Monday, January 23, 2012

DEEP but not so steep

What's almost as bad as no much snow that you can't do anything but ski in the parking lot (at least if you're not willing to pay for a 75 dollar lift ticket). This weekend the avalanche danger shot up to extreme and since I'm writing this post I somehow repressed my inherent desire to go STEEP. Fortunately I still had plenty of low angle turns, even when I saw a number of south facing chutes at least partially filled in. After an interesting race on Friday, Saturday was the first pow day of many (yeah I said that in November too).

 Chesy Stuck in "Deep Pow"

"Now I remember where I parked"

After an uneventful Saturday (we survived), Sunday I got a call from Adam to do some low angle turns (plenty more photos HERE). Of course low angle turns for a backcountry skier means hike in 4 miles get 10 turns and then ski out. On our route up to Lake Blanche we witnessed several collapses (about 100). For the non-avy-savy this means the lower layers can't support the new snow causing the snow to crash in on itself, without any steep ground however it can only go into itself instead of down the mountain (hence don't go into steep terrain because it's going to collapse and then slide). Nonetheless, several of these were enough to give you goosebumps and shake the snow off the trees (sounds kind of like thunder).

Did I mention aside from all our observations we still got some good skiing in too?

A OK putting in the skinner in front of The Sundial.

Still going

If my fat ass didn't collapse it I doubt yours will.

Low Angle Turns...Check

Oh did I also mention despite all the collapsing and extreme avy danger, the hardest thing we did was ski out of this "Hiking trail"? Go straight, go fast, and pray that you'll come to a spot to stop.

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