March 4-7, 1999
The road to Leavenworth, Washington on the east side of Stevens Pass is lined with 20-30 foot white walls of a season's accumulation of the fattest dumps in the Northwest in recent (or longer) memory. We don't have the stats to prove it yet, but take our word, the mountains here are a deep layerful history of storm after storm of the epic Northwest season of 1999. It's the powder apocalypse before the next millennium. Thank you Mamma Nature. Don't change for Y2K.
But it ain't the World Cup circuit, and thanks for that. There's no T.V. to dictate the race schedule, no rigid institution to steer the sport toward becoming a commodity, and uh, not much funds. Telemark is the last great renegade of the 20th century.
We arrived on Friday night and crashed the weekend race party at the modest local ski hill in Leavenworth, a misfit Bavarian oasis in the heart of the Cascades. Free salmon, salt potatoes and cake satisfied us Northwest style, and some expatriate Canadians took a nighttime hike into the trees of the high ridge and sailed for an evening gelande sprung off the antiquated nordic jump. This is the real thing.