Kirkwood, CA 1/13/2016

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Kirkwood, CA 1/13/2016

Postby tseeb » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:06 pm

This Wednesday I wondered as on last Wednesday if going to Kirkwood was a mistake as they were only running three chairs due to wind: one was beginner, one a high-speed beginner/intermediate that was not reachable without a shuttle and one was intermediate/advanced chair (1, 7 and 11 respectively) at 9:30 AM due to wind. Once again, I questioned whether instead of driving the 35 miles S to Kirkwood where they claimed 0" new, I should have driven a little further N to Northstar where they claimed 2" new as storm started there sooner.

I skied a lot of low to moderate angle untracked, but it looked like the better chairs were not going to open today. After my 2nd break - the first was to break out the powder skis, I thought about leaving for Heavenly at 1:45 PM where at least they had a few hi-speed quads running in CA. Then Kirkwood started blasting heavily and they opened steep hi-speed chair 6 at 2:40 PM. I got second chair and had 7 laps by 4 pm. The first three laps were non-stops in about 6" of dense new snow. They did not allow you to go very far left or right, but I found a lot of room to make tracks as most people had left before Cornice opened or did not have enough left to ski it more than a run or two. I quit a little after 4 with 22K (according to EpicMix). Unlike last Wed, when I did the long drive home after skiing powder that included the top at noon, I called my wife and got the OK to stay as long as I made it home tomorrow for our anniversary. Last week I came home a day earlier than I had planned so I hope tomorrow morning makes up for it.

On my way to my car, the sign board by chair 11 said Carson Pass would be closing for avalanche control at 5:20 PM so I did not dawdle. On the way to the pass, the only time my radar detector went off was where CHP was stopped as apparently someone had rear-ended a rotary plow (they go slow and have big rotating yellow lights). I passed 4 more cops between there and the turnoff to Pioneer Trail in Meyers, but my radar detector was silent. One CHP was checking chains on semis at bottom of Carson Pass; one must have been moving to a call and two more where at Pioneer Trail/Highway 50 where Subaru had climbed the bank. The actual pass at nearly 8,600 was dry as wind was stripping snow. On the way there, the inside lane was dry but outside lane usually had 1-2' drift.
Tracks I left near bottom of chair 5 at noon
East side of Chair 6 before they opened it
Some of what I found on chair 6.
More chair 6. A lot of this was rocks/cliffs in Nov.
My SkiTracks for today. My first chair 6 lap was 9 minutes, My 2nd and 3rd lap were 10 minutes.
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