Conditions: Skier tracked powder, powder
Late last week I started to get word there was a big storm coming to Tahoe. I put in paperwork to take the day off and signed up for a free trip on the Bay Area Ski Bus.
Yea, free. Every six trips earns you a free day on the mountain.
We had skied powder Saturday at kirkwood so Sunday was a rest day. Sunday night, I watched the storm pelt Tahoe.
I knew Tuesday was shaping up to be a great day.
We got to Northstar by 8:00 AM, the earliest I've ever been to the Mountain, short of staying right there. I took the gondola up and headed to powder paradise. I was so early, in fact, that ski patrol wouldn't let me take the Lookout Link. No matter, I made it a quarter way up the Pommel and dropped off into a field of bottomless powder. Not bad for the first run of the day.
I made it to Lookout by 9 AM. I checked out the new glade area and wound up skiing both through trees as well as *on* them. They needed to do a better job clearing out the chopped trees because the fallen logs were a constant hazard. As I was skiing alone, I decided to abort on my glade adventures and head back to the on trail and near trail pow.
The best snow of the day was actually to be found on the front side. Northstar is not exactly known as an advanced mountain and I gather than many of the skiers were not comfortable dealing with mad powder. No problem for me though, other than my legs were absolutely beat. I had to take a lunch break and refuel.
The afternoon was spent searching for and finding mad powder all over the mountain. Some of the best spots were below the Rendezvous lift, which was not running, and in between the terrain parks. All the steep stuff was skied out so I had to venture into the trees to get the goods.
As I wound down the day I ran into two boarders pleading with strangers for help. The one boarder could not get out of his binding and was stuck at the base of the mountain searching for tools. He asked other boarders if they could help. I overheard and offered a tool. I told them they wouldn't believe it is as proceeded to whip off my belt, remove my belt buckle, revealing a phillips head and standard screw driver hidden in the pins. The boarder unscrewed his stuck binding and marched off after a cold one. Too bad he didn't have a bottle of brew right there. The belt buckle also features a bottle opener.
Powder day and blue skies make for a perfect day on the mountain. Today, my legs feel like jello but I'm resting up and scouring the weather reports in search of more powpow.
For more info on the conditions at Northstar, check out Northstar Snow Blog.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009