Zeb Blais

Zeb is a Squaw Valley based ski mountaineer. He guides ski and mountaineering trips and teaches avalanche courses from Denali to Ecuador.

Articles by Zeb Blais

The Davenport McMillan Team finishes the Ring of Fire Tour on Mount Baker. Photo: Ted Mahon.

Chris Davenport Ring of Fire Tour: Success!

Well, Chris and Jess McMillan got all they wanted and then some.  They picked off 15 volcanoes (counting the Sisters as three) in 15 days in the Pacific Northwest.  This … Read More

Mount Shuksan from the Northwest.

Shuksan: The End of the Road for the Cascade Volcano Tour

What a long strange trip it’s been.  We expected to deal with troughs and onshore flows and have to squeak our tours in on the back end of storm cells for most … Read More

Mount Baker's Coleman Headwall. Burly ski line. Photo: Zeb Blais.

Mount Baker: A Ski Dream

Five hours after our descent of Mount Rainier, we were on the road again.   By the wee hours of the morning we were sleeping in the Subaru near the base … Read More

The author descends into a cloudy Fuhrer Finger. Photo: Eric Seel.

Mount Rainier: 10,500′ Descent

  Mount Rainier is always an exciting ski.  The tallest, most glaciated peak in the Cascade Range has no simple hiking routes to the top.  All routes to the summit … Read More

Mount Rainier's West Side

Mount Rainier: On Deck…

  Well, high pressure has been keeping spirits high in the Cascades.  The next objective on the tick list is Mount Rainier. Rainier boasts 36 square miles of permanent snow … Read More

Matt watches lenticular clouds build on Mount Adam's Pinnacle above the Adams Glacier.

Mount Adams: The Big Hurt

Mount Adams is a soul-crushingly large mountain.  Even giant Mount Shasta and towering Mount Rainier feel small compared to this massive volcano.  Or maybe it’s just the time of year. … Read More


Next on the Cascade Volcano Tour: Mount Adams

  After a few down days waiting out weather, it looks like we’ll finally get a crack at Mount Adams.  This mountain promises to be a beast. The mountain boasts … Read More

The author rippin some wind buff at 9,500' on Mount Hood's Cooper Spur.

Mt Hood, Cooper Spur: Backcountry Conditions

This tour turned out to be a blessing.  With a bleak, rainy forecast we planned on climbing in thick cloud and skiing in mush.  What we got was the complete … Read More

Davenport climbing in the Sierras. Photo: Christian Pondella.

Davenport, Rhalves & McMillan to Ski Ring of Fire

The Whole Foods sponsored, all-star team of Chris Davenport, Daron Rhalves and Jess McMillan is set to begin their Cascade volcanoes slay fest tomorrow. Their goal is to climb and ski … Read More

Matt skis a rib of the Monitor Ridge with Mt Adams in the background

Mt Saint Helens: Backcountry Conditions Report

This ski tour started out as so many in the Pacific North West: warm and wet.  With a perpetual low pressure forecast, we weren’t expecting great ski conditions.  Or even visibility … Read More

The author skiing the Muir Snowfield. Flat but firm. Photo: Matt Paul.

Mt Rainier: Backcountry Report

While we were able to get a few fun turns without feeling like we were trapped inside a ping pong ball whiteout, now ain’t the time for skiing Mount Rainier. … Read More

Sunset on Mount Shasta's Casaval Ridge

Backcountry Conditions Report: Mt Shasta

Mount Shasta is primed and ready for an awesome corn cycle.  Above 10,ooo’ the mountain is smooth and flat everywhere and just waiting for a nice melt. Usually this time … Read More

Siberia today

10 Silent Turns – Squaw Valley Conditions Report

Waking up to an angry inch of snow this morning was not an exciting prospect for a day of skiing.  I expected to see “bonafide D on C” conditions (that’s … Read More

Seth Morrison "The Ordinary Skier"

Seth Morrison’s “The Ordinary Skier” – Free on Hulu!

The Ordinary Skier is no ordinary ski film.  A very interesting look into the life of one of skiing’s greatest athletes.  If you haven’t seen it, you need to.  It’s … Read More

The first real storm of the season blankets the porch railing with white

Shut off your computer – SKI POWDER!

The first appreciable storm of the 2011/2012 season hits the Tahoe area!  A foot at 6,500′ – stop reading this article now and get your ski boots on!     … Read More

Fat tracks are to be had for those willing to work for them...

Tahoe Backcountry – The Skiing is Going Off !

Good riddance to those nay-sayers that took off this weekend to ski pow in Canada or surf the fat swell on the pacific.  Everyone in the know was in Tahoe … Read More

Zach sitting in front of 1/3 of his computer screens.

What’s up with the weather in Tahoe? An interview with the National Weather Service

If you’re a skier in Tahoe right now, the weather is not making you happy.  Actually, if you’re just about anyone in Tahoe right now, the weather is totally bumming … Read More

Wait a second..there is some snow here!

June-uary Avalanche Training

  One might think that you need snow to do a decent avalanche course.  Au contrair!  This is a perfect time to prep for the massive snows that are coming … Read More

At any given moment there is at least one person falling on the ice.

June-uary in Tahoe – Part 2

  Some may say that Broomball is a stupid sport.  Some may say that it is the stupidest sport.  And some might be right.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m … Read More

Donner ice - Jeb steep flow

What to do in Tahoe’s June-uary | Part I

Well, the good news is the world hasn’t ended with the coming of 2012…at least not yet. The bad news is that June-uary is in full effect. With no appreciable … Read More