While we had early snow in October, our supposed El Nino ended up being disappointing so far: no real snow until now, but this week we got a good 4-5 feet at kirkwood, so it made up for it.
We didn't get quite there at opening time due to a screw in one of the tires, but by re-inflating a few times we made it there and back.
Unfortunately, they only had 5 ski patrols which was not enough to open anything other than cornice (not counting sentinel bowl or of course palisades). The wall stayed closed, which was a shame considering some good terrain that would have been nice to hit.
Jim's trusty snow prius with spike spiders
However that meant that when I finally arrived with my ticket (which took 45mn to get due to kirkwood having their computerized pass processing all messed up that day) around 10:30, cornice hadn't even opened yet, which was a bit sad for Kirkwood, but convenient for us :)
Weather saturday was pretty miserable but the winds were as bad as scheduled. It was still cold and wet though.
we had powder, even if it didn't feel that deep
That evening we thankfully didn't have to brave the storm to go anywhere and were able to Chill at our coworker's shared condo (thanks guys!).
this is why they had to do avalanche control
On sunday, it snowed all day too, but the weather wasn't as whiteout and wet. Good powder was to be had too, although it didn't feel very deep (it packed quickly).
overnight snow, not so bad :)
The "hightlight" was when I like many others went maybe slightly out of bounds since ski patrol was too underpowered to open more terrain and I ended up on top of an unmarked cliff that wasn't really covered well enough yet.
this guy means business :)
mmmh, wrong time of the season to come down here
while it was a scary jump, I was able to get down in mostly soft snow without problems. On hard packed snow, I would have hurt myself though.
but I did jump down because I couldn't get safely back up
A big thanks to my coworker Andrew and cabinmates for hosting us in their shared kirkwood cabin and Jim for driving us there and back in his trusty Prius.
Here are the stats and map for Day1 and Day2. For Day #2, I rode cornice all day after it opened and went a lot more on the sides for some unriden snow. Too bad I couldn't get up the wall for more powder goodness...