Lake Tahoe Vail resorts, CA (and some NV) 3/23-25/2021

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Lake Tahoe Vail resorts, CA (and some NV) 3/23-25/2021

Postby tseeb » Wed Mar 24, 2021 7:30 am

Northstar, CA 3/23/2021
During the biggest storm week of this season, the last week of January, I skied Kirkwood, Heavenly and Northstar (on consecutive days - once I did them on same day) in that order, but was unable to ski with snowboarding friend from Truckee, as after snowblowing his 800’ driveway, he arrived too late and faced long line to get on Village gondola and went home. This time I am skiing the three Vail Tahoe areas in the opposite order, and friend and I loaded the Highlands gondola, which had no line, at 8:15. To get there so early meant leaving San Jose at 4 AM, when there was chain control was on I-80, I and arrived at 7:45. Northstar reported 2” new. (Kirkwood had 4” new and Mt Rose 6”, but with predicted high NE winds, Northstar was probably best place to be other than treed-to-the-top Sierra-Tahoe, who reported 4”.) The 2" new was a lot of fun and wind was not bad. We skied one lap on Comstock as he wanted to see Northstar's snow plot and I was able to find it on first try. We had a couple of mostly untracked laps on Backside. This is near bottom on probably our 2nd Backside lap at 911.
1520DonEarly.JPG
1524DonEarly2.JPG
Then we had a few bumpier Backside laps before returning to busier Comstock. When line there got too long, we rode Zephyr. He left via Home Run as he had noon pickleball in Reno. He pointed me towards gate into the Islands from the top of Zephyr. That was my run of the day as it was lightly tracked and not that steep so by looking for the smoother area, turns were semi-powder and I did it four times.
1527UpIslands@1105.JPG
Looking up and down Islands at 1105.
1529DownIslands1105.JPG
I met up with two friends who had driven up from San Jose a couple of hours behind me and skied Islands with them. I also showed them the snow plot and we had a good run down Tonini’s. They were spending night it Tahoe Vista and returning to Northstar on Wednesday. They were ready to quit before 3 as they wanted to leave something in the tank for a 2nd day so I quit with them at 2:55. My watch counted 21 lifts/32.5K and EpicMix had 20 lifts/over 29K. Not sure what happened as when I compared them about 11, they were within 150’ and lift counts matched.

I’m now in So. Tahoe where my son has been working from Tahoe/recovering from going to a Bachelor party in Park City by way of Lafayette, CO a day ahead of the 20" dump there. I will be at Heavenly tomorrow and Kirkwood on Thursday, then home.
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Re: Lake Tahoe Vail resorts, CA (and some NV) 3/23-25/2021

Postby tseeb » Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:01 pm

Heavenly 3/24/2021
I met Mac from SkiTalk a couple of minutes before 9 AM at base of Gunbarrel chair. He is from Poland, now living in Portland and has been getting back into skiing the last couple of years after a many year break. We had almost 5 minutes wait to load Gunbarrel and rode lifts to the top of CA where he was blown away by the views of the Lake skiing Ridge run. We skied Sky chair three times before I led him to CA base via Upper Mombo and Roundabout as he had left his cell phone in car. Crowds were light enough that we were able to carry speed into Roundabout and not do much poling, then run was nearly unskied.

I left him at bottom and returned to Sky chair where I skied into Nevada. I took higher entry to Milky Way Bowl, but my usual route was wind affected so I skied some untracked in trees to right of bowl and was careful to avoid limbs as I still have a mark from two weeks ago. I continued into Mott Canyon where I skied Bills.
1530LookingDownBills2.JPG
There was a couple of inches of untracked, either from previous day or from being blown in, but it skied like a deep dust on crust. It was not every consistently deep and I found hard layer underneath and it’s steep enough that a fall could be a problem.
1535WillowsOnMott.JPG
Still some Willows sticking up under Mott chair
I returned to CA by riding Dipper and Tamarack, which were both busier than my previous Wednesdays at Heavenly 2, 3 and 5 weeks ago. The line at Sky, where I thought I was going to meet Mac at 11:15 was long enough that, after waiting almost 5 minutes, I moved to Canyon for a lap.
1536SkyLine@1115.JPG
The line for Sky had gone down so I rode it and met him at top. We skied into Nevada, skiing Dipper run and Jacks twice. Dipper line grew so we moved to less busy Comet and skied Comet run, then went up it again and skied top part of run and took Crossover to Olympic chair that we rode. He was getting tired on the flats, but blasted down the top half of Olympic run. I told him not to return to chair as I planned to continue on run to Stagecoach base, but he went to Olympic so I got him to try marked expert-only North Bowl which the last two people I shared it with liked it well enough to repeat. Snow was good, but he was tiring and I saw one or two crashes and think he had a couple of more crashes after I left him when we reached flats that lead to base of long, slow North Bowl chair. We skied to and rode Dipper and I got him on California Trail where I waited for him at Vista Point near top. I was not sure if he didn’t see me, but I left after waiting a few minutes and seeing him remove skis about 100’ above me.

I skied Maggie’s Canyon into CA then rode Powder Bowl and skied too firm left side of Waterfall. I also skied a few laps on Canyon chair and found a smooth, steep challenging line in Sky Canyon that I skied twice. The morning was cool and overcast, but it warmed up in PM so I skied Advanced Roundabout, braving the firm Pistol, to CA base where I dropped jacket, changed to darker goggles and shorter, turnier skis and had half a beer. I went up as far as Powder Bowl and followed employee onto smoother, sunnier right side of Waterfall. I rode Groove and finding Hogback’s entry closed, took entry above top of Gunbarrel chair into left side of run where there were still a few thin powder stashes. The rest of run was tough as turns needs to be made in the 1” new and not on firm bumps. I skied to car at 3:10 with 28 runs and 29.4K vertical. I quit a little early as I dropped skis used on last trip at shop for tune and core-shot repair and made it to hardware store before 4 PM close to buy some more antifreeze for closing cabin.
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Re: Lake Tahoe Vail resorts, CA (and some NV) 3/23-25/2021

Postby tseeb » Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:24 am

Kirkwood 3/25/2021
One more Heavenly picture from Wed, taken from beach at end of Ski Run Blvd where I took walk after picking up skis that had a core shot on previous trip. They were patched and tuned between 3:30 and 6. It looked like it would have been a good sunset with clouds to the W, but I couldn’t wait another 45 minutes. The Pistol is the opening to looker right about halfway down Gunbarrel.
1538LowerCAHeav@627PM.JPG
After skiing very busy Heavenly on Wednesday, I left South Lake Tahoe at 9:05 and got 2nd spot next to where snowcats cross road at Kirkwood’s Timber Creek base and never had a line, or shared a chair, all day. My first chair was at 10:05 and after a warmup lap, I moved to the Backside that I rode 4x. Groomers were great. I looked for where wind had deposited snow, but never found enough of it. I think it all ended up in Silver Lake to the SW.

There was some good ungroomed in gully to lookers right of Cold Shoulder, on the entry into Thunder Saddle and in gullies on either side of main Wall run, but I dropped into a couple of places that I thought would be good and found thick crust where it was hard to make a turn. There were a few flakes and some flat light early mixed with some sun, then storm moved in about 3. It dumped enough to resurface groomers so after another trip to Backside and riding and skiing Caples Crest, Reut (where steep, groomed Conestoga was in great shape) and Cornice on the return, I skied low-angle, high-speed Timber Creek until closing, finishing with 29 lifts and 28.8K. I left Kirkwood at 4:20 and was home at 7:30.

In between the windmarks/Sastrugi on the Wall, there was some decent snow.
1542WallSastrugi.JPG
Top of chair 4 was hit hard by wind on Tues when I heard Kirkwood had 100 mph winds from NE and only ran chairs 5 and 11.
1547Chair4Sastrugi.JPG
Not sure what rest of sign said or what happened to it or when. The chute on other side of it looked good, but so did where I dropped off further right that was more W-facing and it wasn't.
1548AvalancheSign.JPG
Picture was taken at 3 PM just before it started snowing hard. Some of Eagle Bowl in bright area at center left and Norm's Nose is just left of center.
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