[Mad Trees is made up of a group of eight skiers, all of whom were originally based in the northeast. After graduating from the University of Vermont, this winter five of them packed up their bags and headed West in search of snow. Here s an update from them.]
Last September, we set off from the coast of Maine to explore new terrain and fresh adventures in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. So far, the experience has been everything we imagined and much more. Since October 1, day after epic day at Stevens Pass have redefined the concept of deep skiing and have done so with such consistency that it sometimes seems unreal.
As an added bonus, there s year-round biking in the Northwest. When people talked up winter riding, we envisioned studded tires and full winter gear. Instead, we found mild and perfect year-round riding conditions accessible merely 20 minutes from downtown Seattle. The welcoming attitudes of Washington residents were apparent from the get-go; they re here for soul shredding and their aim in life is to have fun above all else, which is how it should be.
People have been eager to share riding spots, link up for a day on the snow, or just cheers a beer or seven whenever. Although it s only been several months, the attitudes and culture of the area along with the quick access to big mountains, real snow, deep forests, and pristine coastline make it feel like home.
Greg Townsend notices most how growing up in Maine makes one really appreciate what we ve found out here. Growing up I would have to build my own bike trails in the summer to ride the style of terrain I was looking to ride and every winter would be 15 days of ice before a decent day of fresh snow, he says. The things that you really had to work for back home are now readily accessible.
These images capture the essence of a typical day in the northwest.
[For more on the Mad Trees crew, check out www.madtrees.org]