Kirkwood, CA April 23-26, 2024


Well-known member
Tuesday, April 23
I returned to Kirkwood after three days at home where I got my tires rotated (free and keeps mileage warranty), pulled weeds for a couple hours, took dogs for two walks and saw my son and his girlfriend every day and had dinner with them twice. I went to my appt. on Monday where dentist decided on further review he did not need to replace a filling which was OK with me as I had shopping to do on that side of City anyway. Friend I'm staying with at Kirkwood reported hail and rain and a beautiful sunset Monday when wind picked up in San Jose enough that I put on a jacket (was still wearing shorts) to walk dog in evening.

There were threatening clouds moving in and out all day at Kirkwood. I heard it rained hard in Reno and Palisades closed at 9:45 due to lightning and re-opened. This is the Carson Spur just W of Kirkwood about 9:30.

It's hard to photograph the whole wiggle on Monte Wolfe. It starts on ridgeline S of Cornice chair and ends at bottom of this photo. I saw a big rock in it about halfway down.

I skied from 10-345, riding Cornice 12x, Reut (close to where I parked) 3x and The Wall twice for 22,150 vertical. Friends joined me about 1030. Not a very hard freeze, but clouds and wind kept snow from getting too soft or sticky although the steeper and more N-facing, the better. This is Greg, who I’m staying with and who has been skiing every day since 4/18, on Olympic. At base of rock behind dead tree to right of him is a barely visible hole in rock that he likes to take photos of and then ski slope behind it.

Peter from Reno who was skiing his second day in a row and of the season after a shoulder injury. He quit about 230 and went home and may return if I can find a better deal than the $104 buddy tickets he was using.

I got them both to follow me down one of the steep chutes that is between Olympic and Janek. I also did another one in there. Next two photo taken riding The Wall at 310 and The Reut, our last chair ride, at 330.


There some clouds moving to N during full moonrise which was behind a tree from 2nd story balcony where we watched it.
We took a walk in the neighborhood where many houses are much less accessible than my friends as they require up to 300’ walk uphill over 6-8’ of snow. We will ski Kirkwood again today and Thursday which will make twenty days skiing here for me this Winter. Not sure where I'll ski Friday with predicted weather incoming, but will ski Palisades on Saturday, then return for Kirkwood's closing day on Sunday.
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Wednesday April 24, my second Wednesday in a row at Kirkwood.
We skied from 935-320 with about a 45 min lunch break at table outside closed umbrella bar and had to move into sun as shade got too cold. There was much better overnight freeze than Tuesday. Runs of the day were an early close-in Palisades (E-facing that friend said was too soft on Monday), four afternoon laps on the Wall including Headwaters and All The Way chute, and both steep chutes between Janek and Olympic. This is my friend Greg skiing edge of Sentinel a little after one o'clock. That is much less skied Jim's behind him in both photos. On closing days I've seen a line of lemmings dropping rock into it.

Better/closer photo of the hole(s) in rock I mentioned yesterday. I skied between it and dead tree after taking photo. Note the clouds at 3.

Costumes are starting to appear in advance of Sunday's closing. Besides the guy skiing in one-piece with Batman pattern that I've seen before, there was a couple where lady was dressed as a burrito and guy as hot sauce. And this guy at top of chair 7 had wings. From the same chair ride, we saw a kid lose both skis and slide down part of (thankfully soft) Wall before stopping and another kid get an F-bomb from his Dad who was skiing in a wife-beater.

This is one of my many favorite places on Cornice. It's between Janek and Olympic and nobody has given me a name for it. Early in the year it's cliffs, but in Spring it's steep enough and N-facing so it stays good. There is another narrower and shadier steep to lookers right of photo that I also like and ski more often, especially good in powder.

I was ready to quit at 3, but Greg pushed on and we skied another two laps on Cornice for 25,750 vertical. Latest plan is to quit early on Thursday to get to Grover Hot Springs (CA State Park) before 3:30 and hope we can get into pools then go to nearby Cutthroat Brewing for early dinner. I'll move to So. Tahoe after skiing a little predicted new snow at Kirkwood on Fri. and ski Palisades on Sat.
I am always impressed with the Kirkwood skiing, sometimes more impressed by the experience of getting on CA-88 at a 5 a.m. start.

I am not lazy, just like 4am sleep.
Kirkwood's topography is a mostly steep upper half and mostly flat lower half. Is there a problem with the flats getting sticky by midday in spring when there are no lifts that serve just the upper mountain? Like last week, I see uncharacteristic cloudiness in some pics. Perhaps that was a benefit for that lower terrain.
I am always impressed with the Kirkwood skiing, sometimes more impressed by the experience of getting on CA-88 at a 5 a.m. start.

I am not lazy, just like 4am sleep.
Educate me here please. The early start is if you live in Sacramento and want to ski Kirkwood for the day?
Where are you based @ChrisC ?
The best laid plans...Within an hour of my previous post friend I was staying with at Kirkwood got up with beginning of a cold. Overnight freeze was stronger than Mon/Tues/Wed with low well below freezing. He rode with me to Kirkwood and skied 9 runs on E-facing Cornice, including one into Palisades, before quitting about 11 and took shuttle back to his cabin for a nap/work one of his contract jobs. Parking we got by Cornice lift about 915 taken @255.

Greg skiing E-facing Palisades @1040. I took a run further into Palisades after he quit + two into E-facing Eagle Bowl.

Tracks I left further in Palisades at almost 1130

I quit at 235 with 27.2K. Then after picking up rest of my stuff, drove to my family's South Lake Tahoe cabin.
New plan is Alpine Friday and Palisades Saturday. 4" new is predicted tonight at Kirkwood and 5" at Palisades.
Kirkwood's topography is a mostly steep upper half and mostly flat lower half. Is there a problem with the flats getting sticky by midday in spring when there are no lifts that serve just the upper mountain? Like last week, I see uncharacteristic cloudiness in some pics. Perhaps that was a benefit for that lower terrain.
Yesterday was the hardest freeze in about a week so you wanted to be on the E-facing or groomed until noon. Groomed Sentinel was firm in morning and groomed Wall, necessary to ski the top of it to get to Eagle Bowl, was very firm and getting scraped off into early afternoon. It was the first day in my last six that I quit before 320. By 2 it was getting softer in places than previous days even though it was cloudy, windy at top and temp was lower, maybe from humidity with incoming storm. Clouds and some wind usually help along with steepness and N to NW facing in PM.

One advantage of Kirkwood is that many runs, including getting to base of The Wall and Reut are tree-lined so you can ski in their shade where snow is less sticky unless it's gotten very warm.

I had worse stickiness at Kirkwood on 4/3. I've mostly overcome it with morning applications of rub-on wax and hot waxing with Yellow at home last weekend.

Adding photo of chute to lookers right in area between Janek and Olympic I skied on my last run about 230 on Thursday. It's much steeper than it looks, N-facing, partially shaded and was very good Spring snow.
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Another best laid plans...I planned to go to Palisades Alpine on Friday, April 26. Then not sure whether it was serendipity or worse problem, but I ended up back at Kirkwood today and it was great! I had a delay due to a self-inflicted vehicle problem that required professional help and resulted in ~45 minute delay after I was packed and ready to go. I decided to return to Kirkwood as phone said it was 15 minutes closer than Palisades.

I called friend who had put me up a couple of nights there last week and this week before he came down with a cold. He requested meds so I had more delay getting something close to what he wanted at CVS. I dropped meds and picked up the coffees and board game I'd left at his place. It was 1030 before I started skiing after moving cones to get into last spot in VIP lot. Photo taken during late lunch I took at SUV to get thin facemask.

The only place I had snow on the road was after turning off CA-88 into Kirkwood. They reported 1" new, but it snowed all day so it was great that I'd been there 3 days both last week and this week and knew where it was rocky and where there was lower angle smooth snow to ski what ended up being about 4" new. Next photo was guy who had bad day on The Wall. I also saw from chair a guy fall on treacherous traverse at top, then next guy ran over his back.

It was my first powder day since March 30 at Alpine. Kirkwood's Palisades at 11:45.

This is also Palisades about 11:45.
Tracks I left on my one lap further into Palisades at almost 3.

Tracks I made lower in Outer Palisades

Eagle Bowl at 315.

I quit not much after 330 with 22K and got to CVS in SLT where it was high 30s and snowing in time to get meds friend wanted that I will bring to him on Sunday. I went to Lakeview hot tub where I saw a couple of guys getting ott of Lake.

Snow on Hwy 50 between hot tub and cabin at 530