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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: April 2021 March 2021 February 2021 January 2021 October 2020 March 2020 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




2021/04/04 End Of Season at Kirkwood
π 2021-04-04 01:01 in Snow
Well, this was not the best season for snow, I unfortunately missed on a bit midweek storm due to another commitment, and the one I did catch was too big so most of KW was closed. Still, got to go a bit...

I wasn't happy with Vail closing early (again the earliest in the history of kirkwood, not counting covid last year), but in the end, there was not a lot of snow, so it's probably not a huge loss.
I went with Deana who had been meaning to go to Tahoe, and this made the trip more fun for sure, especially on easter sunday where she definitely wanted to be in the running for bunny spirit :)

Carson Spur was honestly not showing a lot of snow, and despite the higher temps, the early morning was on the icy side outside of groomers, so it was a chasing the right snow, day:



Deana got some rentals:


getting ready for the day :)
getting ready for the day :)

it was easter, bunny ears
it was easter, bunny ears


She then went mostly on chair 1 and 2:




A few pictures from higher up:



a few people still went hiking up, but the snow wasn't worth it for me
a few people still went hiking up, but the snow wasn't worth it for me

not very busy
not very busy


Then, we did something I haven't done in many years: lunch :)


I went on the backside to check it out, it had started to melt, but still had snow:


the wall drop never got a lot of snow, and started getting questionable to ride again
the wall drop never got a lot of snow, and started getting questionable to ride again


And that was it for the weird 2020-2021 season. Not the best, but better than nothing.

See more images for End Of Season at Kirkwood
2021/03/14 18" of cold pow at kirkwood
π 2021-03-14 01:01 in Snow
I drove up sunday morning while the weather was still nice, not too much snow on carson spur:


lots of people, lines for getting food
lots of people, lines for getting food

the wall was pretty tracked out, but not that much snow at the top
the wall was pretty tracked out, but not that much snow at the top


The forecast for overnight snow went down to 6", but thankfully Kirkwood got 1ft, nice!




eagle bowl, not open yet
eagle bowl, not open yet


got more snow refills during the day
got more snow refills during the day



I went to the back side when it opened:


fawn ridge delivered
fawn ridge delivered

the line wasn't bad
the line wasn't bad



I definitely got some good rides that day:

a later ride on fawn ridge:

Day #3 was a bluebird with pleny of pow left:


saw a heli land at martin point, not quite sure why
saw a heli land at martin point, not quite sure why


As a first (for me), I used half the day to hike two peaks, starting with Thimble Peak:




the other side was nice, but a bit bare
the other side was nice, but a bit bare


After Thimble peak from chair 4, I went to hike Glove Rock over palisades. As I expected, by the time I got there (15:40), the temperatures went down and the top crusted, making the ride down a lot less satisfying:


you have to hike far to see those signs
you have to hike far to see those signs

nice view of the back
nice view of the back

it was spooky to ride on the other side of the ridge, away from the resort
it was spooky to ride on the other side of the ridge, away from the resort

I then rode the ridge some more
I then rode the ridge some more

and afer another warning, it was time to ride back down
and afer another warning, it was time to ride back down

I wasn't the first person to do this :)
I wasn't the first person to do this :)

And that was it for day #3, very nice conditions, and snow that was good until 2/3rd of teh 3rd day.

See more images for 18" of cold pow at kirkwood
2021/02/24 Snowbassin with surprise 8" of pow
π 2021-02-24 01:01 in Snow

This was our last stop on Arturo's ski road trip

Day #1 was great, awesome pow for the location, we spent most of our time at Strawberry Bowl:












lots of lines to be had
lots of lines to be had

The runs were wonderful:

Day #2 was still good, less pow, but still plenty of good snow:




we took the tram to John Paul Ridge
we took the tram to John Paul Ridge

great view
great view






lots of pow, still
lots of pow, still




2021/02/19 Crested Butte
π 2021-02-19 01:01 in Snow

After 4 days in Utah on Arturo's ski road trip, our next stop was Crested Butte in Colorado.

Crested Butte is not a mountain for beginners, and a bit on the bony side, but very interesting terrain. We got to meet Karl and Suwei:




great views
great views







good pow on the sides, but you had to pay the price of getting back
good pow on the sides, but you had to pay the price of getting back



the tow ropes were there to weed snowboarders :)
the tow ropes were there to weed snowboarders :)


before the ride down
before the ride down

then the hike back up
then the hike back up

Wanna smoke some rocks, dude
Wanna smoke some rocks, dude







we went for banana to find some powder
we went for banana to find some powder


Then another hike to another run: spellbound (hike was not that fun):


arturo didn't even make it to the beginning of the descent :)
arturo didn't even make it to the beginning of the descent :)

it was a fun run down, with another hike to get out at the bottom
it was a fun run down, with another hike to get out at the bottom

See more images for Crested Butte
2021/02/14 Canyons and Park City, 2ft of fresh fluffy powder
π 2021-02-14 01:01 in Snow

After a 2 day drive, this was our first stop on Arturo's ski road trip

We were in a yotelpad, small, but close to the lift:









nice cell phone tree
nice cell phone tree



So much powder:

The trees were good:

Day #2: was lots of snow:

the next day, there was a bit of a line to get up, 45mn+
the next day, there was a bit of a line to get up, 45mn+

but pow!
but pow!






did I mention snow?
did I mention snow?


The trees in the morning were lovely:

So much pow:

I went back to the trees and found lots of things hiding under the snow and got my snow pants ripped out :)

The powder in the other trees, was ridiculously good:

Day #3 was a bluebird:


even more lines
even more lines





Day #4, we went to Park City:



still pow
still pow











stupid guy that kept photobombing my pictures
stupid guy that kept photobombing my pictures


After a while, I got tired and took the traverse gondola back to Canyons:


big valley between
big valley between

mid station where you could ski back down to either mountain
mid station where you could ski back down to either mountain

back to Canyons
back to Canyons

a few crossing lifts
a few crossing lifts

nice views
nice views


2021/01/26 First Days of the Season at Kirkwood
π 2021-01-26 01:01 in Snow
Well, it had been a while since the wretched day that shall not be named where I drove to kirkwood the entire day for them to close for the rest of the season when I arrived.

We got lucky and got an unusal early cold storm in January, which covered all the rocks and ice. I drove there on a tuesday afternoon before the storm hit, parked the car underground and waited for the storm and the lifts to open.

I made it in one shot (no recharging) and 11% left when I arrived. That was by far a best condition scenario: no headlights, no heat, no windshield wipers, and no snow to add rolling resistance. I know that it's not safe to attempt this in one shot if all the stars don't align, but on the plus side, there is now a supercharger in jackson (only 5mn detour), so it's much easier to charge if needed. That said, I only had to charge when I arrived at kirkwood.


Day #1, wednesday. Big dump, lots of wind, kirkwood only managed to open 6 (the only lift to the top) by 15:28 and promptly closed it at 16:00. Disappointing to say the least. The old kirkwood would have stayed open past 16:00 as a gesture of good faith. The new kirkwood, closed after 32mn:






Day #2, thursday. Another big dump. Thursday, they opened at 13:00 again (new dump). The "you had one job" twitter guy failed to tell anyone that anything opened. I just noticed it on the webcam and ran outside screaming "WTF?"
They closed at 15:00 sharp, because the road was closing at 15:30. They knew they were punishing every single person who paid you and KW to stay on site. They didn't care.
The old kirkwood turned away people for the lift if they didn't have logdging and kept them running until 16:00. The new KW closed for everyone.







Day #3, friday: the wall never opened. Again, it was probably hard to make safe, but I'm pretty sure they could have opened friday.















Johannes came to join me for a few hours:






Day #4, saturday. The wall didn't open until 10. Why? Nobody knows. And then it closed at 14:00 for reasons unknown.


by the weekend, people came, teslas filled the electric parking slots
by the weekend, people came, teslas filled the electric parking slots

there was a line by 07:30 already
there was a line by 07:30 already







Time to go to chair 4 that had just opened.


slight line to chair 4
slight line to chair 4


probably first time of the year that the wave was rideable
probably first time of the year that the wave was rideable

fawn ridge
fawn ridge



At the end of the time, I was able to retrieve my camera pouch I dropped off the lift:


So all in all the snow was fantastic, and kirkwood as a resort was beyond disappointing in multiple ways. I will seriously consider heavenly next time.

2020/10/02 Hiking Thunder Mountain at Kirkwood
π 2020-10-02 01:01 in Hiking, Snow, Trips
To finish our trip through Utah and Nevada, we drove through Kirkwood to see it during the summer:

never seen the area outside of the snow season, pretty trees
never seen the area outside of the snow season, pretty trees


I've only ever seen caples lake when it was frozen
I've only ever seen caples lake when it was frozen

Then, we went to check out kirkwood. This must have been the lowest snow coverage day I've seen at kirkwood :)



the wall
the wall


first chair!
first chair!

which button do I push? :)
which button do I push? :)

it was fun to see the magic carpets. They can be raised as the snow level goes higher
it was fun to see the magic carpets. They can be raised as the snow level goes higher

the 'temporary' lodges
the 'temporary' lodges

still stocked
still stocked

After going around KW a bit, we went around Carson Spur:

avanlache prevention gates and avalanche triggering devices when the road needs to be cleaned
avanlache prevention gates and avalanche triggering devices when the road needs to be cleaned

After parking the car, we hiked up from Carson Spur to Thunder Mountain, and back down to Silver Lake/Kit Carson. It was a pretty easy hike up to Thunder Mountain with great views of kirkwood, Caples Lake, top of Cornice lift, and Silver Lake.

nice to see the avalanche gates from so close
nice to see the avalanche gates from so close


these trigger the slides for avalanche safety on Carson Spur
these trigger the slides for avalanche safety on Carson Spur



the smaller kirkwood lake
the smaller kirkwood lake

multiple big volcanic rocks
multiple big volcanic rocks






damn, I never hiked that far with my snowboard :)
damn, I never hiked that far with my snowboard :)

same here, that's a pretty far hike from sentinal bowl
same here, that's a pretty far hike from sentinal bowl


getting closer to sentinel bowl/cornice lift
getting closer to sentinel bowl/cornice lift




we made it to the top of thunder mountain, honestly it was an easy hike
we made it to the top of thunder mountain, honestly it was an easy hike

nice view of silver lake
nice view of silver lake


We split off with Arturo, he went back to the car, and we continued the other way towards cornice and silver lake:


looks a bit rocky, probably not a big deal that I forgot to bring my snowboard
looks a bit rocky, probably not a big deal that I forgot to bring my snowboard

a sign frozen in time, left as is on the wretched day of March 14th when they closed
a sign frozen in time, left as is on the wretched day of March 14th when they closed


path to sentinel bowl
path to sentinel bowl

woohoo, I'm a lift operator now :)
woohoo, I'm a lift operator now :)

never went down this way, but it was the way back to our path
never went down this way, but it was the way back to our path




kit carson
kit carson

silver lake
silver lake

From there, Arturo met us on the road, and we drove home to end our 11 day trip.

2020/03/14 9.5H of Driving to Kirkwood and Back for 2 Runs on Solitude before Unannounced Season Closure
π 2020-03-14 01:01 in Snow
4ft+ of snow finally coming to Tahoe, after so little for so long, finally! It was time to go.

The snow line wasn't too low when I started driving up, except for a bit of surprise slush when I was passing a truck. Thankfully my tesla stability control, did the right thing:



strangely, the road was quite clear higher up (localized snowfalls)
strangely, the road was quite clear higher up (localized snowfalls)

Carson Spur was still in very good shape
Carson Spur was still in very good shape

After a bit under 4H, including a 20mn recharging stop in Manteca, I arrived at Kirkwood just before 15:00:


Sadly, by then only solitude was open, I did 2 runs that weren't bad but on my 2nd run up, I got the very bad news that while Vail said they would stay open that same morning, a few hours later, while I drove up, changed their minds and closed off everything for the season due to COVID-19. Needless to say that I wasn't happy that they couldn't make that decision in the morning, and mislead everyone into coming:


those were 2 expensive runs
those were 2 expensive runs

Now, life sucked, it was clear that I had to leave kirkwood as quickly as possible, as the weather was worsening, but my car was very discharged. I had to recharge it just enough to get out and hopefully make it to some charging source under the snow line.

I had to take the Omo Ranch Rd by Cook's Station to get the shortest path to the Placerville Supercharger, where I barely arrived with a 5% of battery left. Omo Ranch Rd, while open, is not a safe road with snow, and doesn't get plowed. The top was dicey and I had the tradeoff of getting down quickly to get out of the snow line, without driving off the road due to snow.
The tesla estimator has been very wrong, on the trip out, it told me I'd arrive with 14%, but I arrived with 5% while driving quite slow and taking an unsafe road (the safe road around would not have gotten me there with enough battery left):

estimator went from 14% to 9% to 5% by the time I arrived
estimator went from 14% to 9% to 5% by the time I arrived


thankfully it stabilized at 5%
thankfully it stabilized at 5%

on the plus side, the new superchargers are fast, I got back to 80% in 30mn
on the plus side, the new superchargers are fast, I got back to 80% in 30mn

That's definitely been my worst snow trip ever, except for the fact that I avoided crashing my car on the way up after that slide, or running out of battery and having my car die on the side of the road in a snowstorm.

2020/03/01 Way Too Late First Day at Kirkwood with 8"
π 2020-03-01 01:01 in Snow
Due to a combination of sad timing and terrible season, I hadn't gone to Tahoe a single time this season yet. It took a long time waiting to have a decent enough day to go, and this wasn't going to be a ft+ storm, but the meager 8" was more snow than the entire month of february combined, so it wasn't time to be picky.
The drive up in my M3 was uneventful, I got there in one shot with 14% of battery left when I arrived.

The next morning, looked good. It looked nice, but the powder was not bottomless. You could definitely feel the crud underneath, which was unfortunate. Later in the day, 2 extra inches helped, and wind blowing made some nicer pockets of snow:


I was able to keep snow from burrying my car by using the heater
I was able to keep snow from burrying my car by using the heater

the line at cornice was surprisingly short for a sunday
the line at cornice was surprisingly short for a sunday


the wall looked bony for this time of the season
the wall looked bony for this time of the season


eagle bowl was very bony
eagle bowl was very bony

past resort boundary on the backside, was nice as usual
past resort boundary on the backside, was nice as usual


anything wind exposed was definitely bony, though
anything wind exposed was definitely bony, though


After a day of reasonably good snowboarding (cold though), I stayed at the towers, where I found something last minute for a couple of nights:


Unfortunately, it was a waste to have stayed for a 2nd day (monday) as anything worthwhile was closed because of the heavy wind. Such is life, but on top of that, somehow heavenly managed to open sky express during that time.
While solitude was as slow as I remember it to be, the few runs I did were not great, even in the trees, some of the snow had iced up hard (or all the new snow had been blown off, leaving the heavy crust underneath)



So, after a few crappy runs on solitude, I just drove home:


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 not absolutely 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. Snow that far down (plus the temps) is likely going to eat your entire battery margin and there is a no turning back point.
  • 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 plan 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.

  • More pages: April 2021 March 2021 February 2021 January 2021 October 2020 March 2020 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

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