Thursday, November 11th, 1999~Home:
Whistler-Blackcomb opens day after tomorrow, 11 days early. Mammoth, Boreal, and Heavenly in California opened today. One trip planned so far ~ Whistler December 9-12 with MountainZone.com. Local resorts are still waiting for snow. We are ready for the season, new gear includes more Motorola vhf radios and avalanche transceivers. Talked to Glenn and Kimberly Plake today...they have a working date set for Feb. 19-20 at Alpental/Snoqualmie, but right now Glenn is working on the Kia offroad racing team preparing for the Paris to Dakar race. They leave for Cairo, Egypt on Dec. 24th and will miss a month of the skiing season for the race. The Kia team has already won in their class at the SCORE Baja 1000 and the Primm 300 desert races and wrapped up the season points championship. After the Dakar race, Glenn and Kimberly plan on kicking off their Down Home Tour. Glenn told me he plans on concentrating on the western mountains...IE the Cascades...and he said he'll call us when he's ready to head up and has some dates set. The Whistler trip for Dec 9-12th has Me, Ken, Eric, Todd, Tim, Doug, Chuck and Chuck's friend Gene. We are also looking at a Whistler New Years trip. Current conditions are heavy rain and flooding in Washington and Oregon Cascades, snow in the California Sierras, snow at Whistler, snow in Colorado, no snow in Utah, Idaho, or Montana.
Saturday, November 20th, 1999~Blackcomb Mountain:
Blackcomb got a bit of snow during the day Friday and Friday night their ski report was calling for 12" overnight so we drove to Whistler, British Columbia. Drive up took 3:40, bare and dry all the way, no snow in village or on lower slopes. Reserved a room at the Crystal Lodge and checked in at midnight Friday night. On the mountain by 11am, had to upload to the Solar Coaster on Wizard chair because there was no snow on the lower mountain. Ken lost his first ticket of the year before we got to the chairlift, but they gave him another one free. The first run we took it easy and warmed up. All of us were skiing well so we headed off into the trees below the Crystal Hut and promptly got lost. None of the runs were marked and we just sorta went off into the trees and by the time we decided to cut back toward the resort it was a little too late. We ended up at a maintenance shed at the bottom of (closed) Crystal chairlift, about 200 feet below the nearest working chairlift. A building maintenance guy came by on a snowmobile and ferried us one at a time to the top, luckily, so we didn't have to walk. Me and Chuck missed it, but apparently Ken fell off on the way up. After that we took a run on the Glacier Express and headed down to the village for dinner about 2:30pm. Conditions were pretty good, fog in places, partly cloudy up higher with sun breaks, average 32º. Ate at the Alpenrock House...nice place but food was bland. Next day Ken and Chuck skied while I shopped around the village and slept off a headache. Drove back to Seattle Sunday night and arrived home by 9pm. Me (1), Ken (2), Chuck (2), Tim (0) Photos
Thanksgiving Day 1999 Editorial:
Q. How do you completely hide a three story building for three months out of the year? A. Put it on Mt. Baker. Mammoth has more quad chairs than just about anyplace...and Vail probably has the most rich people wandering around... and Whistler must have the most shops...Mt. Baker has no quad chairs, no rich people, and no stores, but they do have the most snow on earth. A typical conversation at Baker goes like this: Skier one: "Where is the day lodge?" Skier two: "See that snow cave? Its in there." Skier one: "oh...okay...where did we put the truck?" Skier two: "See all the moguls behind the snow cave? Thats the parking lot." I am not kidding. Many skiers who have not experienced a 350 inch snowpack would find the conditions at Mt. Baker simply unbelievable. While it is rare for any ski resort to pile up a 300+ inch base in a season, at Mt. Baker it has snowed 300+ inches in one month (Feb. 1999). In thier first week of operation for the world record breaking 1998-1999 season it snowed 103 inches (11/22/99-11/29/99). Its starting again. Mt. Baker opened on Tuesday, Nov. 23rd and its been snowing since. Over a foot fell last night. The forecast calls for two feet of snow today and another foot tomorrow (thats right, we gave up trying to measure in inches). Is this the start of another world record season? The defending champs are already kicking everyone elses ass with a 5 foot base on top. Thats 60 inches for all you folks in Utah. Now I have to go skiing....
Friday, November 26th, 1999~Mt. Baker:
Got a package deal at the Best Western Lakeway Inn in Bellingham for me and Ken. Same hotel we stayed at last year during the storms. Up at 6:30am when Chuck arrived from Seattle, left for Mt. Baker at 8am. Got a ticket on 542 on the way up, 65 in a 50, $90. The cop didn't want to give me a ticket for my expired tabs and he virtually told me I should just wait til Jan 1st and buy $30 tabs rather than spend the $740 they want now. Skied all over the resort inbounds and a little bit OOB...mainly a run down Razorhone Canyon (big no-no). No one out on the Shuksan Arm yet...warning signs went up today. Ate lunch at the upper base lodge, took a few more runs and left at 3:30pm. Took til 6pm to get back to the hotel. Ate at the Lobby Cafe in the hotel. Temp 27-30º, 30" base at Heather Meadows, 60"+ on the Pan Dome. Package $160/two + $50/each additional. Me (2) Ken (3) Chuck (3) Timmy (still zero)
Saturday, November 27th, 1999~Mt. Baker:
Steven's opened today, despite claims that they have had no new snow in the last 24 hours (total bullshit). Mt. Baker reports a trace of new...of course when we got there, there was 8" of new fresh powder and more dumping down. We geared up with packs, radios, avi transceivers, ect., and headed straight for the Shuksan Arm. First exploratory run Chuck and I went up on the far side and followed a single patrollers track to the creek crossing at the end of the runout while Ken got in deep in the canyon and, after a little discussion on the radios, met us at the runout. Next run in we all ran the same line, checking terrain and avi danger. Third run in we went a little deeper and after that we began ducking in at the top of Chair Eight and tearing up waist deep powder in the best OOB skiing in the west. Other than 2 boarders who went in after us and quit after one run (or got ejected; the ski patrol was watching and checked us for gear), we were the only ones in there. Took multiple runs on the Arm, all glorious epic powder runs. Last run there was some avalanche activity in the danger zone at the top but we managed to miss it. Headed off the hill with terribly burnt up legs around 3pm and drove directly back to Seattle. Saw a Jeep that smashed a guardrail about 15 miles down from the top. We should have stopped at the hotel to pick up Chuck's car, but we all sorta forgot, so lucky for me, Jeremy offered to give Chuck a ride back up to get his car so I could go to sleep and get ready for Sunday at Steven's Pass. Temp 30º, 35" base at Heather Meadows, 70"+ on the Pan Dome. Package $160/two + $50/each additional. Me (3) Ken (4) Chuck (4) Timmy (1, he went to Stevens) photos
Sunday, November 28th, 1999~Steven's Pass:
Up at 6:30am, Rebecca called at 7am, on the road with her and Ken at 7:30am. Stevens reported 3" of new at the morning call and there was only a little more than that. Only lifts open are Brooks, Hogsback, Barrier, and Tye Mill opened at 9am. We ran everything except Brooks from top to bottom without stopping. All high speed groomers and not too many people there. Hit the Soft Landing lounge for nachos and drinks about 11:30am then skied a bit more. Ken and I ran our shaped skis and Rebecca rented some Rossi Cuts in various sizes. Skiing on the groomers all day, Rebecca had no problem staying up with us and at times both Ken and I thought she was even pushing us a little. Ken and I skied for free on our advantage cards. Rumors going around that Stevens is going to begin charging $5 for parking. Ate in the bar at Petosa's in Monroe and watched the end of the Seahawk game. All in all it was a great day. Temp: 30º cloudy w/sunbreaks, patchy fog. 25" at the base, 30" or so on top. Me (4) Ken (5) Rebecca (1) Tim (1, stayed home to watch the Seagirls lose to a slightly less pathetic Tampa Bay 16-3) photos
Thursday, December 2nd, 1999~Steven's Pass:
Snow dumping big time in the mountains. Yesterday Mt. Baker reported 16" in 24 hours, another 9" reported this morning. At Steven's its the same: 16" in 24 hours reported at this morning's call, and 10"-14"+ forecast to fall today in the North Cascades. Got to Steven's a little after 9am. Quite a bit of new snow and more falling, with the wind blowing hard. Took one easy run on the groomers off of Barrier and then tried to go off the side of Barrier at the top. Ken and I both skied off the run, toward the trees, and immediately sunk to our waists in snow. It was very deep and pretty heavy. We climbed back out and took another groomer run down to think about it (we had seen huge cracks in the snowpack on the chair, snow fairly unstable, avi danger considerable, we both wore packs w/beepers, shovels, ect.) then we went in again at the top and bashed a trail in to the side of Brooks and out. Snow was so deep that I was totally under after falling on the trail down Barrier face and we watched a snowboarder go off a jump and completely disappear beneath the snow for a couple seconds. We hit that about 6 times, catching a few good powder shots and a fast runout down Brooks each time. Hit Tye Mill once, but it was a bit crowded (there was only a couple hundred people there and most of em were on Tye) so we ran Hogsback once, had lunch at the Soft Landing, and headed to the truck. Left at 3pm, straight home. Temp: 29º-32º, winds to 50mph, snowing moderately all day. 40" at the base, 45"+ towards the top. Me (5) Ken (6) Tim (umm...lets see...1)
Saturday, December 4th, 1999~Mt. Baker:
Got a cabin at Mt. Baker Lodging (Mt. Baker Rim houses) for Friday and Saturday night. The place is huge, 3 BR, 2 bath, hot tub, big enough for 10 people...unfortunately Tim had to work again and currently its only me, Ken, and Eric. Woke up around 8am and on Baker by about 9:30am. Headed pretty much straight to the Shuksan Arm. Eric has brand new Dynastar Bigs with Salomon bindings on demo plates and we set out to introduce him to the joys of the Mt. Baker Backcountry. After being thoroughly checked by the patrollers several times, we made tracks into the untouched. No new snow overnight, but over 80" of base on the Pan Dome and very few new tracks in the backcountry. Took about 8 runs through there, hitting some good air in places and smashing through slop towards the runout at the bottom. The snow at the top was still fairly fresh but some of the upper slopes are getting heavily loaded. Was a beautiful day, mostly sunny with some clouds later in the day, lots of photos of both scenery and skiing. Temp: 34º-40º, light wind, partly sunny. 53" at Heather Meadows, 86" on the Pan Dome. Me (6) Ken (7) Eric (1) Tim (still 1) photos
Sunday, December 5th, 1999~Mt. Baker:
Up at 7:30am and out of the cabin at a reasonable time, on the mountain shortly after 9am, loaded for the backcountry. Straight out onto the Shuksan Arm again and took about 10 runs through there, covering just about every aspect of the canyons. 5" of fresh fell overnight and the previous day's snowpack had settled a bit and become more stable. We were able to take any lines we felt like and we did...not much time for picture taking today. Extremely thick fog at the top made skiing a bit hairy coming in, but after we got down a few feet it thinned out. Stopped at Frostys in Maple Falls to eat and watch the Seahawks get beat badly by a clearly superior Oakland Raider team. Temp: 27º-30º, heavy fog and snowed 10" during the day. 58" at Heather Meadows, 88" on the Pan Dome. Me (7) Ken (8) Eric (2) Tim (2, he went to Stevens)
Tuesday, December 7th, 1999~Steven's Pass:
Steven's reported 13" of snow in 24 hours at the morning call, but when Doug and I got there, it was mostly a groomer day. Fairly cold and mostly clear and sunny all day. The powder off the groomers was about 10" deep and very light, but it was Doug's first trip of the year and the groomers were very nice so we stayed there. It was very groomed, very flat and high speed. We ran Barrier about 10 times and Hogsback 5 or 6 times. Seventh Heaven and Big Chief were both opened but we stayed off both...backside still closed. Just a beautiful day cruising and carving. Temp: 23º-25º, mostly sunny. 56" at base, 60" on top. Me (8) Ken (8) Chuck (4) Eric (2) Tim (2) Doug (1) Rebecca (1)
Friday, December 10th, 1999~Whistler:
Arrived in Whistler on Thursday night about 9:30pm and checked into the Glaciers Reach condos. Me, Doug, Chuck, and Gene in one condo and Ken, Eric, Todd, and Tim in the other. Ordered about 6 pizzas, soaked in the hot tub (after heating it up) and went to bed. Up at 7:30am and on the Whistler gondola by 10am. Skied Big Red, Harmony chair, and Peak chair. Ran groomers on the Supercarves for a few hours. Snow was good everywhere. I took Chuck, Gene, Doug, and Tim down off the mountain about 2:30pm while the rest stayed up and skied a couple more hours. We went down, sat in the hot tub a bit, then walked to the Keg in Whistler village for appetizers and drinks. The rest of the group met us there and we all headed over to the Garibaldi Lift Co. to meet up with the MountainZone.com group. After an hour or two eating their food and drinking their beer, we headed back to the condos. From there, we ordered 2 more pizzas and a massage therapist and kicked back for the night. Only Chuck, Gene, and I got massages, everyone else had various excuses. Ken's was best, it was "Right now my sex life isn't very stable, so I'd better not." Temp: 26º, overcast. Me (9), Ken (9), Chuck (5), Eric (3), Tim (3), Doug (2), Todd (2?), Gene (1) special page of Whistler photos
Saturday, December 11th, 1999~Whistler:
Everyone sorta woke up and straggled out the door around 9am this morning. Most everyone was a bit hung over. We gathered together on the top of Peak at Whistler and decided to get out of the fog bank up there by going down to Harmony. It sorta worked. After a few runs down some steeps off of Harmony Ridge, me and Doug were ready for the hot tub. I led him to the gondola download station and just before we arrived Doug hit a dip and compressed and injured his left knee. He was in a lot of pain when he rolled up to the gondola and we got down to the village and back to the condo and in the hot tub. Tim skied like shit. So did I. Tim came back about an hour after Doug and I, and Gene came back about an hour after that. Todd followed him another hour later and Chuck, Eric, and Ken are still not back and probably closed the place. (later) We all (except Doug) headed to the village around 6pm to shop and eat dinner. Ate at La Brassiere...7 of us were seated at 2 tables with 2 waitresses and Tim, Todd, and Ken were done eating before the rest of us had been served. Food was pretty lame too. Ken coreshot his K2 Explorers yesterday and bent the tail on one of his Atomic Powder Cruises today, so we found another pair a year newer and brand new in a small shop called Whistler Heli-Retail Ltd. for $250 canadian and he bought them. Tim bought some bibs and I bought a Jack Wolfskin pack at Out There. Went back to the room and watched movies...slow night. (Sunday) No skiing for me, Chuck, Gene, and Doug, too rainy/nasty/ugly for me and Chuck and Doug's left knee is still sore. Woke up to moderate freezing rain in the village and fog farther up the hill. Ken, Eric, Todd, and Tim went up on Blackcomb Mountain where the skies cleared some but they had to deal with lift lines from the FIS world snowboarding championships (held here this weekend on Blackcomb). The non-skiers went shopping around the village and Tim came down about noon. Doug decided he wanted the last pair of Atomics so we have 2 brand new pairs of Atomic Powder Cruises sitting here. The final cost American was $205 each. Temp: 30º, overcast w/ cloudbreaks. Me (10), Ken (11), Chuck (6), Eric (5), Tim (5), Doug (3), Todd (4?), Gene (2) special page of Whistler photos
Sunday, December 19th, 1999~Steven's Pass:
After a long, eight day break from skiing (due to bad weather and sore legs, mostly) we headed up to Steven's to get at least one day in this weekend. It snowed 10" on Saturday, but there were high winds and the backside was closed so we slept in. Weather sounded better today, 8" of new. 28º, and light winds, so Ken, Eric, and I headed up the hill. We caught ol First Tracks Timmy at the mocha ticket stand...he was 4 cars in front of us and said he lost track (no pun intended) of time reading a book and got a late start. We met up again in the upper parking lot and headed for the backside right away. A bit foggy in places but not too bad. We got on the backside about 9:30am and started making the high traverse trail into Bob & Ken's Powder Stash and skied OOB in the trees and rocks all day. Lots of little jumps and a couple bigger ones. We were all on fats; Ken on old Atomics, Tim and I on Chubbs and Eric on the Dynastar Bigs. Wasnt real powdery or anything but it wasnt terrible in the trees either. Just an easy day bashing in trails and carving up the untracked snow. Temp: 28º, overcast w/ fog. Me (11), Ken (12), Eric (6), Tim (6)
Friday, December 24th, 1999~Christmas Eve~Steven's Pass:
Fog, air stagnation warnings, and temperature inversions are the dominate weather patterns in the Northwest this past week. No new snowfall locally in several days. But its Christmas Eve and we have nothing better to do so Tim and I took a friend of Tim's; Scott, up to Stevens for his first skiing of the year. They reported 27º and fog at the morning call, but it was crystal clear and sunny from Gold Bar right up until we rolled into Stevens where the perpetual cloud that hangs over Seventh Heaven was waiting for us. By the time we got to the top of Tye Mill and headed down the backside it was 10:30am and the snow was rather icy/crunchy. We took our trail into the back trees and decided right away that this wasnt a good day for tree skiing. Back out on the runs, we took Jupiter to the top and about 200 vertical feet below the top the fog broke and we hit the temperature inversion. It was 28º-30º and fog at the bottom, 35º-40º and heavy fog at mid mountain, and 55º and crystal clear at the top. We watched a river of fog flow across the top of the ridge and literally pour down onto the frontside around noon. Ate lunch a little after 1pm at the Soft Landing and went back over on the backside again. The fog was slowly lifting and visibility was somewhat better. We spent the whole day going fast on groomers. I was testing a new pair of Salomon Supermountains, Tim was on his 204 Olin DXKs, and Scott was on....some old K2s or something. Temp: variable. Me (12) Tim (7) Scott (1) photos
Wednesday, December 29th, 1999~Whistler/Blackcomb:
Trip started out a bit rough. Ken forgot his cooler full of food again and we got searched at the border by Canadian Customs. Eventually managed to get to Whistler about 10:30pm Tuesday night and checked into our 2 rooms at the Lost Lake Lodge. Ken, Tim, Chuck, Doug, and I all managed to make it, and Eric is due in this evening...and I go to Vancouver to pick up Tina tonight. No skiing for me today...got to sleep late, up late, and the conditions here aren't all that great: no new snow in 8+ days, air stagnation and temperature inversions with their accompanying fog and low visibility. Today looks clear on the mountain, though, so thats a hopeful sign for the days to come. (Don't be denied, get Misty-fied! Misty Mountain Pizza 932-2825) Tim's report: hard snow all day despite lots and lots of sun. Every one ran hard and fast. Did I say fast, I mean wait till tomorrow after the DXK's are waxed!! Killer day, ran 7th Heaven all day (day for us on the mountain started at 12:05, top of the first run) met two guys from Polish Ukrainian police. Chuck was a hit with the crowd at the bus stop. I got some little air, but if you ask I'll say BIG air. Going hot tubing now. see ya. ~end~ Later..Made the round trip to Vancouver and got back around 1am and went to bed...everyone else asleep. Special page of Whistler New Years Photos
Thursday, December 30th, 1999~Whistler/Blackcomb:
Tina, Doug, and I went shopping and walked around the village while everyone else skied today. We found Tina a nice pair of Marmot ski pants at the Mountain Adventure Center at the base of the Blackcomb gondola. Special page of Whistler New Years Photos
Friday, December 31st, 1999~First Night~Whistler/Blackcomb:
We all went skiing today. It had snowed a bit overnight and the report said a trace of new on the mountain, but there was 3" on the road when we woke up. Tina, Doug, and I skied off of the Blackcomb Gondola for a couple of hours. Tina fell and twisted her left knee and damaged it. She skied down to the Village with us and we headed back to the room. Left for our sleigh ride at Whistler Outdoor Experience at 2:30pm...ride lasted about an hour and took us half way around Green Lake and back. It was snowing very lightly and no wind, about 32º... made for a nice little excursion. Back to the Lost Lake Lodge around 4:30 and Tina's knee was beginning to hurt a lot and swell some. We sat around partying and debating whether to walk to the village for the massive First Night celebration. Tina thought her knee would make it so Ken, Chuck, Doug, Tina, and I caught a cab outside the lodge and headed into the Village. Eric and Tim had already gone down there around 9pm...we left for the party at 11pm.
First Night: The Village was a madhouse. It was completely fenced off and we needed tickets to get in...Ken was the only one with a ticket. We got there a bit late and the tickets were all sold out. It didn't look too promising for us getting in so we told Ken to go ahead and find Eric and Tim (we were all using Motorola radios). About 5 minutes of standing around outside the gate and 4 people walked by with tickets heading out. Doug and Chuck asked if we could have their tickets and they gave us all 4, so we were in. Once we were in we weren't sure we wanted to be there. We entered near the main stage and it was a wall to wall crush of people. Chuck and Doug helped lead Tina and I through it and deeper into the village where the crowd was thinner and we found a spot to stand across from the Crystal Lodge. At midnight fireworks went off and the crowd seemed to thin out a bit. There were lots of people shooting off fireworks from balconies and in the street and there were snowball fights breaking out here and there. Tina and I decided it was time to go around 12:30am and we caught a bus near the Pan Pacific Lodge and got back to the room. The other guys all stayed in the Village. This morning they report that everything went well, the RCMP was out in force but they were being friendly and restrained, letting people pretty much do what they want and breaking up snowball fights before they got out of hand. Heard no reports yet of vandalism or arrests and it looks like we had a peaceful New Years here at Whistler. Special page of Whistler New Years Photos
Saturday, January 1st, 2000~Whistler/Blackcomb:
No skiing for me or Tina today. Took Tina over to Whistler's hospital to have her leg examined by a doctor. The results were not good: 1st degree medial collateral ligament damage, 3rd degree anterior collateral ligament damage. That means a slight tear to the MCL, and a severe tear or sever of the ACL. Her knee was very swollen in the morning and the doctor set her up with some painkillers and a soft ER-type brace and we went to Nester's to get the prescription filled and pick up a bag of frozen peas for an ice pack. We went back to the room and relaxed while the rest of the guys skied...it had been snowing fairly heavily since the night before and it was piling up quickly. About 6:30pm, after everyone got off the mountain, Tina decided she wanted to go shopping with the guys in the village. Everyone except Ken (he was wiped out from skiing) caught a bus and we shopped and ate dinner at the Keg. The bus ride to the Village was insanely fun; we had a nut for a driver, sliding the bus around every corner with half of the passnegers (us mostly) cheering and the other half praying. Race fans, go figure. Special page of Whistler New Years Photos
Sunday, January 2nd, 2000~Whistler/Blackcomb~Epilogue:
Ken, Eric, and Chuck all skied today, and Tina, Doug, Tim, and I watched the Seahawks lose to the Jets and the Raiders beat the Chiefs then we all went shopping and had lunch at the Dubh Linh. Bought two Marmot jackets, one for me and one for Tina, at the Mountain Adventure Center. Tim and Doug left for Seattle around 4pm and Tina and I met the other guys back at the room, packed up, and headed out at 5:30pm. Drive down sucked, as usual, and we had a 45 minute wait at the border. Ski totals: Ken (17) Me (13) Tim (11) Eric (11) Chuck (11) Doug (6) Tina (1) Special page of Whistler New Years Photos
Begin Cal-Utah Trip Notes....
Oh boy...its been awhile since I updated the skiing pages. Since Whistler, I've been a bit busy. First there was a quick trip by air to San Diego to visit Tina, then I flew back to Seattle and loaded up the truck and left on Sunday, January 23rd at 10:30pm and arrived in San Diego, after a 19 hour drive covering 1230 miles, at 5:30pm on Monday, the 24th. Brought Bobdog along with me and we had a long and uneventful drive through mostly rain and fog. Spent a couple days relaxing in San Diego before loading up Tina and her son Chris and daughter Devin and making the 3 hour drive up to....
Saturday, January 29th, 2000~Snow Summit Mountain Resort at Big Bear Lake, California:
Snow Summit is a little resort in Southern California. With a base elevation of 7000 feet, you would think the place would be covered in snow. Not so. With less than 20 inches of base anywhere on the mountain, the resort depends heavily on weather cold enough to make snow. Lucky for us, they were able to keep most of the runs open. Big Bear claims an average of 300 days of clear skies per year and this weekend was average. Lots of sunshine and fairly warm weather makes for nice easy days of skiing. We rode the All-Mountain Xpress to the top and took a run down through one of the terrain parks in the morning, then decided maybe some lessons would help Devin and Chris. They did. After a couple hours they were skiing much better. After thier lessons, we headed out to do some horseback riding. Tina had reserved 4 horses for a 2 hour trail ride through the hills and valleys of the San Bernardino National Forest and we all had fun out there. We ate dinner at the local Sizzler then headed back up to Snow Summit to do a little night skiing. We rented a nice, big condo about a half block from the resort, so it is an easy walk to the chairlifts. The snowmakers have been going full blast and the manmade snow wasnt too terrible in the evening. Long day of skiing, horseback riding, and more skiing had us all pretty worn out and we all slept well. Weather was sunny, but temperatures ranged from a low of 22 degrees to a high during the day of a little over 50. California~Utah Trip Photos
More Trip Notes....
Okay so after we drove back to San Diego, I spent a couple weeks hanging out and enjoying the sunshine. Then Tina and I headed up to Las Vegas last weekend (Feb. 12-13) to stay at the Luxor and enjoy a Dragonrealms convention. Las Vegas was fun but we only had a couple days to play around and shop before heading back to San Diego. On tuesday (Feb. 15th) I headed north to....
Wednesday, February 16th, 2000~Mammoth Mountain:
(from an email I sent...) Mammoth is killer and huge. The top wasnt open and I only skied 3 hours cuz I gotta get outta here and get up to Squaw, but I managed to cover most of the lower mountain. Started this morning from the Canyon Lodge. I got a condo pretty cheap at a place called Discovery 4 that took dogs and its only about 3 minutes from the Canyon Lodge chairs. Rode the Canyon Express up and skied over to the Stump Alley Express and then down to the gondola. The gondola only took me up half way, but it was cool...there is no one here...had the gondola and all chairs except for the Stump Alley to myself. The upper gondola wasnt running but I noticed the Face Lift Express was running, so I skied down to the Stump Alley, up it, over to the Face Lift, and back down to the Stump Alley several times. Off of Face Lift I hit runs Rooster Tail, Triangle, Dry Creek, China Bowl, Face of Five, Spook, and Waterfall. The powder was nice and none of the blacks and double blacks around the mid-mountain area were very hard. I started heading back by taking the Goldrush Express and skied down into Juniper Springs. Thats all a beginner area and the Chair 15 to get out of there was a 15 minute ride (blah). The place is really big...and there are chairlifts everywhere you turn. Not much air time cuz I couldnt get to any really steep stuff, but lots of high speed blasting through powder boot deep and totally alone. I was getting scared a couple times because there was NO one around and I was skiing untracked...always came out to a running chairlift though...never had to hike. Dog and me are packing up now and heading to Squaw Valley... California~Utah Trip Photos
Thursday, February 17th, 2000~Squaw Valley, USA:
Okay, I about wet my pants just looking up at where the cable
car goes. This place is really steep. Sick steep. Hospital steep...bring
insurance steep...notify your next of kin steep. I saw nothing
at Mammoth (or almost anywhere else) that can compare to this.
I got a room almost by chance at one of the nicest lodges in the
world, the Plumpjack, next to the cable car right at the Squaw
base. After sneaking the dog out of the room and digging my skis
out of the rocket box, I bought a ticket and finished my last
will and testament and loaded on the cattle car for the ride up
to High Camp. Even the groomers were steep and I was tearing down
one after getting off the cable car and I saw a chair and I thought
I'd take it. The chair was called Headwall...at the top I followed
the signs to a run called simply 'Face'. After jumping in, blowing
up, and sliding down half of Headwall Face, I shook out the snow
and took some pictures and decided to take it easy and ski all
the way down to the bottom. Again, I was nearly alone on the mountain...skiing
down ankle deep powder on double blacks that are Real double blacks...and
no souls around. At the bottom I headed over to the one chair
I knew I wanted to ski before I ever got here: the legendary KT-22.
By the time the Olympic Lady Express got me to the top of KT-22
the snow was starting to fall heavily and visibility was going
to start getting bad. It was only 10:30am but it was going to
have to be my last run of the day...I needed to get on the road
and get to Park City. Stood at the top of GS Bowl and watched
the last of the blue sky disappear, then bolted down GS Bowl,
cut over to the old Olympic Lady chair and ripped the chairline
chutes, dropped onto a fast groomer and screamed back to the truck....8
hours later the dog and I hit Park City, Utah. California~Utah
Saturday, February 19th, 2000~Park City, Utah:
It was cold last night, temp dropped down to seven degrees. Was a bit worried about skiing in extreme cold today, but it warmed up a lot...by 3pm it was 40 degrees on the mountain. We got up around 8am and headed into town for breakfast, then back to the room and up to the Payday lift at Park City for a 3 hour private lesson for the four of us. I just kinda tagged along while Devin, Chris, and Tina were taught by a great instructor. By the end of the lesson, all three were making parallel turns and we took a run down a groomed black diamond run called Silver Queen. We skied mostly off of the Payday and Bonanza chairs, both are high speed six-pack chairs. We skied Treasure Hollow, Homerun, Payday, Dividend, Blanche, Jonesy's, Quicksilver, and Mel's Alley runs...plus maybe a few others. Practiced a lot of good stuff and everyone is advancing fast. The place has changed a lot since the last time we were here...the gondola is gone, Payday is a six-seater instead of a quad, more area and new chairs have been opened, and there is a lot of new construction at the base area in preparation for the coming 2002 winter olympics. After the lessons we stuck our skis in the overnight ski check and went out to do some shopping then back to our condo at the Silvertown lodge for dinner and some hot tubbing.
Sunday, February 20th, 2000~Park City, Utah:
Got on the mountain around 11am this morning and headed up Payday and Bonanza again. Chris and Devin took off to ski together for awhile while Tina and I went down to the Pig Pen Lounge and had lunch. The kids met us there a bit later and after lunch Tina left for another private lesson while Chris, Devin, and I skied a few black diamond runs. We took Powder Keg and Broadway down to the King Con High Speed Quad and ran into a huge lift line. After getting back to the top, we cruised down King Con Ridge to the Gotcha Cutoff and tried a moguled out Ladies Slalom run. Ladies Slalom was listed as a blue run but it was a very difficult blue. All three of us managed to fall. I was running my Volant Zone Z's (NOT mogul skis) and while trying to show off I crossed my tips and landed hard with my elbow on one ski...got a big knot on my arm now. We got to the bottom and Devin and I decided to quit while Chris took another run and Tina finished up her lesson. We all left about 4pm and headed back to the room. Found Tina a beautiful purple Marker ski jacket, Devin found a nice Betty Rides shell, and Chris and I both got a pair of new Hotfingers gauntlets...some good shopping here but its hard to get around with all the traffic...there are a few shops at the Park City Resort base, and more shops in downtown Park City. We went downtown last night and the traffic on the streets was insane...luckily I know what I'm doing and parked in a small underground lot while the masses searched the streets for a parking spot. As it is in the rest of Utah, most of the shops closed up around 6 or 7pm, making shopping and skiing in the same day a serious logistical problem: by the time you get off the mountain and relax for an hour, everything is closed. Even on a holiday weekend with the biggest crowd of the year in town. When the Olympics hit Utah in 2002 they better figure something out or lose millions in retail sales.
Final Cal-Utah Trip Notes...
Got home at 12:30am Tuesday, Feb. 22nd after an 11 hour drive from Salt Lake. 18 days skiing for me this year...lost track of everyone else, trying to catch up. Skied the Salomon Supermountains all except one day (Park City on Volant Zone Z's) and really like them.
Friday, February 26th, 2000~Steven's Pass:
No new snow, blue skies and 19 degrees at 6am...met Doug in Monroe at 8am and were on the mountain at 9am. Temp warmed up to the mid twenties by noon. Groomer day. Started on the Salomon Supermountains and switched to Supercarves after 2 runs. Ran Barrier a few times fast before going over to the backside and running up and down both chairs back there several times fast. Saw Todd L. and a friend on the mountain, playing on the backside. Ate in the Soft Landing and took a run down Hogsback and Chief before going back to Barrier and heading home. Me (19), Ken (no idea, lots), Doug (no idea, lots) photos
Wednesday, March 1st, 2000~Steven's Pass:
Took my truck in for service this morning and Doug drove down from Arlington and picked me up in the old Suburban. Got up to Steven's around 11am and skied the groomers on the front a couple times before heading to the backside. Doug was running Ken's Atomic Powder Cruises...first time on fat skis. We couldnt find much powder to try them in though. Played on the back for a bit then went back to the front and hit Barrier a few times. Only about 3 inches of new snow....hasnt snowed much in weeks, been a terrible snow season. Me (20)
Monday, March 13th, 2000~Mt. Baker:
Got the same cabin at Mt. Baker Lodging that we had in December. (There were dead mice and deadly spiders this time, oh, and miniture flying pool balls. RS.) Skied off of chair 8 and chair 5 all day...went into the backcountry with Rebecca once...snow was very heavy and sticky and we went back to the semi-groomers inbounds.
Tuesday, March 14th, 2000~Mt.Baker:
Saturday, March 18th, 2000~Steven's Pass:
Todd and Tina rented a cabin on the east side of Steven's for friday and saturday night. About 11 people showed up, including me, Ken, Tim, Chuck, Todd L., and a few friends of Tina's. It was a decent powder day with about a foot of fresh snow and we hit a lot of good stuff. Todd L. and I both hucked a couple 20 footers on the backside in the Powder Stash. We were all on powder skis except for a new guy named Joe. He was on some 200cm pencil skis and stayed with us all day, tearing it up, on the backside, down Wild Katz, off of the side of Barrier, ect. We were all burnt and a few of us loaded into my truck and went down to the cabin. I drove one group up, Tim drove another, and a guy named Jeff drove a third group up in his Jeep Cherokee. An hour after we got back, Chuck and I were sitting in the hot tub when one of the girls arrived and told us Jeff was in a wreck and we needed to go get them. The road was fairly bad near the top...mixed snow and ice...and the Jeep had poor tires. Jeff slid after passing a pickup pulling a horse trailer, and the pickup hit him in the passenger side pretty hard.
Sunday, March 19th, 2000~Steven's Pass:
Ken hit another snowboarder today on the runout trail from the trees on the backside. Me, Chuck, Ken, Tim, and Todd all skied today while everyone else headed home. One of the bindings on my Volant Ti Chubbs broke and I kept stepping out of the ski so had to go down and switch to the Salomon Supermountains. Tim left his jacket and misc. fleece in the cabin and had to drive all the way back after dropping off Todd. He didnt get back in time and everyone was gone...with his stuff...so he skied in a fleece vest. Nice sunbreaks late in the day, but snowing most of the time, sometimes hard. Lots of nice powder...Me (24)
At this point I have started to lose track of things. Its now umm...Tuesday, May 30th. Ken has kept some notes from his trips and I'll try to get them. I havent done much skiing since the last entry...only 2 days that I can remember.
Sunday, April 2nd, 2000~Steven's Pass:
Saturday, May 20th 2000~Mt. Batchelor:
Bobdog and I followed Ken and Tim down to camp and ski at Mt. Batchelor on friday night. We rolled into the parking lot around midnight and set up camp at the far end near the mountain. It was about 35° at midnight but it quickly warmed up during the day to 65°. We were up and skiing early...the first couple of runs on the upper mountain were glorious. As the snow warmed up it got a little sticky, but didnt slow us down too much. We skied all over the upper and lower mountain at different times as the snow changed.
Sunday, May 21st, 2000~Mt. Batchelor:
More of the same today...was a shorts and tee shirt day. Left around 1pm after packing up...I headed to San Diego and Tim and Ken headed home to Seattle.
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