After spending the day looking through the window at the crapload of rain we got at home. I was watching the status on nexrad and could tell that the precipitation was barely crossing the Sierras. As a result, kirkwood on the west side of the mountains got dumped on while other resorts in Tahoe got some snow, but not huge amounts, and overall bad weather (high winds, lift closures, etc...).|
Yet, even with the lift closures and bad weather, I was kind of wishing that I had been to kirkwood when I was at work on tuesday, and that's when I looked at the weather report and realized that not only kirkwood had gotten another 2ft since everyone left monday evening (president's day 3 day weekend), but it was due to have another foot tuesday and nice sunny weather wednesday.
3ft of fresh powder in sunny non windy weather was not something one could pass up, so I asked around and found a coworker who agreed with me :) as well as my snowboarding buddy Bob. As a result, I got up at 03:50 and by 04:30 the three of us were on our way to kirkwood to get there in time for first lift. We may have overdone it a bit, but we were there by 08:10, with plenty of time to spare.
What can I saw about the day? It was more then epic: I had never experienced over 3ft of fresh powder (in spots that had been closed and just got opened back today), and while I thought I was a decent powder snowboarder, today I realized that 3 ft of fresh powder is actually too much for me: despite having my binding stance as far back as they'd go, and knowing the basics of powder: keep your speed and lean back, it was too easy to just sink in deep powder and eventually have my weight shift forward, my nose dive in, and then either lose balance or just get stuck with my feet and board very well stuck under 3 ft of snow :)
Getting out of that situation is no fun, your hands are useless since you can't push against powder, so I basically had to throw my body (and basically face) forward, and roll so that I could eventually lift my board out of the very heavy powder that was keeping it down. I had to do this a few times, it was very straineous, and a good lesson that there can be too much of a good thing :)
But when I stuck to more reasonable 1ft powder stashes, it was a lot easier :)
I also got lucky today by managing close enough to first lift on Corniche, Wall, Eagle Bowl, and then Sunrise, giving nice powder runs each time :)
You might think this looks cool until you realize I had my board on and had to get out of this :)
Looking back at the day, it was both serious fun and very challenging, even if I didn't have the equipment or skill to make the best of them, the conditions were truly incredible: the best I have seen in 10 years of snowboarding.
It is however a bummer that because we had such a great day today, the snow will be mostly crap tomorrow because it was warm enough that it melted, and by the end of the day as the sun set, I could already tell that it was icing and crusting up on top. That's a shame for those who'll be there tomorrow :(
and here's the track & stats of the day.