Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When the wind blows...

...find the spot where the wind blew the snow to, not the spot where it blew it from.

The 5am report said 7 inches, most of which fell during the day yesterday when it was very windy. So I went looking for the stashes in the trees. I started out with the Rainbow trees where there was a little bit, and then the 2:45 trees where there was more, before I hit paydirt in Shadows (twice) and Closet.

As an added bonus, the mountain was totally deserted today. No lines, nobody in the trees (except me!) and lots of untracked lines. One of those days where I went out with fairly moderate expectations and came home very happy!

Here's the GPS data.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Powdery leftovers

Another four inches overnight to keep it soft and powdery. Not deep, but on top of all the snow earlier in the week, it makes for some very nice skiing.

Best run of the day was this one down skier's right of Sundown Liftline. The 2:30 trees were also great, but I didn't ski them as well.

Here's the GPS data.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A foot of cement

The trouble with a day like Monday is that it ruins you for every other day. When I checked the 5am report I actually said, "only twelve inches" (I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't been there.)

Nevertheless I was hoping with a foot on top of three feet in the previous forty-eight hours it would ski deeper than that.

Instead I found a foot of cement. Still a lot of fun, but very exhausting to ski as you can see from my limited vertical today. Best run of the day is hard to pick. The bumps on Whiteout were excellent--the heavy snow slows you down a lot so it's easy to ski the big bumps, Shadows was good and Vertigo on the way home was probably the best by a whisker. Here's some video of the run on Whiteout. Unfortunately the Vertigo run is obscured by the frozen rain sticking to the lens.

Here's the GPS data.

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Best Day Ever

January 10, 2008 has now been dethroned as my best day ever.

The 5am report said 27 inches - yes 27 inches of super light Champagne Powder - and it was still snowing throughout the morning, so we're talking nearly three feet of new snow!

Every powderhound in North-West Colorado was out super early - so it was also the longest gondola line ever. I skipped that and went the Christie-Thunderhead route, and began my epic day with an epic run down Concentration.

Then it was over to Pony Express which was finally the powder wonderland it ought to be. So deep that I was choking on snow and could barely see where I was going through the billowing clouds of powder. Several runs there and Shadows to finish before heading home.

Here's some video highlights. Remember that you're not seeing the really deep stuff where the camera was buried in snow!

Here's the GPS data.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Finally the epic powder day

The 5am report only said four inches, but when it's the last four inches of three feet of snow in the past week, it makes for an epic powder day.

I hit the Pony Express first up since the Pioneer Ridge area is now finally open, but it was only so-so. Then Triangle 3 which was nice followed by Typhoon where it was super deep and soft. I thought this would be the run of the day before hitting a submerged log and tearing the brakes off both my skis (the repair bill is $60 and no injury so it could have been much worse).

After that it was Closet which was also super deep. Finally, Vertigo on the way home which is getting better all the time.

Here's the GPS data.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I know why Hemingway drank

I'm in the process of writing a novel - not intended to be great literature but I hope it will be entertaining and thought provoking. I'm planning to self-publish via Amazon on Kindle and in paperback.

It's an interesting experience. You start out with an idea and the outline of some characters and then they take on a life of their own and start hijacking the story. But the worst of it is that you can't switch them off. It's like a mild form of multiple personality disorder, all these voices in your head. So now I know why Ernest Hemingway drank so much!

For those who are interested, I started just before Christmas and I'm about half way done, so I hope to have a first draft by the end of the ski season (April). Unless of course every day between now and then is a powder day, in which case I may be delayed a little.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Best day of the season (so far)

I almost didn't go out this morning when I saw the 5am report said only four inches. Btu it was still snowing so I headed up the gondola around 9 am and I am so glad I did because by 9am there was another five inches on top of the four.

I started with Shadows which was good followed by the Priest Creek Liftline and then the 3.30 trees which I thought was going to be the run of the day, until I hit the 2.30 trees not once, not twice but three times; in places it was at least a foot deep and largely un-tracked, especially towards skier's left.

Vertigo on the way home was good once again. This feels more like skiing in Steamboat ought to be!

Here's the GPS data.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Shadows calling

I woke this morning at 6 am wondering what the storm that has been sitting on top of us for the past 48 hours had left. The 5 am report said four inches, but I knew there would be more, and I heard Shadows calling my name, so I was in the gondola line by 8.20 am.

Shadows was very good as was the Sundown Liftline, but again the 2.30 trees was the pick.

I also managed to pick up my favourite lower mountain run Vertigo on the way home. It's only been open a few days, and while you still need to look out for the hazards, it's less bumped up than usual, so with the powder it was sweet.

For some reason I had the camera turned off in the 2.30 trees, so here's my run down the Sundown Liftline instead. As you can see it was lovely and sunny today.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Bad break

The 5 am report said five inches but it was snowing hard when I got out of bed so I waited until noon to head out. Did you see how I made that sound like a plan rather than just laziness on my part? Actually I also wanted to get down some ideas for the novel I am writing - more about that in a later post.

By the time I got out there was at least six inches - making it officially a powder day - and in some places nearly a foot. I managed in an hour and a half to hit the classic tree runs: Shadows (good but a little shrubby below Duster), 3.30 trees, 2.30 trees which were the best, and Closet. I saw a grand total of three other people on these runs.

I came off the mountain when I heard that my Aussie friend Amanda (one of the Canberra girls) fell and fractured her tibia. She is scheduled for surgery later today, but she's going to be OK.

Update, 6 pm: I just discovered that California Dave and his wife Cesli were skiing with David and Amanda today and Cesli also broke her leg (fibula), about half an hour before Amanda. Today's conditions were diabolical for intermediate skiers - heavy push piles which grab your skis like Hulk Hogan if you push the tails rather than guiding the skis through the turn - but it's still hard to believe that two of my friends broke their legs this morning!

Here's the GPS data.

And here's that run through the 2.30 trees (actually more like 2.45).

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

From all over the place

I skied with a whole bunch of people today.

First up is Big Al. He's 77. If I can ski like that when I'm 77 (if I can ski at all then) I'll be very happy.

The others in the group were Ben, one of the Aussie pilots I skied with a couple of years ago, his dad Ian and uncle Graham from England, and finally Neils from Sydney.

Here's the GPS data.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

California Dave

I skied today with my friend Dave from Santa Barbara, California, and then later with my Aussie friends as well, so in the end there were seven of us tearing down the mountain. It was pretty good until about 11 am when it started to get busy, making tearing down the mountain a little harder.

Here's the GPS data. Still waiting for snow.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Canberra boys (and girl)

I skied again today with one of my Canberra friends Therese and some guys from Canberra she knows, Grey, Paul and another Dan.

Today we really ripped up the groomers, lower Rainbow in particular which was nearly perfect for going fast.

Here's the GPS data.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Canberra girls (and boy)

I skied with my friends from Canberra today - David, Amanda and Therese.

I called today's post "Canberra girls (and boy)" for two reasons. First, I'd already used "Canberra friends" on my previous post, and second, Amanda and Therese were unhappy that I hadn't called it "Canberra girls" after seeing a post called "Brisbane boys". It's hard to keep your audience happy.

Here's today's GPS data. It was a beautiful bluebird day, the groomers weren't bad for the first hour or so and the bumps had just enough wind blown snow in the troughs to make them nice.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Canberra friends

Today I skied with Aussie friends from Canberra, Amanda and Therese.

Here's the GPS data.