This snow year in California has been as bad as last year's. Bad enough that I hadn't set foot in Tahoe at all this year yet, but as Kirkwood was melting away, and you had to start walking back to the lift because there wasn't snow all the way back, we got a nice little storm that actually got downgraded quite a bit as it happened. Tahoe didn't get that much snow afterall, and Heavenly only got 6 inches by the time we had arrived on tuesday evening.
Thankfully the K factor delivered, and kirkwood got 2ft of fresh snow in that same amount of time. Not surprisingly the parking lot was almost full by 09:10 when we arrived.
It looked quite nice in the morning:
Kirkwood hadn't looked like this nice in over a month
the previous day you had to hike to sentinel bowl
The wall opened while I was hiking from Cornice
but I got a nice run there instead, so not so bad
Although it got tracked quickly and unfortunately this the rocks underneath came back quickly:
the drain was better than before, but rocky already in the morning
My favourite run to the top of solitude was rocky as hell, my board got damaged quite a bit:
I had a good day overall, the powder was great in the morning, although it would have been better to have more snow underneath and not have damaged my board as much :) Thanks much to Seongbae for getting me there and back.
Thanks to Arnaud for introducing me and John for having both of us for a day of play at the track. Arnaud started easy in his 650S since it was his first day with it, but I egged him on enough that he got close to my speeds after a few sessions ;)
I was up early, so I did a nice night flight takeoff and got to watch sunrise from the sky:
new avionics in an old C182
I managed to scrape a 1:58 lap time (with the bypass) in the morning, but unfortunately, my times went downhill from there as my tires got worn, and apparently due to a lack of negative camber issue, once the sides of my tires were gone, so was the traction, and I lost up to 5 seconds on my laps at the end of the day.
this Z06 with the same tires than me was hella fast
Arnaud's track machine, nice leather
This is a session where Arnaud and I were running together. Around 13:10, I stopped a bit to let him pass me and film him from behind:
For fun, I also filmed 2 laps from the rear of my car, showing the wing. Once narrow, and once wide:
On the flight back, I didn't stand much of a chance against Arnaud and his Cirrus flying back too, but I got to enjoy the views as usual:
Thanks to my good friend Craig, I was able to go to ELC for fun to see some talks on drones and meet the 3DR folks.
Good to see my friend John Hawley showing up the minnow board, his K9, and he brought a killer X8 quadcopter for his talk, which he was smart enough not to fly indoors ;)
One talk was Gregoire Gentil from Always Innovating on a lightweight nano-quadcopter with 4 cameras and image recognition to follow a subject being filmed while doing indoor navigation using. His talk info is here.
Another interesting talk was about using a X-UAV Talon to carry relief payloads to places under siege:
Tridge did the keynote on drones, it started with legos:
We ended with a dinner on tuesday night:
It was great to have been able to go, thanks again to Craig.
This year, our negative bill that we never get paid for wasn't as negative as usual. This was mostly because we used 800Kwh more, partially because some of my computer stuff wasn't shutting down as often as it should have.
On the other side, PG&E doesn't make it so like I should care sicne it's just a difference between 2 negative bills for which I'll never see a penny anyway.
Here's the spreadsheet showing all the numbers I've gathered so far:
After Salt Lake City, I flew to Denver to go meet Arturo half way through his long snowboarding trip. We started in Keystone just after a powder day the net morning:
we got two rides on the snowcat for a bit extra powder
once on north bowl, and once on south bowl
The next day, we went to Breckenridge. Weather was nice, a bit too nice. As a result the snow was not so great (good layer, but pretty icy and all the nice powder from the previous day was now not so good):
snow wasn't great, pretty crunchy
On the way back, found someone snowboarding with a parasail:
The next day, we moved farther West to Beaver Creek to get ourselves closer to Aspen, or next destination. Since the morning snow was not going to be great (freeze-thaw cycle), we used to the time to go check out the edges of the resort we had never seen before (and that there is no point to go see on a normal day). Beaver Creek turns out to be 3 resorts that got joined into a single one, but its edges aren't that interesting on a normal day, however that day we had nothing much better to do than to go check them out :)
skiing is hard work :)
After driving to the Aspen area (Snowmass), we went to Snowmass the next morning. By then I wasn't hopeful, and kind of expected crap snow, but we got super lucky, the snow was still very decent, with even fresh enough powder in places (which Snowmass nicely roped off to keep fresh for us when we arrived):
yeah, fresh snow for us
From the top of the cirque, the view on the other size was quite nice too:
Eventually we crossed to the other side of the resort (from the top of the cirque):
After doing headwall and the cirque several times, we went to the backcountry bit on the other side of the resort, but while the top view was nice, riding down wasn't the best snow anymore:
The last day, we drove to nearby Highlands to try its backcountry bowl which you can reach with a snowcat and hiking, but unfortunately by then the snow had been frozen, so it was crust early on and not great snow after it started melting a bit. We gave it a shot (and it was also tracked out to hell, which was surprising), and then tried the rest of the resort, but Arturo had issues with his board that had been tuned improperly and didn't dig its edge properly anymore, so we left a bit early:
This I was with Arturo half way through his long snowboarding trip, we went from the Denver ski Area to the Aspen area.
Lots of snow pictures, on their own page.
We drove through I-70 which is a beautiful drive:
Town of Basalt where we had dinner
After our skiing in Aspen and Highlands, we drove to Aspen to see downtown and the art displays:
we had a very nice lunch with foie gras and crepes