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Showing posts from February, 2020

A Wild Windy Day...

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It was one of those days at Rose when few drive up the hill because they are pretty sure the lifts will be blown out. I had promised myself some ski exercise so headed on up into the SW wind. Pulling into the Slide lot the lift was moving first thing which made me smile as areas of blowing snow blew across the parking lot.

Headed up and found myself the only one on Bruces, then the only one on Waterfall and the only one on Bullwhip and so it went. Fresh cord still to be had after 10:00 am on a Saturday morning. Just then  a text from Alpine said their parking lot was full and the shuttle was running from the highway. I smiled... as I chased my lone shadow down immaculate groomed slopes without so much as one the skier and thought to myself... this is why I LOVE Mt. Rose. I'll take the wind over the hordes any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Five or six runs later I loaded with tourists who rocketed the bar down before my butt hit the chair. They were amped and anxious. As ou…

Zephyr Heaven...

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Another deeply groomed morning day of cord on Zephyr. Most of the rocks, mud, gravel and skid marks are gone once more. The groomers are now performing magic. Patrol is also doing a great job marking what rocks cannot be covered. Still, don't let your guard down or you'll wind up in a hospital bed next to Tim, who, by the way, is recovering after his second surgery nicely.

The Chutes opened again today between 9:30 and 10:00 and man, they were well, frozen vegetables come to mind, or coral, anything rough and not ready for prime time would work. Maybe the snow got warm enough in Jackpot facing the sunrise that things were ok on the skiers left but the shady chutes were pretty damn firm. Afternoon probably loosened them up a bit. I didn't stay to find out. I really do enjoy my quiet time in there. Few people. great challenging terrain, really challenging lately. I like that they were open though, more European style "take responsibility for yourself and don't ski s…

Turnin Tim's Tumble: Anatomy of an Accident

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Yesterday Turnin Tim, (Slide Ski Patrol from '63-'66) hit a small frozen-in boulder at the second erosion ditch on the right side of Bonanza on his first run down in the morning and slid approximately a hundred yards plus at a high rate of speed down firm snow until being abruptly stopped by a tree 25 feet or so off the trail. At first it was difficult to find him wrapped around the tree in a well so far off the trail. Patrol was notified and showed up promptly. After an initial full body assessment the patroller directed volunteer assistance with the help of another patroller and Tim was carefully loaded onto a backboard and into the toboggan. At every juncture patient care was professional and attentive.

Down in the patrol room an IV was started and his badly broken leg immobilized and boot removed. A painkiller was administered as his pain level was a 9/10. The FD ambulance driver seemed to know every pothole in the parking lot and slowly wove his way through carefully in …

On our way to a record dry February...

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According to this California Water Resources Update... we are in deep red doodoo and are we are well on our way to a record setting dry February in the Northern Sierra. Not looking good...
Where is "Big Ski The Powder Man" when we need him...


The "Elusive" Powder Man is nowhere to be seen...

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When Big Ski (Powder Man) is seen (like Bigfoot) the snow is falling deep and low... Big Ski hasn't been seen since Pearl Harbor Day (December 7th) anywhere in the Sierras. And it doesn't look like he will be paying us a visit during the entire month of February either. Looking pretty dry and mild in the long range so... enjoy the groomers in the morning and the off-piste once things loosen up. Who knows... The Chuter may turn again if it warms up enough and get some if it does as Tailings is sure to burn out pretty quickly once that sun gets a little higher and the mercury climbs up a bit more.

Sven


If you want to be a happy skier...

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If you want to be a happy skier you've got to adapt to whatever conditions you've got. There is always something to complain about and with this season, maybe a couple of things... BUT if you can find the goodness in whatever snow and weather we do get... beyond the dreams of the Farmers Almanac... then you will have a smile on your face every time you boot up.

This sunny week has been fantastic for groomers... low crowds and plenty of sun married with immaculate grooming has left the early morning speedfests perfect overall. Hope you get out to enjoy it before the wind or clouds kick up again. I gotta warn you though, when the big hand reaches toward 12 o'clock high, the ski reports are not so positive. Think, rink on a slope with some very hard plates out there in spots.

Nothing in the long range to suggest we are going to get a change anytime soon. Hang in there and remember... "Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you got till its gone."

En…

Two Sides of a Mountain

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Slide Lot Mid-day on Sunday of President's Holiday

Its amazing how weather and mountain sides can change things. Apparently the Rose side has been pretty busy yesterday and today while the Slide Side has remained very tame and relaxed for President's Holiday Weekend.

Timing is also everything. Yesterday I came up late to enjoy some corny goodness mid-day and was surprised to find the Slide lot almost empty as well as the slopes as you can see from the empty lot pic below. Rose side this morning was just the opposite with pretty reliable crowdage at NW load. Snow conditions on-piste have been great first thing in the morning with awesome grooming on Zephyr, Sunrise and elsewhere.  Mid-morning things get scraped off and a little on the firm side. Off-piste is a different story altogether. Think: frozen vegetables with ski tracks through them. Off-piste in the afternoon is a completely different animal depending on how much sun the slope has had. Lots of sun equals soft beginnin…

Spring Has Sprung (only its mid-February)

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A Springy Saturday with cold beer. What could be better you ask? Well, a little more snow would be the answer. Chutes were closed today although they were open last Thursday before 10am (and as I pondered before heading in) were harder than a rock Thursday morn. The good (bad) news is you wouldn't be able to tell the difference too much between the rock and snow surface. Still, I'm always glad to see them open. I like options and given enough time to poke around in there carefully, can often find something fun to ski.

While I was riding up Zephyr I watched a border fall and then slide two thirds of the way down Bonanza late in the pm and thought to myself, "Yeah, based on what I just witnessed, its probably a good idea to have The Chutes closed during the holidays. Will they reopen next week? Difficult to say. I would hope when Reno hits 65 we could have some more fun in them when they soften up a bit. But thats only if the snow lasts and it certainly seems to be going fa…

Worst Ski Movie of the Year Goes to: Downhill

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Just suffered through waaaaay too many minutes of one of the worst films of the century that includes Will Ferrel, The Alps and plenty of ski scenes. The photo from the movie marketing folks say it all. They are definitely watching their own movie in this picture. Its hard to go wrong with skiing in the Alps and comedy icon Will Ferrel but this movie manages to go wrong in the worst of ways.

Was finally getting my wife out on the town for V-Day after surgery three weeks ago and BAM. Solid looser flick that was as drab as it was depressing. Basically cowardly Will Ferrel is essentially neutered and stupid in this flick and his bitchy wife played by Julia Louise-Dreyfuss further castrates him publicly for an hour or so. Their two kids are personality free entitled droids who add nothing to the film.  The premise of a ski vacation gone bad as a comedy is a good one but the arrow in this case does not only miss the bullseye but never even leaves the bow, in fact the bow is never strung. T…

A Pristine Day on a White Rose

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Midweek bluebird and Zephyr is freshly groomed... like a horny bachelor a bottle of champagne into the party I was drawn to the young bridesmaid, nigh magnetized I say, even though I knew the skate on the Upper Traverse first thing in the morning would be winding on my old body. But drawn to the virgin folds of her slope skate I did and when I arrived at the end of the cat track launched off onto perfectly laid down cord that not a ski had touched. Washoe Lake twinkled windlessly below as time slowed down while airborne and almost seemed to stop as I realized the perfection of the moment.

Sun, snow and untouched corduroy combined to form the perfect trifecta as I laid down perfect turn after perfect turn in one cat width that seemed made just for me. As I rounded the bend between two Grandfather Western White Pines and looked back uphill. Still no one. Signature tracks on a signature day. I let'er rip down to the flats below Bruce's smiling like an idiot. Yep. I had just score…

The Real Dave McCoy...

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Conditions we skiers dream about... temperature in the teens on a windless evening in February just downhill from McBride Springs... I had left the Sierra Club Shasta Hut at five that morning for a winter summit ski and had managed to just keep going on an epic downhill from the summit to McBride for a 7000 foot plus vertical run and now... well, it looked like I'de be walking miles back by highway or skinning to the hut which was a seriously long way up through new powder. Traffic was non-existent on the dead end Everett Memorial Highway and I was feeling tired enough that it might be my own memorial highway soon enough if I didn't get moving. So, I shouldered my skis and in the late afternoon light began the upward trek on the pavement in my ski boots when a little pick-up came around the corner and slowed when I stuck my thumb out.

I didn't recognize Dave McCoy at first but when he said he was coming from Mammoth to check into building a ski resort on Shasta I knew just…

You don't know poor snow conditions!

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Been overhearing some complaints about the poor and/or low snow conditions this week at Rose. Just wanted to set the record straight. You don't really know what "poor snow conditions" really are unless you ski with local Search and Rescue Ski Guru Nate Corona (pictured below). Unless you are skiing on rock, sticks, brush and decomposing granite... you don't really have the foundation for a serious complaint. The on-piste skiing on Rose is still excellent due in large part to our grooming crew.

Dave and the crew at Mt. Rose have made the absolute most of the snow that we do have even grooming runs like Zephyr occasionally to spice it up a little. Despite radical temperature swings, rain and lots of wind and way too warm for this time of year temps, Dave has managed to be the hostess with the mostest.

Waterfall was the run of the day today followed closely by Zephyr and Silver to Eight Ball. Many other groomers were pretty darn good as well. It was warm enough today th…

Living in a beautiful place...

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You gotta admit, we live in a pretty amazing place with one of the world's most iconic mountain lakes as the center jewel in the Sierra Nevada's Range of Light. OK, sure, the snow ain't too great right now but hey, the positive side is it won't stay this way for too long most likely. The lake shot was made yesterday showcasing the persistent fog layer over the lake the last couple of days and a delicious sunset over the crest with some high orange clouds.

Skiing on Super Bowl Sunday is usually good... but not so much today... the Western White Pine cones were actually being blown downhill faster than I could ski sometimes as tornado type winds raggedly attacked the Slide Side runs every so often. The snow surface itself was pretty good on-piste but equally ghastly off-piste with yesterdays ski tracks of joy morphing into a nightmare of frozen vegetables and deep railroad track punctuated by frozen snow rocks and rat bodies. Vis was also a problem at times. That being s…