree chutes that require a rappel. This guidebook fits the gamut of every kind of backcountry skier.
I must confess, I have never skied at or near Snoqualmie Pass – which is just a little over an hour outside of Seattle. But, skiing on Snoqualmie is no secret. Home to four ski areas, Snoqualmie is a skiing destination. And I’ve heard for years that Alpental is the best for those seeking steeper and more challenging terrain. In fact, skiing here has been on my bucket list. And now this guidebook makes me more inclined to take a trip there.
Each version or edition of the Off-Piste Ski Atlas that is released gets just a little better. The intention of these guidebooks is not to hold your hand through every little part of the tour, but rather to give you the minimal information you need for a safe tour – like where to start, where to finish, a brief description of where you’ll find the skin track, and a few other tips and tricks. Descriptions are brief, but the guidebook is highly visual, providing photographs of each of the routes. Here’s one example:
Unlike many other standard guidebooks, the Snoqualmie Pass, Washington Off-Piste Ski Atlas provides an avalanche terrain exposure scale so skiers can make wise decisions based on the conditions for the day. This guidebook also provides aspect and slope information in graphic form, as well as a host of other information signified with other icons.
It even has a full list of routes at the very end.
Similar to the Crested Butte and Silverton editions, the Snoqualmie Pass, Washington Off-Piste Ski Atlas is lightweight, compact, and relatively durable. It fits well into your pack. Even if you live in Colorado, you’ll find yourself wanting to check out the steep terrain and largely stable coastal snowpack that Snoqualmie Pass has to offer!
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