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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: February 2024 January 2024 May 2023 March 2023 February 2023 January 2023 December 2022 April 2022 February 2022 December 2021 November 2021 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





2024/02/18 4 Days of Powder at Kirkwood
π 2024-02-18 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
While this year has not been an above average snow season, this storm made things a bit better. Turns out that sunday only had a few inches and might not have been worth the early trip, but it's always hard to say after the fact and I prefer to get through Carson Spur and stay at KW during storms. Thankfully I had a friend who had a condo there and was able to host me saturday night, saving me an early sunday morning drive:


got through the Spur just as the snow as starting to stick
got through the Spur just as the snow as starting to stick

I did a quick charging stop at jackson since I wasn't sure when I'd charge at KW, but in hindsight I could have driven there direct and arrived with 15% left (day drive, no headlights, no heat, warmer temps). Nice to see my car can still make it there in one shot when the conditions are good:

found this as jackson supercharger
found this as jackson supercharger


Day 1: Sunday, a few inches

Unfortunately it was timed over president's day weekend which was a blackout on my pass, but given the price of lodging ($400/night), paying an extra day for a lift pass was ok-ish (but it used to be half price, now it's almost full price, $170). As a result, Sunday was not very busy since most passholders were blacked out. Only a few inches of fresh snow, but that was still good ;)


not very deep, but still nice
not very deep, but still nice


went pow hunting
went pow hunting




finally could ride to the rock under the wall
finally could ride to the rock under the wall

Day 2: Monday, 18 inches

For the main pow day, we sure got the snow, but it was a bit too warm/wet and I could only sink a few inches, it didn't feel that deep.




not that deep like I said
not that deep like I said

not that busy for a deep pow day
not that busy for a deep pow day




the chutes were still a bit shallow
the chutes were still a bit shallow

astill a sheet of ice
astill a sheet of ice

Despite the slighly hard powder, it was still a very nice day.



Firat run:

Day 3: Tuesday, 10 inches of fluffy pow

Agsinst all expectations, the 3rd day had the best powder. It was nice and light, a pleasure to ride:


not too many people
not too many people



Chair 4 finally opened, it was worth checking out :)



the wave was pristine
the wave was pristine


I did have to hike back up to find a pole I dropped, took 25mn because of deep the snow was
I did have to hike back up to find a pole I dropped, took 25mn because of deep the snow was


Awesome snow:

FAwn ridge was stellar:

Day 4: Tuesday, 4 inches for the last day

The 4th day wasn't the best pow day ever, but it was still quite enjoyable and it was still fun to chase freshies for another day:

not much of a line
not much of a line

my watch told me I snowboarded too much :)
my watch told me I snowboarded too much :)

haha, one more day before I can rest :)
haha, one more day before I can rest :)





went to check out a wall chute
went to check out a wall chute






Still good runs:

By the way, this is why I why I get underground parking, getting this car out will be an hour of work with a shovel...



All in all this was a good trip, with plenty of enjoyable snow and kirkwood staff did an awesome job opening terrain timely, as well as communicating what they were doing. Thanks Ricky Newberry, the new GM, for running a great ship.

See more images for 4 Days of Powder at Kirkwood
2024/01/10 Lovely First Season Trip to Kirkwood
π 2024-01-10 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
Snowfall was a bit low compared to averages this year, but by Jan 10th, a couple of storms started filling the holes and rocks, so it was time for me to do a quick trip as warmup before a trip to Japan/Niseko the following week.
Snow line was down, my M3 driving range also has now lost close to 10% since I bought it, so driving to KW in one shot with cold, snow, and headlights on, was going to be pushing things a bit, but with the supercharger in jackson, it's really just a 10mn stop now, just enough time to go to the bathroom :) (and this got me back from 43% to 76% in just over 10mn:


snow line was low, but that's good for the snow quality (cold)
snow line was low, but that's good for the snow quality (cold)

got to KW in just over 3h40 with chain control speed restrictions, not bad (arrived with 31%)
got to KW in just over 3h40 with chain control speed restrictions, not bad (arrived with 31%)

glad to be back :)
glad to be back :)

Day 1 was cold and windy, became whiteout conditions before long:


coverage in Chamoix was still a bit rough at the bottom, but easy to go back on my butt
coverage in Chamoix was still a bit rough at the bottom, but easy to go back on my butt

still a bit low in coverage on some ridges, but ok elsewhere
still a bit low in coverage on some ridges, but ok elsewhere

bottom of the drain still had holes to the river underneath, but they were being covered slowly
bottom of the drain still had holes to the river underneath, but they were being covered slowly

the wall still needed a bit more snow in places
the wall still needed a bit more snow in places


it was still easy to get cliffed out i places
it was still easy to get cliffed out i places

fair mount of snow falling the 2nd half the of day
fair mount of snow falling the 2nd half the of day

KW crew did a great job keeping 6 and 10 open 'till end of day.
KW crew did a great job keeping 6 and 10 open 'till end of day.

Thanks to Jeremy for getting me lodging for one night
Thanks to Jeremy for getting me lodging for one night

Day #2 was the bluebird. We didn't get the 1.5ft in the forecast, only 7", but it was just the right kind that it felt bottomless and enjoyable while helping improve the base.

crews hard at work, and it sounded like this guy was actually electric, not diesel. Is that possible?
crews hard at work, and it sounded like this guy was actually electric, not diesel. Is that possible?

6 opened right on schedule, no delays
6 opened right on schedule, no delays

lovely snow
lovely snow




Couldn't see the base or anything the previous day. Much nicer on day #2:



I feel like I jumped this because I was too lazy to hike back up and the snow was soft enough, but it looks high. Still, I took a picture afterwards and have no other such picture, so it may actually be this one:



The Wall opened around 11:00 after snow safety was done, and the backside at 11:45 exactly as scheduled (big thumbs up on the twitter updates):


lovely to see the backside coverage, not bad
lovely to see the backside coverage, not bad


I didn't stay in line for 30mn to get first chair on 4
I didn't stay in line for 30mn to get first chair on 4

but I went to the wave, one of the first people down
but I went to the wave, one of the first people down

looked like a good place to check out
looked like a good place to check out

got all this snow to myself, woot!
got all this snow to myself, woot!

not every day I get a shot like this :)
not every day I get a shot like this :)

I finished the day, getting good snow and lines all day, and left after 2 full days, very content. Great job to the KW crews for keeping things running in the middle of the week, even if few people were there:


2023/05/03 Incredible Powder Days at Heavenly and Kirkwood, in May!
π 2023-05-03 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
This year was definitely a snowy year, the most I have seen in my life. Thankfully Vail agreed to close Heavenly on May 7th, and Kirkwood on May 15th (although it was fri-sun only for KW).

Got up at 4:40, in hindsigh shoudl have been 20mn earlier to get first liftat 09:00 (including a 10-15mn charging stop on the way up), but close enough :)


Saw Sierra on the way up but it was already closed
Saw Sierra on the way up but it was already closed

the base of SLT looked somewhat snow free
the base of SLT looked somewhat snow free


Heavenly CA parking lot was fairly full for a wednesday
Heavenly CA parking lot was fairly full for a wednesday

let's get to work :)
let's get to work :)

fairly good powder at the top of sky
fairly good powder at the top of sky

found Ovidiu on the way
found Ovidiu on the way

did I saw powder, in May?
did I saw powder, in May?

Yes!
Yes!



we rode to Killbrew gates (all closed)
we rode to Killbrew gates (all closed)


Nevada side only had Dipper running but that was good enough
Nevada side only had Dipper running but that was good enough

plenty of snow still, signs are still buried
plenty of snow still, signs are still buried


Had a bit of a view from time to time:







so much snow to be enjoyed
so much snow to be enjoyed









Arturo and I went to check out the beach, which I seldom get to see :)




Day #2, we went back to Heavenly but it was a bit icy in the morning, until more snow came, and the resort got closed for lightening:




vis went downhill quickly
vis went downhill quickly

there was still decent snow
there was still decent snow


I took roundabout to the bottom:



the bottom forest snow was warmer
the bottom forest snow was warmer



it did start snowing hard
it did start snowing hard


Day #3, we went to Kirkwood when it just re-opened that day (friday). Thankfully the recent snow didn't melt and freeze, so the conditions were awesome:


one thing that sucks about kirkwood is that they are now down to one charger left (from 10)
one thing that sucks about kirkwood is that they are now down to one charger left (from 10)



woot!
woot!

the lines
the lines








top of chair 7
top of chair 7




2023/03/19 More Fresh Snow at Kirkwood and Heavenly with Firebreak and Backside Side Country
π 2023-03-19 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow

Sunday: Kirkwood

Another storm, a bit warm, but just cold enough to give usable snow instead of half rain, so I drove up to go enjoy it for a few days:

roads were already nice and white on the way up
roads were already nice and white on the way up

Carson Spur was quite loaded
Carson Spur was quite loaded

Impressive wall of snow
Impressive wall of snow

thankful to have underground parking for the duration of my trip
thankful to have underground parking for the duration of my trip

another impressive wall of snow
another impressive wall of snow

glad to be back on the lift
glad to be back on the lift

I arrived by noon on sunday, new snow was starting to cover the frozen crust underneath:


lots of snow, the top of cornice had some almost invisible real cornices like that, I fell down from that one
lots of snow, the top of cornice had some almost invisible real cornices like that, I fell down from that one


met Johannes for a few runs
met Johannes for a few runs

school run was a rounding error
school run was a rounding error

it was still a bit too warm and wet
it was still a bit too warm and wet

by the end of the day, things looked good though :)
by the end of the day, things looked good though :)

When I got to my condo, I was reminded that it had snowed a bit recenty:



Monday: Kirkwood

While sunday was wet and cold, Monday was a nice bluebird:

Kirkwood has a real problem with electric charging, this is the only charger left on the entire property
Kirkwood has a real problem with electric charging, this is the only charger left on the entire property


nice powder
nice powder



notice the huge pile of storage snow by the parking lots
notice the huge pile of storage snow by the parking lots


got one of the first few chairs up the wall. Wee!
got one of the first few chairs up the wall. Wee!


interestingly, the top of the chutes by the wall were bare due to wind blowing the snow away
interestingly, the top of the chutes by the wall were bare due to wind blowing the snow away

this is the one time I had to unbind that day :)
this is the one time I had to unbind that day :)

Palisades was good too
Palisades was good too

Another picture of the storage snow pile in the parking lot
Another picture of the storage snow pile in the parking lot

Cornice run, a bit rough at the top, but opened up to be good lower down:

Straight down run from the wall, a bit firm at the top too, but good after that:

Wall tree run:

The backside just opened, so I went to check it out:


pretty big cornice by the wave
pretty big cornice by the wave

it was a bit of a jump into snow that wasn't exactly a pillow underneath :)
it was a bit of a jump into snow that wasn't exactly a pillow underneath :)

I got down, but it was a bit scary :)
I got down, but it was a bit scary :)

snow as wind packed at the top, deeper lower down
snow as wind packed at the top, deeper lower down

Tuesday: Kirkwood

Tuesday got more snow, which was free refills all day



the wall had so much snow that they gated you to come down before the chairs, the regular ramp that went under, didn't fit anymore
the wall had so much snow that they gated you to come down before the chairs, the regular ramp that went under, didn't fit anymore

weather and visibility improved during the day, so much snow
weather and visibility improved during the day, so much snow

I literally managed to snowboard all the way back to the building parking lot across the street :)
I literally managed to snowboard all the way back to the building parking lot across the street :)

Great pow ride off the wall:

More pow during the day, free refills:

Even face shots (1:16):

Wednesday: Heavenyly Side Country

The last day, I could have stayed at kirkwood for a 4th powder day with another foot of freshies, but I went to Heavenly to meet my friend Ovidiu and Rik joined us later for some frond side country runs. It was a bit last minute, so driving there in less than 1H in the snow, was "challenging", but I made it :)

Gondola line
Gondola line



got to the gate for the first run
got to the gate for the first run



We went back for 6 firebreak runs total:





After 6 runs, we had enough time to go back the Gondola one more time, up sky, and towards the backside:




The backside snow wasn't perfect, but it was still a good run down, especialy at the top:

Eventually got down the good parts and took a rest :)




before doing the rest of the run down, where snow became more scarce (it's melting quickly at lower altitude):





eventually we got to below the snow line and had to walk a bit
eventually we got to below the snow line and had to walk a bit

then there was a bit of snow left to finish up
then there was a bit of snow left to finish up

and we got to the road
and we got to the road


way too much to drive back
way too much to drive back

thankfully we got luck with hitch hiking
thankfully we got luck with hitch hiking

25mn later, back at the gondola base, end of a great day
25mn later, back at the gondola base, end of a great day

Thanks much to Ovidiu and Rik for joining me and the 7 powder runs

2023/02/06 Another Storm At Kirkwood
π 2023-02-06 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
Another storm coming meant it was time to go back to Tahoe. It was an easy 2 day trip, went there and got just ahead of the storm pounding rain in the bay area:


seems that my car is still barely able to make it to kirkwood without charging despite the 10% loss since I bought it
seems that my car is still barely able to make it to kirkwood without charging despite the 10% loss since I bought it

I did charge in jackson and picked up another 30% to have a good margin
I did charge in jackson and picked up another 30% to have a good margin

Carson Spur looked nice
Carson Spur looked nice

The next morning, we didn't get the 18" we were hoping for, but still got a good 8" which wasn't bad (plus 9" during the day)


lines weren't terrible for a sunday
lines weren't terrible for a sunday

Chair 6 opened 30mn behind, not too bad
Chair 6 opened 30mn behind, not too bad

nice storm nonetheless
nice storm nonetheless

The wall opened just before 11:00, which was nice
The wall opened just before 11:00, which was nice

Lots of pow
Lots of pow

The next night didn't have more snow, but was able to catch up with TODOs




Kirkwood really sucks now, only a single charger left with 2 ports (used to be 10)
Kirkwood really sucks now, only a single charger left with 2 ports (used to be 10)

Monday was a bluebird:







Went in line for chair 2 and backside for when it was going to open at 11:00



first time doing the backside this season
first time doing the backside this season




fawn ridge delivered as always
fawn ridge delivered as always

Vista was unfortunately closed
Vista was unfortunately closed



After 2 good days, it was a reasonably easy drive home, although 88 was icy for quite a while and there were multiple accidents:




got home by using 56%, not bad
got home by using 56%, not bad

See more images for Another Storm At Kirkwood
2023/01/06 New Year's Dump at Heavenly and Kirkwood
π 2023-01-06 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
this year is definitely a good wet year. Xmas had big dumps, downed powerlines and closed roads, and as soon as I got home from France, there was enough of a dump that it was worth going for a quick trip. Carson Spur was closed, so I had to take 50 and while my original plan was to go to kirkwood, Ovidiu gave me intel on Heavenly that it was worth trying to go there instead and do some frontside runs (side country):


even early on a friday morning, chain control caused a 45mn traffic jam :(
even early on a friday morning, chain control caused a 45mn traffic jam :(

well done guys for blocking traffic so much
well done guys for blocking traffic so much

snowplow escort that wasn't really necessary
snowplow escort that wasn't really necessary


I stayed on the Califonia side and managed to find parking close to the gondola to meet Ovidiu and Rick after confirming the Gondola had just opened (they parked on the nevada side which I generally avoid going to :) ):





several lifts no running yet, so the lines were long
several lifts no running yet, so the lines were long










back for more
back for more

nice views
nice views






Fire Break Runs:

For Day #2, I went to kirkwood, by then I had of course missed the fresh tracks from Day #1, but given the firebreak runs, that was not a big deal. Driving there was not a huge deal, but there was already a good line getting in the parking lot when I arrived:


my car has become a lot more chatty :)
my car has become a lot more chatty :)

lots of cars trying to get in
lots of cars trying to get in

Despite the parking getting full quickly, the resort didn't feel too full. Snow coverage was excellent. Chamoix was not even a problem, anyone could go without even trying hard:



snow was still good and a few stashes here and there
snow was still good and a few stashes here and there

given the few lifts running, we had mild lines
given the few lifts running, we had mild lines

running the wall for the first time this season
running the wall for the first time this season

the wall ridge opened and I was able to drop it the first time this season too
the wall ridge opened and I was able to drop it the first time this season too

liftie humor :)
liftie humor :)

very windy on top
very windy on top




sunny at times
sunny at times

But with 60mph+ winds, being on the top of the mountain was painful. Once I went up cornice and wanted to ride the ridge to drop skier's right, but the wind was so strong and I was being pelleted by ice/snow in the face, so I aborted:


that's snow/ice being blown around
that's snow/ice being blown around


by dropping the wall, I was able to get to the snow cave, sheltered from the wind
by dropping the wall, I was able to get to the snow cave, sheltered from the wind

lenticular cloud, showing the strong winds
lenticular cloud, showing the strong winds

After some good runs, I went home. Glad to get such good snow in January!

2022/12/02 Great Start of Season at Kirkwood With 3ft of Freshies
π 2022-12-02 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
After several not so great years, resorts opened early this year, and by early December, we got a good 4 day dump which added 3ft, so I made sure to be there for that.

Drove up early on a friday morning and the snow line was quite low but thankfully the road was clear until higher altitudes, so the drive was pretty quick, except for requiring a 10mn charging stop for safety (temps + headlights + snow rolling resistance made it unsafe to drive in one shot without stopping):



Carson Spur looked good
Carson Spur looked good

Big downside was that kirkwood only has 2 chargers left
Big downside was that kirkwood only has 2 chargers left

It was early season, but when going in the right places. Friday was a bluebird with 19"




Chamoix was still very new
Chamoix was still very new


Drain was still low too
Drain was still low too




Day 2 had more freshies:



Palisades was kind of closed
Palisades was kind of closed

but looked very nice :)
but looked very nice :)


Later in the day, I found Johannes:





terrain towards the wall never opened all 4 days, neither did the wall
terrain towards the wall never opened all 4 days, neither did the wall

Despite the great snow, coverage was still limited, and I ended up getting a core shot somewhere during that day:


thankfully I had Ptext to fix it :)
thankfully I had Ptext to fix it :)

Dau3, Sunday, got more fresh snow, kirkwood only opened 6 around 9:30, but I guess it wasn't too late:


a bit of a wait
a bit of a wait

got cold to wait like this
got cold to wait like this

people were eager :)
people were eager :)

when I finally got up, it was very good :)
when I finally got up, it was very good :)


Day4, Monday, we ended up only getting 1" overnight and 5" in 24h (mostly the previous day), but things were still great. Unfortunately not a lot of terrain opened and the Wall never opened.

the guys who waited 2H for first chair didn't get a lot
the guys who waited 2H for first chair didn't get a lot

coverage wasn't perfect everywhere, but still very good for early december
coverage wasn't perfect everywhere, but still very good for early december


Around 14:00, I had had enough fun and given the limited terrain opened, I called it a day and drove home, tired and happy :)


2022/04/30 Closing The Season End of April at Kirkwood
π 2022-04-30 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
Despite this year not being a top snow year, we got a fair amount of snow in April, and this was probably the latest season closing for kirkwood in many years. It closed even after heavenly did. While I was kind of done for the season, going to meet Arturo, Peter, Ovidiu, and Johannes, was fun enough to make a day trip worth it.

Snow coverage was excellent for that time of the year, although the snow was obviously variable and you had to follow the sun or the snow was icy or too wet. Still, for that time of the year, it was better than average for sure.





great to meet ovidiu, it had been a while
great to meet ovidiu, it had been a while


and then there is this troublemaker
and then there is this troublemaker


chamoix was still in very good shape, snow all the way down
chamoix was still in very good shape, snow all the way down





palisades was still in great shape
palisades was still in great shape


People also had nice costumes:




Group pictures:








some music before the drive home :)
some music before the drive home :)

2022/04/15 Late season dumps at Kirkwood
π 2022-04-15 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
After a not so great season, we got multiple dumps end of season (and more as I write this). That's good for our water reserves, but of course the last dumps are a bit warm. Still, it had been a while since I had been able to go to kirkwood, so it was time for another snow trip.

Despite leaving at 13:00, the drive got delayed by 30mn due to traffic (damn, things clog up early now). That caused my tesla to save battery use (slower speed) and I had an estimate of 21% left of arrival before the last climb. This got down to 9% when I arrived, as my drive up took more than planned, as usual (despite virtually no snow on the road). Snow line was a bit over 6000ft, carson spur was not too covered anymore, so no worries about it closing:



coverage left was decent
coverage left was decent

The snow was a bit wet (high snoe line) and didn't stay much on the road/base, but the next morning, we had some. Unfortunately lifts opened 1h late due to lack of staff to do snow safety. Once opened, the snow was pretty good:



unfortunately lifts opened 1h late, lik
unfortunately lifts opened 1h late, lik



finally got to go up
finally got to go up


Chamoix was in really good shape
Chamoix was in really good shape

The wall still had a good amount of snow left
The wall still had a good amount of snow left

Even Palisades was still open
Even Palisades was still open


Day #2 had more snow, although it came late a night and continued throughout the day, it was pretty wet. Good amounts of snow, but the conditions were tough and most people got pretty wet. Snow was pretty wet and heavy and took a lot of effort to ride. Still, not complaining, it was fun :)




as a result, few people running the lifts, even on a sunday.
as a result, few people running the lifts, even on a sunday.

See more images for Late season dumps at Kirkwood
2022/02/07 Sunny Day at Kirkwood
π 2022-02-07 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
It had been a little while, no new snow, but a good excuse to go for one day

I arrived with 18% left and kirkwood sadly got rid of their 10 chargers, replacing them with only 4, now using chargepoint (some tesla chargers had up to 10A, or 8A, and those are only 6A), which now charge money, but that's fine.



Kirkwood was nice and sunny, but everything non groomed was kind of unpleasant, so groomers it was:








See more images for Sunny Day at Kirkwood
2021/12/15 Incredible Start Of the Season at Kirkwood with 7ft of Freshies
π 2021-12-15 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
After a very bad start of season (resorts not being able to open due to lack of snow), we got more than 7ft in a week, which well, was very nice :)

I tried to time the storm systems and drove to kirkwood in between 2 storms, when Carson Spur was open. It was too cold and I had to drive at night, so the temperature and headlights made it so that I would have arrived at kirkwood with -4% battery from my after the fact estimate, but thanks to the new supercharger in Jackon, a 5mn detour and 10mn bathroom stop gave me more than enough battery to arrive there comfortably. Drive up took just over 3h45 with the charging stop and the snow:


the bad news is that most of the chargers are broken, and the 2 left are sharing the same power (only 20A each)
the bad news is that most of the chargers are broken, and the 2 left are sharing the same power (only 20A each)

It was early season, KW had only been open for 3 days, so they were still getting things ready and cleaning up :)


coverage was amazing
coverage was amazing

Normally, 6 would have opened on tuesday, but didn't like I predicted, and opened late (11:30) on wednesday. It was a longer wait than planned, but better than nothing:


we all waited eagerly :)
we all waited eagerly :)

and finally got up
and finally got up

plenty of snow
plenty of snow

coverage on chamoix was amazing
coverage on chamoix was amazing

Day #2 got an extra 17", which caused Cornice to open a bit late (9:50), but not terribly:


ski patrol was training
ski patrol was training

chamoix started being scraped a bit :)
chamoix started being scraped a bit :)


this is why the run is called hole in the wall :)
this is why the run is called hole in the wall :)

plenty of freshies
plenty of freshies

Palisades opened
Palisades opened

we were all eying the wall and hoping it would open the next day
we were all eying the wall and hoping it would open the next day


Day #3 started being a bit repetitive running 6 all day, but we held hope for the wall opening:

beautiful conditions
beautiful conditions


by 13:00 people started lining up for the wall
by 13:00 people started lining up for the wall

so I went to join them and waited about 45mn
so I went to join them and waited about 45mn

and at 14:00 it opened, wee!
and at 14:00 it opened, wee!

people who waited 1h30+ got first tracks, but there were plenty for everyone
people who waited 1h30+ got first tracks, but there were plenty for everyone


After lapping the wall until they closed it, I was definitely spent, and with a huge grin on my face :)


3h30 Drive home was uneventful
2021/11/12 Snowboarding at Ski Dubai
π 2021-11-12 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow, Uae2021
So, there was no way I could go to Dubai, and not go snowboarding of course :)

Before people cry murder about how bad it is for the environment, it's all indoors and temperature is controlled beter than ski resorts that spent untold amounts of energy to make a lot of snow that melts away on very big slopes. I don't have numbers, but my feeling is that it's actually not that bad in comparison, and it's cool for people there to be able to enjoy the snow when there is clearly none nearby.

This is what it looks like:


Like other places in Dubai, navigation was a bit tricky, I missed one exit and had to find far away street parking and jump some hedges to get in the mall eventually (or it would have been a 15mn drive to get all the way out and back in to the correct entrance). Got there eventually. I got in kind of late on a weekday, so I was lucky not to have any wait and got my gear right away. The guy was surprised when I asked a board of 164 and stance of 15R 30F. That was a bit aggressive and powder-day like, which is almost all I do :)




really cool to see a groomer indoors
really cool to see a groomer indoors


the quad chair was not detachable and a bit slow, but note the nice leather seats
the quad chair was not detachable and a bit slow, but note the nice leather seats



After a while I figured out that the tow rope was faster than the quad chair:




The run is of course not super long, but they have a mini terrain park at the top, and it was fun enough for almost 2H. Here's a vid:


It was definitely my best day of the season, haha :)
See more images for Snowboarding at Ski Dubai
2021/04/04 End Of Season at Kirkwood
π 2021-04-04 01:01 in Nsnow, 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 Nsnow, 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 the 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 Nsnow, 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 Nsnow, 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 Nsnow, 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 Nsnow, 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, Nsnow, Ntrips, 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

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 :)

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



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

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 Nsnow, 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 Nsnow, 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, Ncars, Nsnow, 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.
  • 2019/03/27 2 Powder Days at Kirkwood
    π 2019-03-27 01:01 in Nsnow, 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 Nsnow, 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.

    2019/02/25 Catching a 4 day Storm at Kirkwood and Heavenly
    π 2019-02-25 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
    I got a new model 3 to replace last year's model S and it hadn't gone to the snow yet, so this week's storm was a great time to take it there. I drove monday in time to beat the storm rolling in and literally beat the chain control by 15 minutes. The road closed a few hours later and stayed closed for 3 days...
    I figured that the car might make it to kirkwood in one shot, but it wasn't too clear if it would and it would be pretty miserable if I started running short and had to drive back or ended up getting stuck, so I stopped at the Manteca supercharger for just 15mn, which gave me an extra 10% of battery and I arrived with 20% left, so in the end it wasn't needed:

    my car predicted it would arrive with 14% left, that was very close, I would have had 10% left if I hadn't stopped to recharge
    my car predicted it would arrive with 14% left, that was very close, I would have had 10% left if I hadn't stopped to recharge


    Carson Spur is looking interesting now, it closes almost as soon as snow starts falling
    Carson Spur is looking interesting now, it closes almost as soon as snow starts falling


    Got a nicely priced unit from Pyramid Peak properties and let the car charge slowly over the next 3 days
    Got a nicely priced unit from Pyramid Peak properties and let the car charge slowly over the next 3 days

    it was snowing nicely soon after I arrived
    it was snowing nicely soon after I arrived

    The next morning was sadly too windy, so as expected KW opened very late (11:30) and only a couple of boring lifts. I did do a few runs on chair5 until I got bored and confirmed chair6 was not going to open for the day, and went back to my condo to get some work done:




    sigh, no chair6 for us :(
    sigh, no chair6 for us :(

    Day #2 had another foot+ of new snow, and the roads were still closed. I was hopeful for a great day, but chair6 only opened close to noon (i.e. very late) and only a very narrow band of it (even access to chamoix was closed, and the drain on the other side was closed too of course):


    opening the door was interesting
    opening the door was interesting

    some other doors couldn't be open at all :)
    some other doors couldn't be open at all :)

    chair6 being readied, finally...
    chair6 being readied, finally...

    nice warning, I'd rather that they tell us that than stay closed because of limited medical help being available
    nice warning, I'd rather that they tell us that than stay closed because of limited medical help being available

    the runs I was able to do from chair6 didn't suck
    the runs I was able to do from chair6 didn't suck


    Day #3 sadly had the road open from Carson Pass, so people showed up :) More of chair6 got opened:


    more snow falling throughout the day
    more snow falling throughout the day

    I got to meet Ricky, the head of ski patrol of nicely gave me a tour and showed me the challenges they deal with
    I got to meet Ricky, the head of ski patrol of nicely gave me a tour and showed me the challenges they deal with



    eventually the wall opened and that was quite good, I lapped it for the rest of the day :)
    eventually the wall opened and that was quite good, I lapped it for the rest of the day :)


    Day #4, I stupidly slept at kirkwood due to poor planning on my part, but drove to heavenly to meet my friend Ovidiu to do some powder runs on firebreak and palisades:

    nice snow accumulation of the last days
    nice snow accumulation of the last days

    my car was all nice and clean and came out when the sun did :)
    my car was all nice and clean and came out when the sun did :)

    obligatory kirkwood sign picture
    obligatory kirkwood sign picture

    drove to harrah's parking and joined Ovidiu in the long friday morning gondola line
    drove to harrah's parking and joined Ovidiu in the long friday morning gondola line


    I noticed that, nice tires on that stretcher
    I noticed that, nice tires on that stretcher

    we walked to the first backcountry gate as the lifts weren't running yet (!)
    we walked to the first backcountry gate as the lifts weren't running yet (!)



    back down to the road
    back down to the road

    big easy was open, so we took it to the fire break gate to run palisades
    big easy was open, so we took it to the fire break gate to run palisades

    We got 3 nice runs on Palisades until heavenly closed the gondola for wind :(


    nice runs to burnt forest (2000ft vertical), the rest was more crappy snow
    nice runs to burnt forest (2000ft vertical), the rest was more crappy snow

    back up for more
    back up for more

    nice lenticular cloud that came from the pretty heavy wind
    nice lenticular cloud that came from the pretty heavy wind

    bridge back to firebreak and the bottom of the gondola
    bridge back to firebreak and the bottom of the gondola


    And after those 3 nice runs, sadly half of heavenly closed and despite it being barely 13:30, we decided that the rest of heavenly wasn't worth it, so we both went home. Thanks Ovidiu for being my guide for the half day :)

    2019/02/12 First Snowmobile Trip around Mt Tremblant, Canada
    π 2019-02-12 01:01 in Cars, Ncars, Nsnow, Snow
    After arriving in Mt Tremblant, and snowboarding a few hours, I confirmed that anything not groomed was sheer ice, so I figured I might as well try some snowmobiling instead while waiting for the incoming ft+ storm.

    I had to drive 20mn to a nearby town and rent for a local store. They just gave me a 2mn briefing on what button does what, a crappy map showing me where to go (this included crossing multiple roads). Sadly, I ended up missing a turn that was not obvious at all and had to ride on the street only to figure out that a snowmobile cannot turn at all on asphalt, making things very hard.
    Eventually I got help and directions back towards the trail and had a great 70km 2h30 ride across cold canadian wilderness.
    I could have flipped the thing multiple times and hurt myself easily. I did top out at 100kph and caught air at least once, as well as scared myself a few times but managed not to understeer into a river or a half frozen lake :)

    This probably wouldn't last more than a few days if they allowed americans to rent those things with no guidance, or a proper map (I had to use my GPS more than once to find breadcrumbs back), or over drive off the trail into a tree, or a lake :)

    Either way, definitely had fun, and this probably beat any speed limited guided tour available anywhere else.






    yeah, the planes were unexpected
    yeah, the planes were unexpected



    I eventually reached a place that had dog sleigh rides, and turned back there
    I eventually reached a place that had dog sleigh rides, and turned back there


    Covered wooden bridge, very nice
    Covered wooden bridge, very nice







    2019/02/12 2.5 days at Mt Tremblant
    π 2019-02-12 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
    Because I happened to be nearby for the Porsche ice driving school, I figured I might as well go check out Mt Tremblant, especially as I went to its racetrack in the summer 8 years ago and while we were there, they nicely gave us a ride to the ski resort during the summer.

    It almost looked the same :)


    Anyway, I left my previous hotel bright and early for the 1h drive to Mt Tremblant. A big storm was coming in later that day, so it was great to have a room at the Marriott with underground parking and walking to the slopes:



    the village is cute
    the village is cute


    given that it was a weekday without new snow, no lines
    given that it was a weekday without new snow, no lines

    this was a summary of the resort: ice city...
    this was a summary of the resort: ice city...



    Sadly, the first day was cold (-18C) and no new snow. Due to freezing rain the week prior, the entire place was covered with ice outside of trails that were groomed, but the grooming only lasted so long:

    going down to soleil was a big mistake, sun facing slopes were of course sheer ice
    going down to soleil was a big mistake, sun facing slopes were of course sheer ice


    After a few hours or doing mostly boring groomers and hating my life the moment I left groomers, so I left the slopes by noon and went snowmobiling instead.


    Thankfully the next morning we got over 30cm of new snow, which fixed a lot of things:



    my hotel gave me an early tracks pass, was able to up 45mn earlier, score
    my hotel gave me an early tracks pass, was able to up 45mn earlier, score

    it snowed most of the day, so we got more
    it snowed most of the day, so we got more


    it didn't suck, but the snow was barely enough to cover the ice in places
    it didn't suck, but the snow was barely enough to cover the ice in places



    not a big sign
    not a big sign

    wait, I'm out of bounds? Since when?
    wait, I'm out of bounds? Since when?

    the village was more snowy by the end of the day :)
    the village was more snowy by the end of the day :)




    hot tubs were missing an Arturo :)
    hot tubs were missing an Arturo :)

    Day 3 got another 15 to 20cm, which helped refill the tracks somewhat from the previous day:



    haha, great that they tell you
    haha, great that they tell you

    oh boy, some of the translations were wrong. This one actually said the opposite...
    oh boy, some of the translations were wrong. This one actually said the opposite...

    a bit of a line, but I was almost first to go up
    a bit of a line, but I was almost first to go up

    not so warm either, but good to keep the snow
    not so warm either, but good to keep the snow

    the north facing side had 3 good high speed chairs and better snow
    the north facing side had 3 good high speed chairs and better snow

    more snow
    more snow

    pseudo side-country was pretty good
    pseudo side-country was pretty good


    'le edge', haha
    'le edge', haha

    short moment of sun
    short moment of sun

    other side country
    other side country

    By 12:30 I got off the slopes to get back to the airport, but had yummy of poutine (with chicken and bacon) for the drive back :)


    See more images for 2.5 days at Mt Tremblant
    2019/01/31 Company Outing at Northstar
    π 2019-01-31 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
    This was my 2nd outing to Northstar with my group. This year we had snow at least, unfortunately it was mostly freeze/thaw snow, but Northstar did a good job grooming it so that the trails were ok enough to ride. Anyting outside of that was sheer misery and ice, though.

    The sad part was leaving just as a storm rolled in, bringing in 2-4ft of snow...











    See more images for Company Outing at Northstar
    2019/01/06 Couple of Powder Days at Kirkwood with Arturo
    π 2019-01-06 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
    Snow started a bit late this year. The first real snow started when I was leaving for Xmas, so I missed that. As luck would have it during a mere 4 days I was home between a France and New Zealand trip, we got a nice storm system that hit Tahoe. The storm was tricky, changed a lot, initially dumped less snow at Kirkwood than planned, and stranded a lot of people in Lake Tahoe on sunday night as the roads closed for the night.

    Day #1 was a bit busy, but not terribly so. Sadly only 6" in the morning, but more fell during the day:

    we were in line at Cornice
    we were in line at Cornice

    but the wall ended up opening first
    but the wall ended up opening first

    cornice got a bit busy when it opened
    cornice got a bit busy when it opened


    KW tried to stay open as long as they good despite hellish winds and terrible viz at the tops, and eventually had to close around 15:00. Not a big deal, we had had enough fun by then

    Day #2 got a bunch of snow overnight, but it was a bit wet (almost sierra cement), and because both roads to KW were closed. As a result, KW opened very late as the snow was dangerous and they were short staffed since somehow they still let some of their critical staff drive back to South Lake before a storm that is likely to segment KW. In the end, they only opened at 11:30 which was kind of pathetic, but they made up for it by opening Cornice just before noon, and the Wall arount 14:00, which was really good, especially given the very few crowds:



    not really crowded
    not really crowded

    that viz was still better than the viz from the previous afternoon
    that viz was still better than the viz from the previous afternoon

    by 14:30, we finally got to see the sky for a short time, while enjoying 5-6 runs off the wall
    by 14:30, we finally got to see the sky for a short time, while enjoying 5-6 runs off the wall



    Day #2 was definitely good once things opened, especially with so few people on the mountain.

    2018/04/12 Late Season Quick Powder Day at Sugarbowl
    π 2018-04-12 01:01 in Nsnow, Snow
    This year was not the best snow year in Tahoe, it only got good in March, making for a short season. After that, we got warm weather and a lot of melting.
    And out of nowhere, a cold front came. Unfortunately, the initially promised 12 inches for sugarbowl became a mere 5 inches by the time we arrived, so that was a bit of a let down, but eh, it was still snow :)
    This wasn't quite enough to cover the ice underneath and wind blown locations were sheer ice given that the new snow was actually cold and light.

    I hadn't been to Sugarbowl in over 10 years, so it was nice to go back and give it a shot. A big thanks to Marius who was a trooper and drove us there and back when I was clearly not awake.









    By the end of day, clouds came in and it was starting to ice up a bit, so we had enough and went back.


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