|Chris on Sunday afternoon heading out of bounds off the backside of the resort. Avy conditions were solid and surprisingly had the sidecountry relatively to ourselves.|
Last weekend was warm and clear at the resort. With no new recent snow for a couple of days I did multiple laps out of bounds into the side country with various friends and skied fantastic untracked snow for minimal effort. "Slackcountry" at it's finest!
Monday, my friend Chris and I headed into the actual backcountry in the Middle Fork for some great turns in blower snow. The conditions were incredible: really cold, deep, dry powder sitting on a firm base. We dug a pit and found the snowpack to be very stable. Our most memorable part of the day happened when Chris cartwheeled down a roller, stuck his ski under a firmer crust, and ejected from it. We spent probably 20-30 minutes probing around until he finally found the sucker! We couldn't have had better weather either and were wished a hearty good bye from the fat snowflakes starting to fall as we left our high point.
Tuesday and Wednesday were very cold at Big Mountain, with sub-freezing temperatures and gusty winds pushing the summit temps to -30 F with windchill. Needless to say, the lift ride was a little brutal but the snow was fun-tastic to say the least. Both days I was skiing my favorite lines well into the afternoon and still finding un-tracked lines of creamy, fresh snow. Tuesday was a my technical day and skiing by myself allowed me to challenge my skills without having to race to catch someone else or worry that the buddy following me would be comfortable skiing some gnarly stuff. I was particularly proud of a couple runs down North Bowl Chute. The conditions were great, I nailed all my turns, and blasted into the great snow out in the apron...twice! Skiing alone has its advantages but skiing with friends is much more enjoyable, and I had some great company on Wednesday. The ski posse was up there tearing it up. I wish I had some photos to share, especially of us huddled miserably on the chair, but it was too cold to want to even pull out a camera. Ha! I better get used to it if I want to document our Denali trip at all!