Saturday, February 28, 2009

2009 Ski Season: Day 16

Location: Kirkwood
Conditions: Groomed, bluebird

We arrived at Kirkwood at 7:35 AM. That is the earliest I have ever been to the mountain on Bay Area Ski Bus. We were meeting two friends from Oakland; what's up Samantha and Guhan?!? They were a bit behind us so I had delusions of hitting sentinel bowl prior to hooking up with them. All hopes were dashed when the stoned-out Kirkwood lifties arrived.

Demetri: Waiting patiently in line before the lift lines are even set up at 8:15 AM.
SOKL: Dude, it's going to be another hour at least before this lift opens
D: Want me to help drill some holes or run some lines
L: Uhhhhhhh
D: Ok, no prob, I'll wait
L: Chair 5 is opening at 8:30, duuuuuude
D: Oh?
L: Yea, but only for the comp, what do I know

After waiting patiently for nearly 45 minutes we took the first chair along with our Ski Bus host David. As I shred the sweet corduroy all the way down the bunny slopes I imagined the poor people stuck on the lift watching as I slayed the mountain. After a few SMS messages, we hooked up with Samantha and Guhan and took another few laps in the Timber Creek area. I hit up the terrain park and made my best attempt to not look like an idiot on the half pipe and small features.

Warmed up, we headed to chair 5 to get started for the day. After a quick break, our border buddies were ready to tackle the line down past the water tank a few times before heading in for lunch.

I lead the pack out towards chair 10 for some early afternoon Buckboard basics. Jodi loves Buckboard and I was unable to coax her into the drain which runs parallel. I had a few nice drops into the gully off of 5 before we moved over to chair 1 for some beginner laps.

As we headed up chair 2, Caples crest, the mountain revealed its backside slopes. There were cliffs, and awesome lines as skiers and riders took the newly opened and running Outlook Vista to the ridge separating the two halves of the mountain.

We took it easy and came down to chair 3 for a return to the mid-mountain. By this point, it was time to start heading all the way across the mountain for our bus departure at 4:30 sharp.

I ran into Brandon from Flowskipix and said hello. As I raced down the route to the frontside, I lost Jodi and Samantha for a while and caught up with Guhan. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves on a perfect bluebird day.

A few chairs and traverses later and we were back in Timber Creek where warm buses and cold beer waited for us. I loaded my pockets with free beer and had the chance to bust out my 686 snow tool belt for the second time this season. A quick stop in Jackson lead to more beer and a sandwich allowing me to sleep off my day on the slopes with friends. Day 16 will go down as one of the most fun of the season!

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