Carl Skoog on Stetattle Ridge in the Picket Range, 1985.

Expedition-length mountaineering trips have never fit my lifestyle very well. I have preferred to take shorter trips in the mountains I really care about, close to home. Skiing the Cascade Crest has combined these smaller ventures into a long journey that has been deeply satisfying. The trip has taken many years, but the passage of time has made it richer.

It has been said that skiing is a way of life, but I've never really felt that way about it. For me, skiing is a search for balance. In this sense, it is a metaphor for living. I have been enamored with skiing since I was a boy, but I realized long ago that I would not build my life around it. My work has nothing to do with outdoor sports, and I have tried to balance my life between work, play, family, and community.

The most rewarding ski trip I've ever taken has been to trace the history of skiing in Washington state. Meeting and learning about skiers who came before me (and who will come after) has taught me that skiing is not just about turns or equipment or good snow, but about people. I have been inspired by skiers who have found their own balance in life, for whom skiing has been a touchstone, not an end.

Skiing the Cascade Crest has allowed me to integrate what I have learned about Northwest skiing and what I have experienced personally. It has given me a unique perspective to trace the larger story of skiing in this region, which is the goal of the book I am writing. It also has been a fitting memorial to my brother Carl, without whom much of this journey would never have taken place. Researching and writing a book about Northwest skiing has shifted the balance in my life (for the better) in ways I never predicted. My search for balance continues.

—Lowell Skoog


Introduction | Overview - Skiing the Cascade Crest | The Alpenglow Gallery