Kirkwood, CA 4/6/2015

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Kirkwood, CA 4/6/2015

Postby tseeb » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:22 pm

After my last trip (to now closed Alpine), I was pretty much committed to Kirkwood as going there misses rush hour traffic approaching Sacramento and saves 60 miles of driving compared to going through Truckee/North Tahoe. I'm not sure I made the right choice as Squaw, where I have free tickets to burn reported 8" new and Northstar, where they are down to 9 runs open the way they count them and free on my pass, reported 6". While Kirkwood only reported 4", they are running Cornice and The Wall chair, arguably the two best lifts still going at Tahoe. I left San Jose at 6 am and after 17 miles of chain control that began at 7K turned into Kirkwood before 9:30 and was on Cornice about 9:45. I took three laps to Sentinel which required hiking rocky path to get to gravelly entrance. The snow on well-covered run was mostly better than dust on crust, but I did find very hard layer underneath on too many turns. I took a couple of runs either side of both Monte Wolf and Olympic and found some good and some too interesting snow.

I checked at ski repair about getting a hot wax, but they were backed up so I returned to car and hoped the rub-on wax I did would give me some protection from all the hazards lurking under the snow. I also picked up a beer and a leftover slice of pizza for my long ride up the Wall chair. I ended up also skiing the Wall seven times. The first three were skiers right into terrain under closed Reut chair where I found a lot of barely tracked snow along the edges of runs. I also took a couple of runs towards the corner between the Wall and Cornice and found more good untracked. I did one hike behind the ridge and ended up coming down the Left of Heart Chute when I was headed for Sisters Chute. The snow was very scraped off here and I was glad to find that I eventually ran into softer snow before exiting chute. The top of The Wall got very scraped off so I did one run into Headwaters where I found good snow. There was still lightly tracked snow from near the top of the Reut chair almost to the bottom after 3 pm.

I quit skiing about 3:10 pm with 21.5K of challenging skiing that was more than half in powder. I'm hoping Heavenly spins some lift tomorrow so I only have to drive a mile or two, then I plan to return to Kirkwood on my way home on Wednesday which could be a good as 5-10" new is predicted through Tues. night.

First picture is Shotgun run, below top of closed for a while Reut chair
I have never seen the exit from The Drain look like this. It drains at least ten runs/chutes from Wagon Wheel Bowl.
I skied chute on left. Last year I skied the one on right late season. Long hike without skis behind ridge to get to it.
This was also taken about 1 PM. Norm's Nose is peak at top left.
Corner Chute at 1:30, always one of my favorites and reachable from gravity traverse from The Wall
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