Heavenly, NV 3/1/2018

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Heavenly, NV 3/1/2018

Postby tseeb » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:16 pm

I got home from Canada early Monday PM after volunteering to stay a couple of extra hours in Seattle for a $300 Alaska voucher. (On both ways during my layover in Seattle, they were offering $400 to take later flights to Calgary.) So I had an evening and a full day at home before I needed to start getting ready for my next trip. I spent most of Wed packing, waxing a pair of my skis and a pair of my wife's and trying to find her ski parka as she was flying to SLC after work on Fri and sending as much as she could with me. I went to check storage container I have at my Mom's house and got on the road in the rain in San Jose about 5:15 AM. I had a choice of Kirkwood, Heavenly or Northstar on my Vail Epic Local Pass or could have gone by Squaw and used one of my three Mountain Collective days there and tried to get my bootfitter to work on my always troublesome right boot.

I did not have to make a decision until Stockton (80 miles from hime) and when I checked CA-88 to Kirkwood was already closed at the Carson Spur for avalanche control (although it soon re-opened and I could have diverted without much dealy but was concerned pass to E could close). I-80 (Squaw/Northstar) showed a lot a slow traffic and I would have to get through Sacramento. So I cutoff S of Sacramento and went to Heavenly which turned out to be a good choice. Not only could I stop by family cabin to dress for skiing and look for missing parka, but previous user had not turned heat all the way off in a bedroom so it was running even though water had been shut down.

I had chain control at little before Kyburz (4,000' and 30 miles before Tahoe) and got to SLT in 4 hours. I set up a 10 AM meetup at Stagecoach base with a couple of friends from EpicSki/Pugski. I was a few minutes late, but parked two spaces away from one of them who lives in SLT (and works at Kirkwood and was skiing with new girlfriend) and was able to quickly meet up with the other who is there from England for two weeks and staying with friends in Carson City.

While usually wind-protected Northstar was only running a couple of too flat lifts, and Kirkwood (and Mt Rose) had nothing, and Squaw was limited to lifts below KT, Heavenly ran everything early except for the most wind-exposed lifts (Sky, Gondola, Tamarack and North Bowl). But Dipper, the highest NV lift, closed quickly (and we heard had very bad visibility) and we only got one ride on Comet before it closed due to wind. So we skied lower-angle Olympic many times and steeper, but bonier Stagecoach about 5 times. I hit a few obstacles the first couple of laps, but due to new snow getting deeper and getting better at choosing my route, I did not hit much for the middle of the day.

After a lunch break in small/mobbed Stagecoach lodge, we took a couple of laps on Stagecoach where groomed runs to skiers right had 5-6" new that skied well. After a couple of more Olympic laps where tracks from the AM were getting filled in, I skied down trees just past Stagecoach lift and found more barely buried obstacles. I quit at 2:45 with 15.5K, later than the planned 1-2 PM, and drove across NV to Wendover. (The next morning Heavenly reported 31" so it's possible 8-10" fell by the time I quit.) There was only snow on the road to 5500' going down from 7500' Dagget Pass (Kingsbury Grade) and mixed precipitation in Carson City. I had a good tailwind most of I-80 although there were some fast moving tumbleweeds and some strong gusts in minor passes in Eastern part of NV. No pictures unless you want to see some of I-80 crossing NV.
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