Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What Are You Going to be for Halloween?

I’m gonna be a snow skier.
Yup, with Canadian Thanksgiving out of the way, it’s just about looking like November out there.
In the meantime, it’s not really so bad in those mountains.

Climbing above the clouds riding Abbott Ballfields to Glen Alps and back Wednesday night.
I met up with Rachel and Kyle for a planned one-and-done pre-turkey lap on Sunburst on Thursday morning.
We had sunny skies, no wind, and pretty nice snow off the top.
Unfortunately, some idiot forgot to put the memory card back in his camera, so no photos.

With gray skies and a chance for new snow on Friday, Cody, Joe, and I headed up to Seattle Ridge.
Here’s a fact: when we finally got up to the first bench and went to skinning mode, Cody and I kind of let Joe ride it out on the struggle bus behind us.
Joe usually gets up Seattle Ridge in a couple minutes via sled, and we knew he didn’t usually skin for his turns, but we assumed he had skinned at least a few times before.
You know how sometimes your friends think they’re being helpful offering you advice: “don’t use your poles so much,” “use your poles more,” “get through your kick turn faster,” “don’t try and go too fast”…and all you really want to do is just struggle on your own without Captain Obvious’ commentary and pitying stare.
Ya, so Cody and I, we think we’re being nice, giving Joe some space.
We get to the top of a selected run in Main Bowl, and Joe catches up just a few minutes later, and informs us that was his first skin, ever, and it wasn’t so bad…
Legendary on Joe’s part though.
We proceeded to knock out a couple runs in some gullies and trees in the stale boot-top snow.

Joe discovering the joyous freedom of the hills unhindered by mechanized snow transport, unleashed his inner-butterfly spirit child...or is just stoked for the first run of the day.
Maybe favorite picture from the whole weekend.

After a lot of thought I've decided to sell my snowmachine. Yep. I'll take $500 cash. It's pretty much good to go, just needs a ski, belt, track, motor, a couple other odds and ends, and a lot of WD-40. A shovel would be good too. Only serious inquiries please.

Photo: C.G.

Photo: C.G.

Photo J.E.

Cody checks the spacing between trees for conformity.

Photo: J.E.

Saturday, I stayed in town and caught a nice leg-refreshing spin with Phil. The snow was coming down hard while we rode, and I was reminded of why I prefer a classic or skate ski instead of a fat bike in soft conditions, but hopefully those activities will come soon enough.

Sunday was forecasted to be partly clouds, or partly sun, and for sure busy.
Cody, Joe, and I were joined by Aaron, and we headed back to Seattle. We climbed into the part that was not sunny, and for sure cloudy: solid white. We hit the ridge, and the skinner went south toward Triangle. We wanted to go north. The ridge is easy enough to navigate even when you can’t see up from down, but I pulled out the p-cord and practiced my rhythmic gymnastics. It proved its worth within 25 feet when we hit the first wind lip.
We located the trees at the top of Junior’s Bowl and Cody lead the charge into the white room.
It was sweet!
The wind had loaded the trees and gullies with knee deep, unconsolidated, cold snow. In the steeper slots we pushed a good deal of slow-moving fresh slough.
We hit the base of our buried skinner in Main Bowl, re-broke it, and lapped the gully for the rest of the day.
At one point I lead the group in a circle looking for another patch of trees.
Group: Dante, we just went in a big circle.
Dante: No we didn't.
Group: Yes. We did.
Dante: OK, maybe we did.
Cody: Want to look at the GPS.
Dante: NO! OK, maybe...damnit.
The exit wasn’t bad, we broke above the cloud layer and charged down the main face of Seattle Ridge. In the hemlocks it was sweet, but definitely more peppery farther down. We also helped mow down the grass and pushki, and were able to ski a couple hundred feet lower than on Friday with only a minor scuff or two to the bases.

End of the world?

Viz = 75 feet?

Joe used to sing for the hit boy band 98 degrees in the late 90s. (Photo: C.G.)

Aaron attempts the fabled telekinesis turn off an invisible wind lip.

Precious moments.

Emerging back into the light late in the day (Photo C.G.)

Photo: J.E.

Photo A.H.

When we could finally see what the snow we were skiing looked like...

...we realized it was pretty awesome!

Oh ya, we got snow in town again. So, November has started.

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