Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Not Quite Kirkwood.

Winter showed up early this year with a enough snow to get us started in October, with a great cold storm gracing us for Veterans day.  Then rain fell across the entire region just before the Thanksgiving Holiday turning the fantastic base into something like a death crust.  Wet storms followed, each seemingly ending with a rain event.  But when a foot or so of cold powder fell along the crest mid week, I knew where I would be headed for the weekend.  Some where that is not quite Kirkwood.  And it was very good.  The day started crisp, if mot very early.  6F at around 9AM was a good start on the skin track.  

Powdork finds the snow to be too his liking.

Nacho, other than a consistent shiver, seemed to be enjoying the cold smoke.


Mike was up for some fast, silent turns.

The snow was decent.  About a foot, maybe more in spots, of light fast powder on top of a supportable crust.  Sure, we felt the bottom more often than not, but the stuff on top was effortless to ski.  And the landings were almost really good.  With ski windows limited, I knew I had to make the most of the day.  With three partners, I was sure to have one out last me.  Good enough.  We got two runs down the front face, before we hatched plans to head a little further up the ridge and check out another bowl.  Turns out it was a pretty decent plan.  Some of the best snow of the day was in the latter half.

Powdork finds a nice slot to jump around in.

Icicle hit.
Lap Two was even better than the first.Add caption

I find a small hit in a rock band that will be gone by Christmas.  Phote: Alex Do

By hiking a little higher up, and trying a different aspect, we found a wide open face, with just a few rocks here and there to launch off of.  Basically, good, old fashion powder bowl turns that were bottomless.  Okay, so not bottomless, but at least we never hit the crust.  Then it was time to make the short end of day slog back to the main ridge so we could ski to the car.  There was a bit of complaining on my part about this work.  Early season muscles, not enough food and a day that peaked at 15F can make a man grumpy.  Nothing good snow can't fix. 

SchralphMachio does his best JMetzler impression.

This is what it looks like just before your skis get run over by a dork.

Finding time to get in the air.

Then I got a turn to play.  Photo: Alex Do

 Hit the final face, found some more great snow, jumped a cliff and lost a ski just as it was getting dark. A cold climb back up, and a little help from a friend, got us heading back down to the car.  Damn it was cold.  Turns out the car battery was dead.  Almost turned in to one of those nightmare moments, but a friendly neighbor got us going in no time.  All in all, a great time, skiing around in one of my favorite little yoyo zones.  More pics of this adventure at Powdork.com