Heavenly, CA and NV 1/11-1/13/22

tseeb

Active member
Tuesday 1/11 was first day where crowds went away after initial line to get up Gunbarrel and short lines on Ski and Dipper from about 10-11 disappeared. It was my wife's first day of the season as she didn't want to gear up for the less than 2 hrs. I skied at Kirkwood on way up on Mon. We met friend I used to work with who has moved to So. Tahoe in line at Gunbarrel not much after 8:30, well before 9 AM opening. We skied a few Sky chair laps, mostly Ridge Run although I got my wife to go down steeper, but very well-groomed Ridge Bowl.
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My wife and friend took intermediate route to NV while I skied very good Milky Way Bowl, then left side of the Y in Mott Canyon. I met up with them for a run on Comet, then we all returned to CA via excellent 49er and Tamarack chair. After riding Sky to the top, we skied Ridge (with Bowl option for me) then Mombo and rode Groove. They downloaded Gunbarrel chair while I skied Advanced Roundabout and Pistol to get to where I had parked to put on sunscreen, drop a layer and swap skis.

My friend dropped my wife at cabin while I returned to the top of Heavenly via three lifts starting with tram. Tram operator provided masks for a couple of unmasked customers, but didn’t enforce proper wearing. I was wearing N95. Entering NV, I bypassed Milky Way Bowl and skied Inner Outer Limits then Pipeline from Gate A. This was my first time into Killibrew Canyon this winter. I usually ski ropeline on Outer Limits but snow was great on skiers left side and it made it easier to not miss now unsigned Pipeline.
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Looking down Pipeline where I don't think sun hits this time of year. Snowless nearly flat Carson Valley about a mile below.
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Pipeline still has rock in center below choke for anyone who wants to launch 2/3 of the way down near 40 degree slope. Snow was winter chalk as I don’t think the sun can get into it except maybe very early as even though it's E-facing it's mostly shady in mid-Winter.
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Exit was very thin, but patrollers who came down Pipeline after me shoveled more snow onto this exposed corner on higher exit. Entrance to Pipeline is bowl in center below rock on right on skyline. I thought about trying Boundary Chutes, lookers left as you can get there after skiing best of Pipeline, but they are best done in powder and then you are committed to lower exit.
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Light got flat in PM due to clouds which also dropped temp. After a gravity run down Motts on Widowmaker, then the ridge between it and Snakes Eyes and riding Mott chair, I skied Nevada Trail to Stagecoach base which I rode. I found good snow in Stagecoach Woods between top of Stagecoach and North Bowl chairs then skied Boulder Chute to North Bowl chair where I had US empanada and beer.
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I used Olympic to get to Dipper where I took one lap on Big Dipper run, then skied CA Trail/Maggies Canyon to Powder Bowl where I skied Waterfall. I finished my day taking high entrance above Gunbarrel chair, then skied smooth snow under the top two Tram towers my last run to avoid some of the bumps on Face/East Bowl. I'll have to get a better picture as the mile of bumps are visible from lot behind ours.
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25.3K and I was back at cabin before 3. I will be back for more on Wednesday and Thursday when my Vail Tahoe season will show 6 days at Heavenly and 2 at Kirkwood vs. usually having at least a couple more days at Kirkwood than Heavenly. This is mostly due decent coverage and generally very good snow at Heavenly. I took dog for unleashed post-sunset walk (her 3rd of day) with usual great Tahoe alpenglow.
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Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
No mention of rain crust at Heavenly, so it makes sense to be skiing more there than Kirkwood right now.
 

tseeb

Active member
Wednesday 1/12/2022
My wife and I had a late start due to taking care of a few things before skiing. Good CA parking looked full so we used little known street parking at almost 9:30 so we only had to walk ~150' feet to put on skis (much less when it was only me) and could easily ski to Gunbarrel chair (see tailgate picture for spot). We took a couple of laps on Canyon. Ridge Bowl was not as good as previous day early when it was perfectly groomed, but got much better during day as it got skied. Next we used Sky to go to NV as that's where we thought friend from Minden was. I took The Y into Mott while my wife took a lap on Dipper which was busier than usual due to Comet going down (for day?) Sign for and looking up skiers right leg of The Y that I skied for first time this season. Very good winter snow as sun does not hit it and it has not gotten that warm so far in Jan on this part of Heavenly.
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I thought I was mostly down with the Y when I took preceding picture, but next one shows more skiing below me.
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Friend was in CA so we rode Dipper and skied CA Trail and found him at Sky. Epic Mix caught all my lifts for first time this season (16/18.5K vertical) and said we did Sky and Canyon 3x each between 11:30 and 12:40 when my friend had to return to NV and my wife was ready to head down. I got them both to ski recently opened right side of Canyonland and black diamond (passing Expert Only and Ungroomed Beyond Here signs) Ellie's Swing to Ellie's. I also skied very good and shady Sky Canyon once, we all skied Ridge Bowl and my wife and I repeated it. On Ridge Run.
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We moved down mountain on Mombo, then somewhat sticky Swing Trail, then luckily shaded SW-facing Stein's Way. We got down the lowest level of CA via Advanced Roundabout, then I dropped Pistol and we both skied to truck on World Cup which was still a little firm. My wife tailgated while I took out shorter radius ski and rode Gunbarrel twice, skiing still winter snow on shaded left side of Gunbarrel, then mostly staying to right of big bumps on The Face/East Bowl which I entered by ducking rope to get past closed today Lakeview Lodge. I just missed tram in first picture.
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My wife with couch we used truck to bring to cabin (and have yet to unload). I needed 4WD to backup to get into this parking spot.
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After a short break at cabin, that is between here and Lake visible down road, we (with our dog) walked 4-5 blocks to new to us sushi place that that is very highly rated. Since their dog-friendly patio is closed due to snow, they let our dog lay under our table inside. We started line at about 3:40 for great 4-5 PM Happy Hour. They opened early and were full by a minute or two after 4. Six gyoza, these two rolls and two Sierra Nevada Hazys for $28 + tip. My wife wants to go back tonight. Hopefully we are still here. (see next day's post)
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Thursday 1/13/2022
The two previous nights I've been woken up at 4-4:30 by our dog who seemed to just want to say hello. This morning's wakeup was at 2:20 from alarm company call as motion was detected sensor inside house. It seems to be a false alarm, hopefully just motion detector or something else falling, but may not know until morning when neighbor who I called and didn't notice anything, as our cameras also did not, can check it out as PD does not seem to be responding (our Ring cameras showed cop checked front yard and front door at 5:20). I'm still hoping to be able to hit Stateline Chute in Killibrew that is in shade in center of picture taken on way to The Y on Wed.
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tseeb

Active member
Thursday 1/13/2022 was not a good day. Not only did I not get to ski Stateline Chute (or anywhere in NV), but my wife ended up having to be checked out at hospital. EpicMix had me loading Gunbarrel at 9:05 and counted 10 lifts/8,345 vertical. There was a windy, but dry system moving through that closed Sky chair and the Gondola (and upper NV). We were a group of six loading Powderbowl and friend on other end of chair tweaked his ankle as he was too far to the left getting on chair. We had one uncrowded lap on Canyon, found line growing on 2nd lap and by our third lap about 10 AM, I timed line at 11 min so we moved down. This is Canyon line we saw at 10:30 from Maggie's.
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On Canyon, my wife and I skied re-groomed and excellent Ridge Bowl off Ridge Run twice and High Five. We moved down to Powderbowl where I had four runs and my wife three as she needed to use the facilities at Stein’s. My runs were Upper Mombo with my wife, friend I used to work with and his wife, Maggie’s, beginner run that I learned to ski on almost 60 years ago, Waterfall while my wife repeated Maggie’s to get to facilities and Mombo to Swing Trail to Stein’s Way.

About 11 we shared a $15+ Mountain Mary at Stein’s where wind was shaking the umbrella/yurt-like bar and bartender was nice enough to give me two skewers of veggies and an extra cup to split the drink. There was a friendly couple from GA on chairs next to us in sun and snow outside who had driven 4 hours each way to Yosemite earlier in week and were surprised I had 8 runs as they only had one (really one on Canyon and one on Powderbowl).

Since line had grown on Powderbowl we took a warmup on Groove trying to stay out of danger from all the park feature users at a little before noon. Before the last turn exiting Groove, I looked back saw my wife was down not too far below one of the park features that I thought maybe she had tried. She intelligently moved out of danger to the side of run while I quickly hiked back up. One of the toes on Marker system bindings on K2s she’d won and had been mounted by me, but checked by store where she’d won them had slid forward causing her to lose ski and fall. Luckily the screw was not lost so I was able to reset binding to same setting as other and tighten with key (and further tighten it and other screws with screwdriver at base of lift). But she’d hit her (helmeted) head hard on the fall and was not 100%. She skied down to and rode Groove chair and felt up to skiing Advanced Roundabout into Roundabout, about 1700 vertical, mostly road with three steeper sections to CA base. I also was showing guy we’d shared Groove chair with the way and I took steep Pistol that held good snow.

While Lucia made it down OK, she was not doing well so we went to clinic next to base of Tram (where she had been for care the day after jamming her thumb at Northstar a few years ago). After first thinking it was closed for lunch, we learned it was only open weekends. She was feeling dizzy and had a headache and sore neck. I made a couple trips between clinic and truck parked not very far away to store gear, bring her my snow boots to change into as she had been putting warm ski boots on at cabin and did not have other shoes and to get my shorter skis as I thought I might get a couple of more laps while she received care. I found and called number for ski patrol at bottom of tram and very professional dispatcher sent patroller who arrived in about 5 mins. Lucia was also having some trouble with brightness, so I let her use my prescription sunglasses. Patroller was EMT and very professional. He recommended we go to urgent care near base of Kingsbury which we did after long hold, then drop and another long hold and call with Kaiser Permanente, our health care provider, who also concurred. While on hold, we’d driven to cabin, changed out of ski clothes and loaded dog into truck. Urgent care sent us to ER at hospital near the Y about 5 miles away as they did not have a Dr.

There was some delay at hospital so it was about 4 when she was released after being diagnosed with a concussion. They did not think she required CAT scan, other X-rays or care. They gave her one 200 mg ibruprofen and she added at least another one at cabin. After dinner featuring excellent salad she made with two kinds of lettuce from T&A
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(where our son works), avocados, grape tomatoes, sliced olives, green onions, freshly grated (real) Parmesan and lite Caesar dressing and Lockeford Meats smoked Dakota (brats) that I cooked, she went to bed early and seems to be doing OK. Tomorrow is our 32nd anniversary and she wanted to get home before all the excitement in last 20 hrs. Lesson is to regularly check screws on bindings as they can loosen and if it happens in the wrong place, the result could be much worse.
 

jimk

Member
Head injuries are nothing to take lightly. You were smart to get your wife checked out. Hope she is feeling 100% soon. She is a nice lady who I have skied with once or twice including several hours at Snowbird a few years ago with a large group.
 

tseeb

Active member
Thanks Jim. Lucia had a rough Friday and so did I packing, cleaning and closing cabin without her usual amount of help. It was almost noon when we got on road even though I started before 8:30 after giving dog a short walk. We had anniversary lunch at In-N-Out in Placerville and stopped for a wine tasting at place where I'm a member and she wanted to get a box of white wine for upcoming trip. She did not finish her tasting and I didn't finish hers either as we were still an hour and a half from home (and it wasn't that great). No anniversary dinner yet.

She was better on Sat. but still hurting if she moved her head very fast and is taking 600 mg ibuprofen 3x a day. No improvement Sunday and Monday, when she got a CAT scan at local medical center. It only took about 30 min including 15-20 min waiting for results which were negative. Drive was almost that long each way.

Our dog wants to volunteer to be a Crossing Guard at the cabin. There is another sign that says Rabbit Crossing. She likes to chase them and has caught both although squirrels usually find a hole or tree before she runs them down.
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tseeb

Active member
We plan to ski Steamboat 2/23 and 2/24. I drove through there in early 1970s, but have never skied or stayed there.
 

jimk

Member
I'm staying three nights in the Quality Inn. Not real fancy, but not bad, about one mile from lifts. Cheaper than comparable motels in Dillon/Frisco. I'm traveling alone right now, wife joining me later in UT. Slopeside condo would obviously be the way to go if budget is not an issue. Not crowded right now in town. I'm able to park free not far from base of lifts at upper knoll lot. I'll share a few more details later. Getting ready to go skiing.
 

tseeb

Active member
Check screws on any track binding regularly. My wife had toe slide forward at Heavenly a week ago resulting in a fall that gave her a concussion. Even though she was wearing a helmet she hit her head hard enough that she is still suffering effects a week later. Yesterday, a friend, who is usually is line at Gunbarrel more than an hour before opening, had "entire binding assembly come off one of the skis causing the fall" which resulted in a shattered hip and broken femur. Not sure if there is a better place to post this, but please check screws that hold your bindings to tracks.
 

tseeb

Active member
Three weeks after my wife's fall on 1/13, and on the same day I returned from another Mon-Thu trip, she started feeling clumsy. It got worse the next day. Her Dr. could not see her but had appt. with another Dr. on 2/5 who thought it was vertigo and recommended Dramamine, which did not help. The next morning, we went to local ER where CT Scan (she also had one a few days after fall) found slow bleeding on both sides of her brain. They moved her to hospital 30 miles from home that specializes in this type of injury and put drain on one side of her head on Mon, on the other side on Tues. and she came home Thurs.

She was doing well, taking short walks in neighborhood every evening and only a couple of Tylenol the first day, one the second and none on Saturday when she felt some numbness in her left foot during walk. It got worse when she went to bed, spreading to her left leg with a little in left arm so we returned to hospital she was released from in the dark on Super Bowl Sunday. She was able to walk into ER and explain to Dr. her problem. CT Scan did not show any change from one before she was released, but they kept her at hospital (3 nights now), where I am not allowed to visit.

I canceled her 2/22 flight to Steamboat where we planned to ski a couple of days before a day at Copper and most of a week at Aspen. All my lodging reservations are cancelable which I planned to do as before this latest setback. My wife already was not supposed to drive for 4 weeks or go to altitude or drink alcohol for 6 weeks.

The Dr. I talked to today said she has probably been getting headaches from concussion syndrome. This is not from original injury 33 days ago, but from brain having room to expand after procedures last week that relieved pressure using drains. She may have been able to come home sooner than tomorrow as CT scans look very good, but she had problems with strong meds for headaches that she was given Sunday evening and early Monday AM. After watching Dopesick on Hulu, she did not want to try oxycodone, but it seems like if Tylenol is not enough, half of a 5 mg oxycodone works much better for her than stronger meds that cause nausea. I'm still hopeful for a full recovery and that she will get on skis again this Spring.
 

EMSC

Active member
Wishing you and your wife the best. That's a whole lot of no fun. My wife works in the additions field of medicine and I can say that Oxycodone does exist for a reason, but also something to be very careful with. Addiction to it or other pain meds is not based on smarts, wealth, social status or etc... I know for me personally Tylenol doesn't do all that much; Ibuprofen works much better. Not sure if that is an option (aspirin obviously being out as its a blood thinner).
 

tseeb

Active member
Thanks. We are still expecting her to be released today. Ibuprofen, Naproxen (Aleve) and even fish oil are all blood thinners, something my wife needs to avoid for 6 weeks. Tylenol works OK for her although my understanding is the difference between dosage that works and one that can cause liver damage is not that great, and that Tylenol should be avoided if you drink much alcohol.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that a limited period of time on strong painkillers after an acute injury is going to turn most people into addicts. After my broken rib accident in April 2008, I was taking two Percosets every 4 hours for 4 days and one Vicodin every 6 hours for another week. After that occasional ibufrofen was all I needed. Liz has very low pain tolerance. She needed opiates for 3 months after that January 2020 shoulder injury. But once the pain receded she had no interest in continuing.

But every patient is unique. We don't know the severity of Lucia's pain or what's appropriate for treatment. But Tseeb is consulting with one of our Iron Blosam group who's a neurologist, so I'm confident they will make good decisions.
 
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