Nibbling the November Nectar @ Kirkwood – 11/16/15

Casey Cane | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

After a few seasons of below normal snowfall and word of El Nino knocking on the front door of California, a few early season storms yielded over four feet of early November snow at Kirkwood thus allowing an early opening.

Although I had prior commitments and could not make opening day, a local rider Chad Paeglow filled me in on the coverage skiing from the summit of Chair 6 on November 14th, 2015:

The snow was pretty silky unless you hit rocks.  Chamoix was money and in the best condition for so early in the season.  It has around a 10 foot air out of the choke but had a smooth cushion in the landing.  The area around Oops and Poops was still bony especially outside of the gullies.  I ended up skiing mostly around Rabbits where I found plently of knee deep turns and even deeper on some landings.

As the last storm passed, I headed up early AM on Monday, November 16th, 2015.  Even with some wicked winds closing access of Chair 6 for the day, lifts 5 and 11 provided enough variety for us to enjoy open powder, stellar groomers, and phenomenal afternoon windbuff.  Given that Kirkwood is comprised of volcanic rock, you definitely had to be on your toes when venturing off-piste, but even so, the coverage was outstanding for mid-November.

Will El Nino provide the goods this year? Only time will tell, but we are off to a great start!

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

On November 14th, 2015, opening Day at Kirkwood looked like this…

Kirkwood Opening Day 2015/16 – photo: Jay Tierney

Reports came in that Sentinel Bowl was skiing pretty well…

Sentinel Bowl – photo: Jay Tierney

After another round of snow on Sunday, I decided to make my way up for some turns…

CA State Highway 88

This time of year can yield some amazing color contrast…

Highway 88 near Ham’s Station, CA

The roads were a bit slick but definitely a welcomed sight…

November driving in the Sierra

Aspen trees in California? NO WAY!!!!

Aspens near Carson Spur, CA

It appears the pressure gradients are at work on Carson Spur…

Carson Spur, CA

It is really nice to see you old friend!

Kirkwood – November 16th, 2015

Coverage off Chair 6 looking pretty good for mid-November…

Olympic & Chamoix zones of Chair 6 – Kirkwood

After lining up for Chair 6, we were told that the chair would be on wind-hold for quite awhile, so we headed to Chair 5…

Lower Zachary in prime mid-November shape

We skied over to Chair 11 to find some steeper pitches in the Conestoga & Shotgun zones…

Chair 11 – Kirkwood, CA

I ventured over to Shotgun near the rocky boundary and found some great snow but definitely hitting a few things here and there…

Shotgun – Kirkwood, CA

Still on wind-hold, Chair 6 and Monte Wolfe holding some decent snow…

Monte Wolfe & Chair 6 – Kirkwood, CA

Looking out to the Palisades and Martin Point showed signs of winter…

Martin Point – Kirkwood, CA

A closer look of The Fingers and Wagon Wheel Bowl show that one more decent sized storm is needed…

The Fingers- Kirkwood, CA – November 16th, 2015

Early season provides some fun features in Shotgun underneath Norm’s Nose…

Shotgun – Kirkwood, CA

Dan Ricciato had some fun traversing out to Lower Olympic…

Lower Olympic – Kirkwood, CA

Coverage was great in this area so we took a few more laps…

Dan Ricciato slashing some November turns – Kirkwood, CA

I’ll take this for mid-November…THANK YOU!

Lower Olympic – Kirkwood, CA

With some minimal searching, we stumbled upon a nice zone to slash some pow…

Untracked bliss – November 16th, 2015

Pete Mayer joined in on the fun of making some powder turns….

Pete Mayer slashin’ – Kirkwood, CA

Look Out Janek had some great coverage but the gully skied the best…

Kirkwood, CA – November 16th, 2015

Pete Mayer wanted another go at some powder…when he said he’d ski it, I said I’d shoot it…

Powder skiing – November 2015 – Kirkwood, CA

Pete also found some great snow on Olympic…

Pete Mayer – Kirkwood, CA

Since it was a Monday after all, Dan diligently skyped into all his meetings without a hitch…

Texting & Refreshment – November 16th, 2015

As people began to leave, the afternoon sun provided some great light on Chair 5…

Snowboarder at Kirkwood, CA

Round Top Peak at 10,381 feet is one of the largest peaks in the Tahoe Region…

Round Top Peak and Vista – Kirkwood, CA

The wind continued for the duration of the day with certain areas benefiting after each passing hour…

Monte Wolfe – Kirkwood, CA

You can see that Conestoga was benefiting from the windy conditions and I was not complaining…

Conestoga Run – Kirkwood, CA

The Wall and Waterfall Zones were also getting their share of wind deposits…

The Wall, Kirkwood, CA – November 16th, 2015

The groomers off of Chair 5 were amazing and Dan wasn’t going to hold anything back…

Piste warrior – Kirkwood, CA

The lowering sun angle and snowmaking provided some ‘solitude’ on Chair 5…

Dark and Stormy – Chair 5 – Kirkwood, CA

And that’s a wrap for one of the earliest openings in a decade for Kirkwood Mountain Resort…bring on the snow!

Carson Spur, CA – November 16th, 2015

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

END OF TRANSMISSION


Related Articles

4 thoughts on “Nibbling the November Nectar @ Kirkwood – 11/16/15

  1. KW is only Tahoe area with black trails open from top right now.

    Too bad the Vail owned areas are not on my pass.

Got an opinion? Let us know...