A world a way from the deep powder he chases, Larry grew up under the warm, sunny skies of Laguna Beach, California. Surrounded by breathtaking seascapes, he played in the ocean - enjoying an idyllic childhood and a wonderful beach life. Think Norman Rockwell meets the Beach Boys.
When he discovered the thrill of riding waves, he soon realized the ocean offered infinite entertainment value. Observing ocean swells, waves, tides and beach topography, he deluded himself into thinking he had a knack for predicting quality surf.
He claims he really never saw snow until he attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona - elevation 7000ft. From his home base, in the dorm, he skied the high southwest including Arizona, Colorado and Utah. Much to his astonishment and his parent’s relief, he obtained a degree. His diploma was in Earth Science and weather forecasting. But he wondered, what was one to do with this newfound knowledge?
He had a driving ambition to tell people about the weather. He went on a crusade to get his dream job as a TV meteorologist. After an intensely focused six-month search and more than a hundred resumes to small stations, unending networking, infinite phone conversations, aided by detailed research into the television industry, then pursuing dozens of dead end leads - there were no interviews and certainly no offers.
But alas, there was a sudden change in the wind. Somehow he talked his way into an on air TV weathercasting job in beautiful Monterey, California. This was a charming piece of salesmanship, as he had no on air television experience. Unlike most TV weather people of the time, he had a weather degree and sometimes actually knew what he was talking about. It seems people noticed that distinction, garnering him a growing and very loyal audience. He peppered his nightly weathercasts with humor, science education and always an accurate forecast. In this case, the college education did pay off.
Living in the stunning coastal city of Monterey, he skied the nearby Sierra Nevada in on his days off. He was hooked on deep powder skiing at Kirkwood and all the Lake Tahoe resorts.
To his surprise, a phone call came from another extraordinary place – Seattle. It was the prestigious KING – TV and they wanted him to be their on air morning broadcast meteorologist. He accepted immediately. The TV station manager was disappointed when Larry said he couldn’t start for six weeks. Larry was shading the truth. Who could blame him? A monster El Nino was in progress, hammering Tahoe and he had a season pass to ski Kirkwood. The “Wood” was getting pounded with daily, epic powder, weeks of dumpage, with no end. Also, during that month, he went on a seven-day trip skiing in Canada. You can see how playing in the snow often directed his life and took priority.
He finally got settled in Seattle and presented the weather on TV for the next two decades. He skied the the Washington Cascades, B.C., Oregon, Idaho and Montana. He won awards for his TV science journalism reporting and also a national award for snowsports reporting. His ski trips for the station were often cleverly disguised as a news report, blurring the lines between work and play - often to his advantage.
He finally left TV after 25 years of daily TV broadcasts. He now works in water management, as a meteorologist for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Seattle. He forecasts large floods, while working with massive dams, big water and flood control. It’s a fascinating and exciting job.
Larry now cherry picks the best powder days to ski. He has skied more than 60 ski areas in the Western U.S. and British Columbia – including cat and heli-skiing. He started the Powder Alert in 1996. Since then he has anointed himself the Grand Poobah of Powder. It was clearly a shameless power grab, since nobody had claimed the title. He's been humbly serving NW skiers for decades with accurate powder forecasts.
Larry can also be seen in Hawaii, reliving his early beach days and getting some waves.
His ride continues and the path is lined with fresh snow and perfect waves.
Drop a line, the poobah of powder would love to hear from you.