Kirkwood, CA 1/27/2017

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Kirkwood, CA 1/27/2017

Postby tseeb » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:51 am

After a couple of stops leaving South Tahoe, a mostly quick drive, then parking across street from Timber Creek base and walking up narrowed stairs walled in by 10+' snowbanks, letting my friend buy one of my $69 Buddy tickets, EpicMix said I got on chair at 939. We took a warm-up run on Timber Creek before riding Cornice. My friend and a couple of others, trying to avoid the band of firm snow at entrance suffered through a lot of wind-crusted powder getting back onto groomed. My friend took a fall making a turn in un-groomed, but at least it was on snow which was a lot softer than the pavement he went down on the previous night less than 30 seconds after I warned him that parking lot was very slick. I thought wind-sift on groomed Sentinel was excellent and the groomer, Zachary on the other side of the chair was also good. We moved to The Reut where we took two high-speed laps on runs that had some wind-sift on top of groomed.

He continued riding Reut while I moved to the Wall which I skied 5x before lunch. My only variation was one lap on Caples Crest to see if Backside (chairs 3&4) had come off wind-hold. After skiing the Wall I nearly straight-lined Caples as it seemed flat after route I found on the Wall that I repeated many times. It started with wind-sift on Headwaters where wind would sometimes catch snow my turns were raising and throw it 100 feet into the air, sometimes making it past the chair. I continued in more windsift on gullies and small faces under chair before crossing over Buckboard and skiing a very steep, wind-sift filled entrance into Waterfall, then down very smooth (for a change) Drain back to lift. On one lap, I took a more direct entrance off the Wall that avoided most of bumpy traverse into also excellent All The Way chute. Only pictures I took on Friday include my pre-noon beer riding long slow Wall/#10.
Looking towards Cornice

After a quick lunch in crowded Monte Wolf's where we verified that the Backside had opened, we went there using the Reut (and Caples Crest/#2). On the way to #2, I repeated a narrow chute off Norm's Nose that I had done earlier. I rode the slow Backside chair twice. First I tried powder on either side of groomed Elevator Shaft, but it had been hammered by overnight Evil East winds that I heard reached 100 mph. I found stretches good for a few turns, but the stastrugi always drove me back to groomed. I exited Backside via a windsift filled chute entrance to Thunder Saddle I'd found earlier in the month and then skied Two Man Chute which was in a tough stage in-between powder and packed/windsift.

I did one more Wall, where I took my hardest fall of the year when excellent windsift turned into deep crust powder without me noticing, then Cornice lap solo. Then I did Cornice/Sentinel to Timber Creek lap with my friend who was done for the day. I would have walked to car to get a beer for long slow Wall lift, but did not want to waste energy on the 50' climb back to the lift. I repeated Wall, then Cornice past empty with nearly filled-in entrance cave where safety meetings are usually held and quit at 3:30 with almost 26K (and 120K for the five days). I was on the road at 3:40 and got home in 3:40, breaking a long string of 4:30 (or worse) trips to/from the Sierra.

My season totals so far are 17 days and 340K. All except free ticket at Sierra on 1/26 were on my $529 Tahoe Local Pass: 3 in Nov, 3 in Dec and 11 in Jan, which is even more impressive when you consider it poured in Sierra the weekend of 1/7-8 (when my son went), with the storms, traffic and roads closures, my drives with usually 4:30 or more and I was in Mexico 8 days. Of my 11 days in Jan, 9 were powder with 8 being on my powder skis.
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