Kirkwood, CA 12/7/2017

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Kirkwood, CA 12/7/2017

Postby tseeb » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:37 am

I did what I think was my first one day trip since March 2012. That report end with "It was a very nice day, with some great powder turns, but the time in car was too long vs. time skiing". While we got more skiing in yesterday, the time in the car vs. time on the hill is still questionable to me, but thanks to @SSSdave from Pugski for driving and pushing back the day he went by a day to accommodate my schedule.

I saw report last week that said "Things have improved markedly since last week especially on the lower mountain." at Alpine. I don't think you can say the same for Kirkwood although they looked like they were preparing for more snowmaking by having two patrollers use weed wackers on the willows near the base so they can be covered with 4" of snow, not 24".
1546PatrollersWeedwhacking.JPG
The other bad news included Cornice chair was down for a few days as it would not restart after a power failure (I heard it ran over weekend, but it looked like it was not loading on webcam on Monday) and that the Evil East Wind was strong since preceding Sunday's 4" which has stripped or hardened the snow in many places. There were a couple of places getting some deposition, including All The Way which skied better last run than when Brian and I skied it on our first Wall lap, and the off the West/other side of the ridge from Eagle Bowl (middle to lower Headwaters) and the top of the Reut chair. I also found a good route on Conestoga that I repeated a few times.

After a few laps that we all shared on the Reut, Brian showed me the good entrance to highest traverse to All The Way (which got scraped to rock during day). We found some windsift in gully, but he was surprised how much conditions there and on most of mountain had deteriorated between Wed. and Thurs. It had been eight days since I'd last been there and a lot more was showing. Some of it was were snow was slightly discolored because it was thin and a lot of it was debris from trees that had been blown onto runs. Between that and gravel on/in snow in a couple of places (that was hard to distinguish from tree debris) and many Sharks fins off groomed run, I had to dial my speed back a lot and ski more cautiously than I like to avoid damaging skis I bought for my son and tried not to damage. It was not all bad as sometimes I could find good snow for 8-10 and rarely more turns in a row, but it was very inconsistent as often 2 out of 10 turns would be where snow had been scraped off. I eventually learned not to move my line very far to hunt for better snow as snow would usually improve after 1-2-3 turns.
IMG_5077.JPG
Pictures above and below in Headwaters, taken from Wall chair
IMG_5078.JPG
My watch counted 20 lifts and just over 23K, both season highs. EpicMix had me at 1 lift/819' (which is the Reut). If I add the 8X1615 for the Wall and 9X819 for the Reut and 3X747 for Solitude, I get 22,532 so my watch was a little over 2% high. I thought about going to go to Squaw on Sunday as I was at a lodge only about an hour away (and my wife grudgingly agreed to go with me), but brought my mountain bike and rode it Sat. and Sun. instead. Not only did I get out of traffic returning to Bay Area from Squaw Sunday evening, but I found good riding in the Harmony Ridge area above Nevada City, CA that I had always wanted to try.
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Re: Kirkwood, CA 12/7/2017

Postby EMSC » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:16 pm

tseeb wrote:If I add the 8X1615 for the Wall and 9X819 for the Reut and 3X747 for Solitude, I get 22,532 so my watch was a little over 2% high.


Definitely an engineer or actuary :lol:
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Re: Kirkwood, CA 12/7/2017

Postby tseeb » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:31 pm

Or a Math major. They called my degree Computer Math back in the 80s when I received it.
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Re: Kirkwood, CA 12/7/2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:41 pm

I have never seen verticals for Kirkwood's lifts published, always had to trust my Vertech watch since 1995. I probably went into an office and asked on my first day there in 1981, but don't remember where I saved that info.

I do remember that Kirkwood's true lift served vertical is the ~1,600 of The Wall and not the 1,800 or 2,000 often quoted.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Kirkwood, CA 12/7/2017

Postby tseeb » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:09 am

I'm using the vertical that EpicMix gives me as I add lifts. All the current lifts are listed following:
1 Snowkirk 398
2 Caples Crest 585
3 Iron Horse 400
4 Sunrise 1,200
5 Solitude 747
6 Cornice 1,370
7 Timber Creek 481
9 Bunny 180
10 The Wall 1,615
11 The Reut 819
14 Vista T-bar 261
15 Covered Wagon 1
The numbers all sound reasonable except T-bar seems a little low (maybe I'm including the ~50' of vertical you have to hike to get to bottom of lift) and Covered Wagon is a obvious mistake, but it rarely runs and does not give you much. They used to have a Covered Wagon 1 and 2 and the second one did get you a bit higher to where you could wrap around the 9400+' peak. I heard the history was they bought two (short) used drag lifts to save money instead of buying one that better fit their needs.

A topo of Kirkwood is at http://www.snwburd.com/dayhikes/peak/4959 which also says the top of Thimble Peak is 9,805' so Kirkwood is stretching it to claim 9,800' as last hundred feet is a class 4 climb, not ski-able and hundreds of feet above any lift. The top of the Wall lift is just over 9,400 and Sunrise goes a little higher. The master plan had upgrading Sunrise to a HSQ and putting another lift from partway up and N of Sunrise to higher on the N side of Thimble Peak, but not sure if Vail has any upgrades planned.
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Re: Kirkwood, CA 12/7/2017

Postby lono » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:28 pm

I love the picture of the patrol weed-wacking.
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