Thursday, December 31, 2009

Milestone day

We had to drive to Granby yesterday afternoon to collect my wife's mother and sister from the train (the same train my Mum arrived on a couple of months ago).

On the way back the snow was so heavy on Rabbit Ears Pass that I was down to 25 mph which made me happy because I knew it would also be dumping on the mountain!

I was out of bed at 6 am to see that the report was 11 inches of new snow and at the gondola at 7:55 am by which time the line was already quite long, so instead I was first in line for the Christie Express. From there it was a quick traverse over to the Thunderhead Express where I was on the fourth chair and then down skier's right of Vagabond to Surprise which was untracked and knee deep (so I'm already thinking "way more than 11 inches").

Then I hit the Storm Peak Express in time to be on the third chair. I don't know where the occupants of the first two chairs went, but I got first tracks down Storm Peak face right under the chair and then knee deep all the way down skiers' right of Cyclone.

After that it was over to the Pony Express where I did two circuits and found some glades where it was thigh deep (so now I'm thinking "11 inches? Bah! More like 18"). And this was full on Champagne Powder; so light and dry that you literally choke on it as you breath the face shots in.

Then across to the other side of the mountain for Shadows and Lights Out followed by Twilight. I wanted to keep going, and there were still freshies to be found in the trees, but by that time my legs were shot, so I hit Oops and Vagabond (all to myself!) on the way home.

In terms of milestones, this was the last day of 2009 and what a way to end the year, the first true powder day of the 2009-10 ski season, and day 36 of my season, which is significant because that's the total number of days I managed for the entire 2008-09 season.

Here's today's track. 13,038 vertical ft (season total 347,878 ft) in 2:36 (of which 20 minutes was waiting for Christie Express to open and another 10 was waiting for Storm Peak Express to open, but that's what you've got to do to get first tracks!)

Final bonus; it's still snowing, so the start to 2010 could be as good as the end to 2009.

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