..You go to bed and outside
it is snowing. You set the alarm, three months into the season
you have to. Earlier in the year the powder anticipation means
that if you sleep at all, waking up at five does not require
an alarm. This morning you pop right out of bed though, no snooze-button,
and you head to the shower. The hot water wakes you up further
and helps limber up the muscles, you are a little sore from yesterday.
..You go out and collect your
gear from behind the wood burning stove where it has been drying.
Ah, the liners are dry, the polypro is dry, the socks are dry
but you tell yourself, I really have to wash these after today
(the same thing you said yesterday). You pull on your boots and
your feet are sore but still, it always feels good to slip into
your Terminators. Always. Clomping downstairs you see Buddy the
dog waiting by the door, begging to go, you know you can't leave
him, he loves this almost as much as you do. Heading out the
door you briefly consider calling Steve, nah, he will be there.
..Driving up the road you
see that there is 6 inches of fresh on the pavement, 6 here means
a foot on top, and its cold. It should be good. Arriving at the
"Y" you see a couple of commuters getting out to unlock
the hubs on their truck, they will be heading down to the freeway,
your going up. You look across the road and see the headlights
of Steve's old Suburu, bouncing along the dirt road down from
his house. You pull over and he pulls along side. You roll down
your window and get the report, "I just talked to Len and
he was heading out the door and I talked to Ed last night and
he said he was coming" says Steve and sure enough, Len arrives
just then and a few minutes later Ed arrives as well. Now all
the elements are in place, the partners are all here and we have
four cars to shuttle.
..After a bit of logistical
wrangling (OK, who has how long? what are you thinking Ed? back
by noon? its going to be epic!) we all pile into Ed's truck.
Buddy the dog tries to take up as little room as possible, somehow
realizing that his being able to go depends on it. As you roll
by the open snow gate everybody breathes a sigh of relief. Ed
has the Grateful Dead on as you blast your way up the mountain.
After twenty or thirty minutes you all make it to the top, it
was a little dicey a couple of times but your there.
..It is cold on top, really
cold as everybody rubs on a lot of green wax as fast as possible.
Getting on the trail as quickly as you can is the only way to
keep from getting real cold, so everybody makes a fast check
of the safety gear and hits the snow. It feels good to climb
a bit and soon you are at the first downhill pitch, "the
ramps", a bit of stomping around, a check of the pit you
dug yesterday and you all make the four turns down and stop for
a snow stability conference. Local knowledge of conditions this
winter and observations this morning tell you that this snow
pack is not going anywhere.
..A little more traversing,
a longer descent through a wooded area, another climb over a
rise and yet another series of turns brings you to North Ridge
Bowls. The bowls themselves look inviting but this morning the
destination is the skiers left ridge above them. A long steep,
safe, thousand vert run through huge widely spaced Ponderosa
Pines. Skiing down this ridge is truly epic and for once you
pass and stay ahead of Buddy. You stop at the bottom and see
Ed and Steve skiing down, with Buddy in the fall line between
them. Off to skier's-right is Len taking a double fall line shot
and launching off a lip in the drainage.
..Regrouping, you head around
the knoll and get another run through a big open area down to
the gully below "church camp". The run through the
camp takes you back to the cars. You just clicked off almost
three thousand vertical feet, and it was sweet. Suddenly, Ed
decides he has time for another run. Everybody piles into your
old Toyota 4WD wagon, the one with half a million miles on it
and a Yakima ski rack bolted through the roof.
..Driving up, everyone wonders
what the smell is and decides to blame it on the wet dog, but
in reality it smells an awful lot like polypro. This drive up
the music is provided by "X" and the energy is sky
..More runs, more untracked.
The end of the day finds you and Steve out of cars at the bottom
and hitching up for one more run. Four runs, not a record for
your home mountain, but a very solid day. Lots of downhill, a
fair amount of climbing and traversing, and some poor mans heli
skiing (car shuttles).
..You get down just before
dark and talk Steve's wife into giving you both a ride up to
collect the two cars left up there. On the drive down the muscles
in your face ( the ones you smile with) begin to ache. You think,
"next week we should spend the night at the hut.....",
but that is another story.
Another less successful day, waiting for the snow
gate, with fresh on top
More "Tele World Turns":
Hut the Hard Way"