Sierra Cement Slayage @ Kirkwood – 04/09/16

Casey Cane | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

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Another late season storm pushed it’s way into the Tahoe region last weekend but with forecast models showing 9,000 ft snow levels, it really wasn’t looking too promising. With one day to ski, myself and the two kids decided to roll the dice and head to Kirkwood…praying for snow instead of rain.

On the drive in the early AM, it was apparent that warm weather had a stranglehold on the area as we encountered nothing but rain on the summit of Carson Spur. The parking lot scene did not look much better as the rain fell from the sky and not just from dad’s forehead after fitting a few pair of ski boots. But hey, we are in the mountains, there’s almost nobody around, and WE ARE SKIING!

As we loaded Timber Creek Express, a refreshing mist washed off our sunscreen laden faces as we soared above untouched perfectly groomed corduroy. However, to our surprise, it was starting to snow at the top of the lift. We took a few laps down the corn groomers, the Trench of Terror, Ditch of Doom and the rollers of the Gold Rush Zone until it was time for dad to get his groove on…alone.

By 11am, massive flakes of wet snow were plastering the mountain including the base area. I met up with Bevan and his buddy Noah and we attacked the steeps of Chamoix and Oops & Poops…finding soft landings everywhere we looked.
One of the good things about the warm weather was that the spring snow underneath did not have time to freeze, so the dreaded ‘dust on crust’ was happily avoided. Of course, there was a lot of goggle management going on but we managed to take quality runs on Notch Chute, Lightning, The Fingers and more.

We met back up with my son and ended the day with a few more laps on Chair 6…but now finding around 5 inches of an untouched silky surface. As we departed at 3:30pm, the snow was still coming down and chain controls were in effect over the Carson Spur. By the next morning, 12 inches of snow accumulated where some resorts on the North Shore received only an inch or two. Luck was on our side and we’re not complaining.

And remember kids, closing day is scheduled for Sunday, April 17th.

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The commute to the mountain was a bit wet…

Wet roads – Highway 88

The Carson Spur wasn’t looking much better…

Carson Spur – Highway 88

A bit misty on the lift but surprisingly, the groomer looked pretty tasty…

The Cirque

The kids seem stoked regardless of the weather…

Groms on Timber Creek Express – Kirkwood, CA

First run is ALWAYS the Ditch of Doom…

Ditch of Doom

With empty slopes, it seemed skiers were scared away given the forecast…

Grom working on turns

After a few laps it was time to send them off for some ‘skiing instruction’…

Sibling skiers skiing

Now with dad on his own schedule it was straight over to Chair 6…

Oops & Poops – Kirkwood, CA

And right on time, the rain magically turned into snow…

April snow showers

With soft snow, it was time to hit up some fun lines…

Chair 6 terrain – Kirkwood, CA

With the recent warm weather, Dan Cliffs was a bit melted out…

Dan Cliffs is entertaining

Run after run, the snow continued to accumulate…

Oops Face

The Fingers were fast and smooth…

The Fingers – Kirkwood, CA

Over on The Wall, the visibility deteriorated as we gained altitude…

Chair 10 – The Wall

This is more like slurpee powder rather than the champagne kind…

Slashing slushpow

With my son in tow, we took a lap in Notch Chute…

Notch Chute – Kirkwood, CA

Solid turns all the way to The Drain…

Notch Chutin’

Bevan even made a tele-turn for me…

Telemark skier

We took a few more laps on Chair 6…and it was getting tough to keep the camera dry…

Grom on Oops & Poops

By 2:30pm it was really starting to come down…

Happy skier – Kirkwood, CA

With lightning reported in the area, the mountain was on hold for 20 mins…

Snowing on Chair 6

Given the amount of people, we decided to wait for the ‘hold’ to pass…

The Cirque

The hold was lifted and it was time for another lap minus other human life…

Stoked on the snow

Wait an minute, I lied, there was ‘that guy’…

Storm skiing – Kirkwood, CA

My son loves new runs, so when I asked about Ski School Chute, he ‘jumped in’ on the opportunity…

Sideslipping steeps

As an added bonus, the snow was actually quite good…

Ski School Chute – Kirkwood, CA

The snow below the chute was velvety smooth …

April storm skiing

Upon departure, the Carson Spur snowbanks were looking more wintery with a fresh coat of white…

The Carson Spur – Highway 88

And the next morning, Kirkwood looked like this…

Kirkwood – April 10th, 2016

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5 thoughts on “Sierra Cement Slayage @ Kirkwood – 04/09/16

  1. The snow on Sunday was some of the heaviest poop I’ve ever skied, the kind that tears ligaments like a hot knife through butter. I should have gotten a trophy for staying until closing.

  2. Casey,
    you should have waiting until Sunday…12″ of the heavy. Skied well until about noon. then it was off to the 7800 for beers and food.

  3. May never go back to Kirkwood. First I live in NY and want to ski different places. Second I had a vacation and season ending knee injury on Day 2 of my ski vacation at Kirkwood this year….I may always associate Kirkwood with that even if that is unfair and not entirely rational.

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