Monday, March 30, 2009

2009 Ski Season: Day 19

Pirate Flag at Kirkwood

Location: Kirkwood
Date: 3-29-2009
Conditions: Firm, groomed, icy in spots

Sunday we took yet another trip to Kirkwood for some spring skiing. We arrived early on the Bay Area Ski Bus and boarded the Timber Creek express lift before its official 9 AM start. The front side of the mountain was groomed and still a bit firm from the overnight freeze. We applied a follow the sun approach which dictated that we head to Kirkwood's backside early in the morning. The runs below Iron Horse were great.

We hit Sunise lift as well. I thought the conditions there were fine, other skiers apparently disagreed as I overheard a ton of complaints about the "ice." We headed back to the front side for a lunch run, but not before I hiked to Outlook Vista and took a run down the face. It was pretty crusty up there and I had the entire area all to myself. Still, I'm glad to have checked off the new lift. I can once again say I've skied all the lifts at Kirkwood.

That afternoon, we headed to Cornice Express were the real fun began. The lift line had an "Experts Only" warning which should we should have taken as a sign. We traversed along the ridge past Jim's, Fireball, and Chamonix. As we did, I peered over the ledge and convinced myself that it was indeed steep. As we came to Sentinel Bowl, tt was like the Ice Capades had come to town. One could hear skis scraping the ice, skiers exclaiming how difficult the run was, and the sounds of skiers sliding down the mountain on their backsides. At one point, I saw a kid drop a pole and then slide sixty feet on his back. His dad was first thinking about grabbing the pole but finally decided it was a better idea to ski down below him then stop to arrest the kid's fall. We managed to stay (mostly) upright and made it down in record time.

That afternoon, we hit up the terrain park for some fun box training and a few cracks at the half pipe. It was a nice way to wind down the day and prepare for the ride home.

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