Firming up a Solid Base @ Kirkwood – 12/11/16

Casey Cane | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Cornice Chair – Kirkwood Mountain Resort – 12/11/16

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Just like that another ski season around the South Side of Lake Tahoe is upon us. With strong wet storms providing much needed drought reducing rains since mid October, all signs are pointing to a solid year…my unscientific opinion of course.

After a busy Thanksgiving, I finally was able to grab the kids and head to Kirkwood for our first day to ‘Ski at a Higher Level.’ While most resorts were reporting top to bottom rain the previous day, Kirkwood was reporting snow…albeit in the wet variety. In any case, since my daughter had a mini-Jets evaluation, we were going to ride regardless of rain or snow.

As we pulled into the lot, the upper mountain ‘looked’ liked creamy goodness. However, after we took a few runs on Chair 7, it was obvious that rain fell on the mountain overnight. The groomers were in decent shape but a bit frozen and ideal for cleaning off your rusty edges. We headed over to the Village at 10am and ran into Coop who said straight up ‘it is FIRM up top but the positive is that we now have a solid base.’ With a massive crowd on Chair 11 due to some de-icing on Chairs 5 & 6, I headed over to Timber Creek to rail the groomers on Chair 7 until I was informed of the opening of Chair 6.

Over on Chair 6, I skied around seven runs from Monte’s all the way to the Rabbit Runs. Ventured over into Chamoix and found great snow until the exit of the air. The snow was weird. The top 30% on the main runs like Olympic, Sentinel, Rabbits all held winter turns but off trail was another story. I cruised around Oops and Poops (of course), Ski School Chute and found hard snow conditions while still grippy with a hard edge…kind of fun on the super steep zones in its own unique way, but the frozen pow turns in the flats and gullies were atrocious.

By the end of the day, you could feel the snow slowly trying to break up a bit (as you can see in the pics) but Monte’s with all the skiers breaking up the crust layer easily had the best turns of the day by a wide margin. The groomers were crazy firm but edgeable on fat skis with finesse. I enjoyed a nice Pale Ale at lunch followed by a few Chair 6 runs with my son. Ultimately, I was content with the day’s turns in the mountains. Did I mention the upper mountain is caked?

***no video on this report as I’m still working out the best position of GoPro Session on my helmet…if you guys have any tips, feel free to leave a comment below.

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Morning drives can provide some wicked sunrises…

Sunrise – Hwy 88

Carson Spur was a bit slick…so I just hammered the E-brake the whole way down into Kirkwood

Carson Spur, CA – 12/11/16

Pulling into the lot, we were greeted by this…

Cornice Chair – Kirkwood Mountain Resort – 12/11/16

Albeit a bit firm, we sessioned every groomed run off Chair 7…

Parker laying down a carve…

C’mon, how cute are these 5 year olds? ADORABLE right?…

Mini-Jets gromathon…

CHAIR 6 IS NOW OPEN…

Chair 6 – Kirkwood Mountain Resort – 12/11/16

First lap might as well be Chamoix…hopefully the exit isn’t too harsh

Chamoix – Kirkwood, CA

As it turned out, the snow was wintery and the exit was only a 5 footer…BONUS!

Chamoix POV – 12/11/16

Ski School Chute was untracked, so I ventured in and found mostly wintery turns…

Ski School Chute – Chair 6

I didn’t run into many other humans in the woods off Chair 6 but I didn’t really mind …

Oops & Poops – Kirkwood

Lower Oops & Poops was still pretty darn entertaining…

Off-piste binding testing…

I was able to sneak a photo of the older kid making turns down Sentinel Bowl…

Sentinel Bowl – Kirkwood, CA

As usual, the views didn’t disappoint…

So nice to be up here…

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OH, THE FORECAST DOESN’T LOOK TOO SHABBY EITHER…

Source: NWS

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