Winter Wanders

Spring is finally here although sometimes the weather still doesn’t quite feel like it. It’s been a while since my last update post, so here is a summary of what I’ve been up to during the winter. Like the last couple of winters, I mostly just skied during my time off. Also went razor clamming for the first time. Here are the photo (and video) highlights.

Skiing in Snowbasin, Utah with a buddy
Crystal Mountain
Mount Rainier out in full view from the top of Crystal Mountain gondola (click to enlarge)
Cypress Mountain
The view while going up one of the main chairlifts at Cypress Mountain. Can see the waters of Howe Sound

For this ski season, I bought an Ikon Pass, which gives access to a different set of resorts than the Epic Local Pass that I had for the previous few seasons. Most of my ski days were used at the local resorts, which are Crystal Mountain and the Summit at Snoqualmie in the Seattle area, and Cypress Mountain in the Vancouver area.

Summit at Snoqualmie
View from Summit Central at the Summit at Snoqualmie
Alpental covered bridge
First time to Alpental, the separate advanced/expert area of the Summit at Snoqualmie. The covered bridge is pretty neat

In addition to local PNW skiing, I took a trip to Utah with a friend and their friends. My first fly-out ski trip 3 years ago was to Utah, where I skied Park City and Snowbasin. Snowbasin is now on Ikon and I visited there again on this trip. We also visited Snowbird and Brighton as well. Snowbird was probably my favorite out of the three, since it’s a good sized resort that I haven’t been to and has some interesting features and terrain. Snowbasin was also pretty good, but it was super windy at the top when we visited. I felt I was getting sandblasted by the snow at the top of the Strawberry Gondola. Snowbasin does have the best lodge facilities of any ski resort I’ve been to. As for Brighton, it’s a smaller local resort and we went on a weekend day, so it was crowded and traffic jams in and out of the resort. The snow was still good though.

Snowbird Tram
Waiting with the crowd to get up the mountain on the Snowbird Tram
Snowbird Little Cottonwood Canyon
View of Little Cottonwood Canyon from the top of Snowbird, towards Salt Lake City
Snowbird Mineral Basin
Panorama of the Mineral Basin (backside) of Snowbird
Snowbird Peruvian Tunnel
Snowbird has the only ski tunnel in North America. Was a fun ride to the backside through the magic carpet in the Peruvian Tunnel

Compared to the PNW, the snow in Utah was drier and more powdery, making it easier to ski. I felt more stable and therefore was able to go faster in the dry Utah snow, vs the heavier, more clumpy snow in the PNW. Salt Lake City is also probably the best major US city for skiing, since there are 7 resorts within an hour’s drive (on the weekdays without major traffic). There are more resorts in Colorado, but they are not as close to Denver as the Utah resorts are to SLC. We got three bluebird days while in Utah, and overall it was a fun trip.

Nice bluebird ski day at Snowbasin
View from Brighton Resort into Big Cottonwood Canyon

In addition to skiing, I went to the Washington Pacific coast to dig for razor clams for the first time. I bought a special clam gun for razor clamming during the pandemic, and finally got around to using it this winter. Digging for razor clams is not too hard if you know what to look for while wandering the beach during low tide. You can see a video of me using my clam gun to get a razor clam below:

Digging up a razor clam with my clam gun

As a first-timer, I managed to get 7 in less than hour, and that was plenty enough for me. I cooked my catch by frying and stir-frying the clam meat, and I must say that razor clams are pretty tasty. The only thing preventing me from going more often is the 2+ hour drive to the coast.

Razor clam from car
View from within my car towards the beach. Line of people near the water digging for razor clams. Yes, you do drive your car onto the beach.

That’s all my highlights from the last 4 months. The ski season is winding down, but I’m trying to squeeze out the last few days on my season pass. I’ve already skied more days this season than any seasons in the past. I’ve definitely improved over last season, but still have to work on a few things, particularly skiing moguls and bumpy terrain. I’m better on moguls than before, but still far from smooth or confident. There are also a lot of Ikon resorts that I want to visit but didn’t get to them this winter, such as Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole etc. That’ll have to be next winter.

As for the spring, I don’t have any definite plans. There are some uncertainties about my employment given the tech industry climate, so things are up in the air. I’ll work to improve myself and situation, and hope for the best. Thanks for reading.

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