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This is a collection of my blog entries about snowboarding.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for the more recent trips that I have recorded in blog entries:

Table of Content for snow:

More pages: March 2019 February 2019 January 2019 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 November 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 April 2015 March 2015 December 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 December 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 March 2011 February 2011 December 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 December 2009 March 2009 February 2009 December 2008 April 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 December 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 December 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 November 2004 April 2004 March 2004 February 2004



2019/03/27 First Non Stop Tesla Drive to Kirkwood
π 2019-03-27 01:01 in Cars, Snow
Back when I had an 90D, it claimed that it might barely make it to KW on a summer day at low speed, but it was just too short to get there in the winter, forcing me to stop at least 30mn in Manteca, creating a 45 to 60mn slowdown.
Long story short, it did get me to Kirkwood, but it was a bit annoying to have to stop, especially the day the Manteca Supercharger was down and I was forced to drive to Folson and all the way around 50/89/88, causing an almost 2H detour.

After getting my new Model 3 AWD LR, my first drive to KW I stayed conservative and stopped 10mn in Manteca to recharge 10%. After arriving, I arrived with 20% left while having driven quite hard. This gave me enough confidence that I'd be able to do it in one shot, even if that day the weather was perfect.

So, for my 2nd drive, I planned to drive in one shot, despite the less than ideal conditions (snow at the top). This was a bit risky because if the road closed at the top of 88, I'd be in trouble. My backup plan was first to beg caltrans to escort me through, and if that failed, to roll back to jackson's bus station to use their 240V/22A charger which although not that fast would give me enough charge in 30 to 60mn to make it to the folsom supercharger. Obviously, this would have sucked, but better than being totally stuck.

Before you try to replicate this:

  • You need at least the M3 AWD LR (range 310mi). The RWD LR is actually rated for 330 miles, but if you have to put chains, it will more than kill the extra 20 mile range the car has.
  • I have the 18" aero wheels. The more fancy looking wheels will make you lose 20 to 30 miles of range, leaving you with a very small margin.
  • I didn't drive faster than 75mph
  • I had to have headlights on for half the drive
  • I didn't use heating, this uses a lot of energy
  • I only used the defogger for 15 seconds at a time about 10 times total
  • I used wipers as needed
  • note that I arrived with 11-13% less than than the car predicted, so you need margin
  • Don't even try this if snow is down to Ham's station or lower, the snow that far down ([plus the temps) are likely going to eat your entire margin
  • Basically understand that it will not work in all conditions and that there isn't much margin for error, especially if Carson Spur closes in front of you when you've almost arrived.
  • The biggest thing is: the lower the snowline, the lower the temperatures, the less likely you are to make it. If you don't make it, you'll have to turn back to Jackson's charging station or make it all the way to the Folsom supercharger and drive around hwy 50/89/88, which is a 45mn detour at best.

    When I left, my car claimed I'd arrive with 20%, which I knew was likely optimistic:



    Strangely just 9 miles into my drive, it then said I'd arrive with 22%, but it soon adjusted to 17%:



    By the time I was climbing 88, my forecast was 16%. Probably because I was driving 70 to 75mph on the freeways:



    However, by the time I reached lower temperatures, and then hit the snow, this dropped like a stone. Good thing I gave myself a reserve:

    13%
    13%

    11%
    11%

    then it dropped and stayed at 9%
    then it dropped and stayed at 9%

    finally arrived safe and sound with 9%, happy to have made it in just 3h11 even with the snow at the top
    finally arrived safe and sound with 9%, happy to have made it in just 3h11 even with the snow at the top

    notice the big drop compared to the predicted range
    notice the big drop compared to the predicted range

    I could have saved maybe a few percents by driving even slower, but ultimately the lower temps and the rolling resistance from the snow definitely harmed the range by a lot in just the last 30mn of driving. Be prepared for that.

    Now, I was curious of whether I could get anywhere if I hadn't been able to recharge. Allegedly I could make it barely to stateline or folsom SCs but honestly with no margin and with snow resistance, I would likely not have made it to either of the 2:

    stateline with 6% used
    stateline with 6% used

    folsom with 7% used
    folsom with 7% used

    Now, Kirkwood nicely installed chargers last year, and keeps the spots empty of non electric cars (at least I'm told they do):


    their Tesla charger is good, 10kW/48A. I didn't even know my M3 AWD could charge at 48A
    their Tesla charger is good, 10kW/48A. I didn't even know my M3 AWD could charge at 48A

    otherwise, in an underground lot, charging from 110V is much slower :)
    otherwise, in an underground lot, charging from 110V is much slower :)

    Important notes:

  • The fact that I made it was definitely based on the conditions of the day. On a colder day with a lower snowline, my 9% could have turned into -3% or somesuch (i.e. not making it). Please plane accordingly.
  • The chargers at kirkwood are a very nice addition. You only pay the premium parking fee, but they are too close to one another, so it's unlikely that 6 teslas will fit. On a busy weekend, be ready for the fact that the chargers may be full and you might have to park by the lodge and steal a nearby 110V plug if you are desperate
  • In case of emergency, the Folsom and Stateline Superchargers are far in time (1H), but you should be able to get there witth just 10% as long as you are not in a snowstorm.
  • Do not park your car overnight unplugged into anything or be ready to lose a lot of battery if it's cold
  • Understand that you should however not plug into the few building plugs that you can find without getting permission. Those are typically paid for by the HOA at the rate of 66c/Kwh.
  • Fun facts:

  • It took me 91% to drive to KW, but the drive back was predicted to only be 35%
  • My car showed it drove 184 miles at 356Wh/mi average, or 65.5Kwh used for 91%.
  • As a consequence of the above, 100% usable battery capacity should be 72Kwh (and the pack 75Kwh if you add a 3Kwh buffer).
  • I had no idea my car could charge as fast as 48A from an AC charger, faster than my Model S I believe.
  • 2019/03/27 2 Powder Days at Kirkwood
    π 2019-03-27 01:01 in Snow
    After my last Tesla Model 3 drive to Kirkwood, I figured out that I should be able to make the trip in one shot, so I tried it this time and made it with 9% left when I arrived in just over 3h10



    thankfully Kirkwood has a row of chargers
    thankfully Kirkwood has a row of chargers

    I charged at higher rate (10Kw) a bit while the snow wasn't too bad
    I charged at higher rate (10Kw) a bit while the snow wasn't too bad

    Day #1 was a bit wet, but still pretty good powder that was mostly bottomless. The conditions were tough though, bad viz, high winds and wet:


    ski patrol was testing the wall for slide activity
    ski patrol was testing the wall for slide activity

    high snow levels this year
    high snow levels this year

    Day #2 was much nicer, an extra foot and almost bluebird:




    nice slide from the wall
    nice slide from the wall


    After multiple runs on Cornice, I got one of the first chairs on the wall, nice runs down:









    I took Eagle Bowl as soon as it opened and went to chair 2 that had just opened and got fresh tracks to chair 4, which I hadn't been able to go to at all this year yet:



    chair 4 wasn't quite open yet, I did have to wait 10-15mn
    chair 4 wasn't quite open yet, I did have to wait 10-15mn

    the wave
    the wave

    this year, it has a crevasse in it, so it's closed
    this year, it has a crevasse in it, so it's closed

    a lot of it was ropped off
    a lot of it was ropped off

    they do warn you :)
    they do warn you :)

    apparently someone fell in a crevasse there and had to be ropped out
    apparently someone fell in a crevasse there and had to be ropped out

    you can tell a good piece could break off
    you can tell a good piece could break off



    lots of fresh tracks
    lots of fresh tracks


    After many runs on chair 4, I took one last run on chair #2 and ran whiskey, which I hadn't done in forever:





    To finish the day, I went up the wall and took sisters chute, which was tricky to go down but had plenty of snow after that:


    entering the chutes was a big drop
    entering the chutes was a big drop

    After one last run at palisades, the bottom was starting to be a bit crusty, I could barely turn, so I called it a day and went home around 16:00 before the next storm got too bad:


    carson Spur is very carved up
    carson Spur is very carved up

    even much lower down, still high snow walls
    even much lower down, still high snow walls

    See more images for 2 Powder Days at Kirkwood
    2019/03/12 5 Snow Days in Canada: Sunshine, Revelstoke, and Lake Louise
    π 2019-03-12 01:01 in Snow

    I flew to Calgary to go meet Arturo in Sunshine, 1.5h from Calgary. Day #1 was ok enough snow, but while looking for more snow, ended up some snow waves where I missed one and ended up scraping the slope down with my goggles and nose:







    my snowboard goggles pressed hard on my nose and ripped out my skin
    my snowboard goggles pressed hard on my nose and ripped out my skin

    Arturo took us big hot tub :)


    Day #2 was supposed to be Lake Louise, but they got no new snow while Sunshine got another 4" or so, so we went back there:






    I ended up on top of this cornice, and couldn't quite see down, but ended up painfully hiking back up. Good choice I guess
    I ended up on top of this cornice, and couldn't quite see down, but ended up painfully hiking back up. Good choice I guess




    After that, we drove to Revelstoke for the next 2 days. No fresh snow on the first day, but the snow was cold and stayd in good shape:









    open creek, sign me up
    open creek, sign me up

    nice pretty birdies
    nice pretty birdies


    we then went to hike up the top
    we then went to hike up the top

    took a little while to the top, and was only partially worth it
    took a little while to the top, and was only partially worth it


    Day #4, revelstoke got a small dusting of a few cm, which made things a bit better:


    I did some nice side country and they had helpful signs making sure I didn't get too far off track
    I did some nice side country and they had helpful signs making sure I didn't get too far off track



    After day #4, I had to leave Arturo there, and drove back to Lake Louise for the next day:





    No fresh snow the next day, but Lake Louise was still good:


    long ass line for the bottom lifts, happy I never went back down
    long ass line for the bottom lifts, happy I never went back down




    a nice bra tree
    a nice bra tree

    a great run on the edge of the resort, except for the super flat section at the bottom. Thank got for poles.
    a great run on the edge of the resort, except for the super flat section at the bottom. Thank got for poles.

    by the end of the day, the crowds were a bit better
    by the end of the day, the crowds were a bit better

    looks like they air lifted someone
    looks like they air lifted someone


    After that, it was time to drive back to Calgary for a short city visit before flying home the next day.


    More pages: March 2019 February 2019 January 2019 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 November 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 April 2015 March 2015 December 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 December 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 March 2011 February 2011 December 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 December 2009 March 2009 February 2009 December 2008 April 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 December 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 December 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 November 2004 April 2004 March 2004 February 2004