Conditions: Bluebird morning, snow showers afternoon.
I love Kirkwood. Of all the resorts at Tahoe, given my choice, I would ski Kirkwood any day. The terrain, the people, the mountain, the attitude, all of it seems to fit with me.
Thanks to our bat-outta-hell bus driver, we arrived at Kirkwood at 7:55 AM, over an hour before the lifts were scheduled to start. That earned us first chair on Solitude. First chair is the best way to start out the day, try it, you'll like it.
The morning was absolutely perfect weather, bluebird skies and nice temps all around the mountain. Kirkowwd hosted day 1 of the Freeskiing World Tour in the "permanently closed" Cirque between the frontside and backside of the mountain. We got close, but not too close to the action. As we hit the Caples Crest link, we spied a dude ski BASE jumping and doing flips as he hurled down the cliff-infested face. Other skiers competed by jumping 40 footers and riding away clean.
As I've said before,Kirkwood's backside is a mini-resort unto itself. We rode all four of those lifts covering the Fawn Ridge, Wave, Happiness Is, and Vista areas. I hucked the Cornice atop the Wave about 4 feet or so and landed it. To round out the backside tour, we hit my favorite, Thunder Saddle and traversed out past the World Tour as the flurries started coming down and new snow filled in our tracks.
I took a few park runs and managed to stay upright in the Timber Creek area. We hit Cornice Express and went over to Sentinel Bowl for some steep and deep to round out the early afternoon. I wanted one more shot at the backside, so we did that too.
Bell to bell skiing, blue skies, fresh powder, park, steeps, and a pro competition all in one day? Yup. Kirkwood.
Monday, March 15, 2010