Ski Mountaineering Guide
Bela G. Vadasz
IFMGA Certified Guide
October 1, 2009
|Friends of ASI
Winter is the season of our anticipation these days, for many reasons. For starters, there've been winds aloft bringing a change in the air. Mornings have been in the low 30s, and the last day of September saw a smattering of snow before dawn. Plus, there's some big news we can hardly wait to share with you.
As you know, ASI has been on the cutting edge of promoting ski mountaineering since our inception. It has always been a key ingredient to our "whole mountain" approach to alpinism and why, in the early 80s, we set up shop in Donner Spitz Hütte next to Sugar Bowl resort. Having great terrain and reliable snow out your back door is key to providing classes on ski mountaineering.
While ASI has always considered resort skiing as part of the continuum of the mountain experience, like in Europe, American resorts have not always held a favorable view of backcountry skiers.
Thankfully, Sugar Bowl has a solid history of working not only with ASI, but also the backcountry community by maintaining open boundaries long before it became popular. They know from experience that backcountry skiers are among their most dedicated customers. It didn't take much arm twisting to ask Sugar Bowl's new marketing director, John Monson, to go on a sidecountry tour with us last spring. While enjoying the best of both worlds, lift access to perfectly ripe corn snow and a warm, leisure skin back to Mt. Judah's summit, John and Bela talked about collaborating to promote skiing, the whole mountain version - in and out of bounds, avalanche education, splitboarding, tele, steep, slack, side, and backcountry skiing - the whole gamut.
Thus, as we finish our 30th season of guiding it feels like a fulfillment of destiny to announce a partnership between ASI and Sugar Bowl ski resort to introduce skiers and snowboarders to the whole mountain skiing experience - from ski improvement classes in-bounds, to a new sidecountry program where ASI will introduce skiers to the backcountry in our old stomping grounds at Donner Pass.
The result is the new ASI Backcountry Adventure Center in the village at Sugar Bowl. We encourage you to come and hang out at the end of the day and swap stories with a PBR or hot drink in hand.
We look forward to skiing with you soon and even if we don't make turns together, don't be a stranger, drop in and say "hi!"
Backcountry Ball - Nov. 21, 2009
Save this date!
To kick off this new partnership Sugar Bowl and ASI will be hosting a Backcountry Ball on November 21st. We'll be celebrating our 30th season, Sugar Bowl's 70th season and our mutual commitment to grow skiing. We'll get more details to you in upcoming newsletters, but we just wanted to let you know so you set the day aside on your calendar.
Tickets will be $15, with $5 of the cost going to support the Sierra Avalanche Center. The ball will be held in the Sugar Bowl Village, near the base of the Disney lift and next to the new ASI Backcountry Adventure Center at Sugar Bowl.
Mt. Shasta's Casaval Ridge
We often get a few early-season storms here in California. They are usually not enough to start the backcountry ski season, but farther north on Mt. Shasta there can be enough snow to cover the loose scree and produce excellent conditions for an early season alpine climbing ascent of Casaval Ridge.
If you're an intermediate mountaineer with previous mountaineering experience, fit and ready for a challenge, consider our November ascent of Mt. Shasta via the Casaval Ridge. Even if the weather turns bad keeping us from reaching the summit, it will be an excellent trip, packed with winter mountaineering skills and great adventure. It's the perfect route to train for bigger summits like Rainier or Denali.
Mt. Shasta, Casaval Ridge
Nov 13-15, 2009
We look forward to skiing with you and helping you achieve your goals. If you can't find the answer to a question on our website, don't hesitate to give us a call.
Bela & Mimi Vadasz
Alpine Skills International