Descending During the NorCal Drought @ Kirkwood – 01/18/14

Casey Cane | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Wow what a year eh? Not much has changed since my last update but the bottom line is that there is definitely some fun to be had in the Sierra Nevada Range. On January 11th, it actually snowed. Yes, those 4 inches made things steep and…well…a bit better than expected.

Carson Spur with snow tires in use

Arrival at Kirkwood blessed us with a glimpse of winter. With temperatures in the 30s, a cool breeze, snow on the trees and crisp blue skies, it was shaping up to be a great late November, er January day.

Thimble Peak at Kirkwood

Given the lack of gnar on the slopes, I have been taking this opportunity to get my kids on the slopes. Parker, age 2, is pretty enthusiastic about wearing the gear, riding lifts, and testing out her new Moment skis.

Parker slaying Snowkirk

Back over on Chair 6, conditions were much better than expected. The new snow combined with the wind provided some yahoo turns…between the rocks.

Lookout Janek

The North facing runs that have had some skier compaction are still skiing well all things considered.

Chair 6 lift line skiing well

One of the deepest days of the year…so far.

Peppery powder day

With a little traversing around the low tide obstacles, you can make it to runs like this. Given the yearly snow totals, consider this a heli run.

Nice fall-line turns off Chair 6

Skiing down through Oops and Poops beyond Olympic run has been my deepest lap of the season. Yes, I just did say that.

Untracked in Oops

A family that skis together stays together right?

This kid is ready for a nap

Last Sunday I decided to spend another day on the hill but this time without the offspring. With slalom skis in one arm, and rock skis in the other, I was going to be entertained on or off-piste.

Gorgeous morning on the lake

Kirkwood has continued snow-making and winch-grooming Upper Zachary. Their efforts are definitely paying off as each day I arrive, its groomed wider and more consistent.

Upper Zachary – Chair 6

The groomers have been impeccable for early morning sessions on the race carvers.

I should be on DH Boards not SL’s

The traverse across Chamoix has seen better days, but decent snow under Jims and in Sentinel Bowl awaits. Got to love that low sun angle!

Brutal traverse

Big Bill was super stoked on the coverage in Chamoix. I know because he told me.

Big Bill in Chamoix

Chamoix has not changed much, but the landing on the exit is getting a bit boilerplate.

Chamoix zone

Skiing patches of snow between rocks is always a good time.

Chamoix low tide pov

Kirkwood is a fun mountain. Imagine how well it skis on a normal year!

Rock skis…check!

Bill and I ventured over to the opposite side of the cave below Sentinel. Although untracked, the sun, mixed with facets in the snowpack did not yield the best results.

Checking out different aspects

Still, the most fun was route finding near Oops and Poops. With a little rock hopping on the rock skis, it gave us some sense of adventure.

Does it go bro?

Best run of the day…skied it 4 times!

Having fun in the snow

Hopefully this weather pattern changes ASAP, but if it does not, you can guarantee I’ll still be smiling while cruising the groomers with my kids.

A few more pics and thoughts here:

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5 thoughts on “Descending During the NorCal Drought @ Kirkwood – 01/18/14

  1. Dude, you know that there’s this place called Utah, that’s just 8 hours away, well maybe 12 for you, but still…

    1. cant do that every storm though, or can you. I dont know. If it does dump next week tahoe will be good for literally 2 runs before it’s tracked out, decisions decisions

  2. Best video of the year! As a Tahoe dude, trying to keep the faith, I love the extra effort to find things worth skiing despite the low tide. Any skiing is better than no skiing!

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