Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm Posts: 1622 Location: Santa Cruz, CA
photos by jimw and ChrisI
Warning:There are no pictures of any splitboards in this (non)-TR. There was uphill climbing involved, but it was within resort boundaries and done on foot with solid boards. If this offends you, stop reading now.
On Saturday night, I got together with SteveP and ChrisI, ostensibly to "have dinner", but the real reason was to start planning future bc trips and warm up Steve's wife to the idea so that it would be easier for him to "get permission". We had talked about doing a bc day trip that weekend, but with the cold storm forecast for the weekend it seemed like bc conditions might be a little too dicey. That same day, my buddy Larry called from Tahoe and said (paraphrased) "You have GOT to get up here - there's a foot of super-light powder and it's still coming down!". So the plans were hatched to do a quick day trip up to Kirkwood. It was relatively easy to talk Steve's wife into it (I had brought some "special" wine for dinner which I'm sure helped).
We left at o-dark-thirty on Sunday morning, and made good time up to Kirkwood. It looked like they had gotten a good dumping of snow on Friday, and a little less on Saturday.
Looking at Chris' pics from unloading the car, I noticed something disturbing - I look like a chick. Gotta do something about that hair.
Chris' buddy Jason joined us for the day. He's just getting into snowboarding, and we're already working on converting him to the split. Check out the new K2 Eldorado he picked up. This would make a sweet split.
Chris was stoked to finally get a chance to check out his O.sin swallowtail that he picked up for $80 on steep & cheap. I think some other people on the forum may have picked these up there as well - anyone split one of these? The nose is interesting - it's kind of like a boat, instead of curving straight up both sides curve toward the middle and meet along the center line.
We quickly headed over to wagon wheel lift, and took a warm-up run down notch chute, which still had some decent pow. Then we headed over to the backside hoping to find some untracked. We hiked for some turns above chair 4 (wishing we had the splits), and found what we were looking for. I called shotgun:
Steve and Chris both approved of the Utah-like blower pow.
We hiked for more turns:
Found some interesting nooks and crannies.
Here's Chris contemplating an insane line through the rocks above the little lodge by chair 4. It looked good from above and he wanted to drop it, so we went to scout it from the other side. I think that big wall of ice in the middle would have been a bummer. And no, Chris didn't have his ice axe with him to self-arrest (uh, don't think it would have helped much...). He took our advice and opted out.
While we were scouting the line, we looked across and saw this guy drop an even more insane line. I figured this guy was just scoping out a line. But then he strapped in and got ready to drop in, and I was thinking where the hell is he going, that line doesn't go!
We got some decent views of Roundtop and the surrounding area. The snow in the ungroomed areas seemed to be bonding pretty well. We were kind of wishing we had brought the splits and done a day tour, but later in the day conditions deteriorated again. Here's Roundtop:
Another nice-looking area just outside the boundary past chair 4. Anyone know what this area is called, and how the chutes are? PJ?
Toward the end of the day, we played around on a rock drop. Chris gets the "large sack" award for dropping the big line (on the swallowtail no less). New bumper sticker - "Got Sack?"
I settled for the "mini-sack" line.
All in all, it was a great day to be out in the atypically-light snow, even if we weren't in the bc with our splits. Well, except for the hellish drive home where cars were spinning out left and right. One guy basically ran into a snowplow - doh! I'm sure we'll be getting TR's soon from everyone else who actually made it out to the bc and didn't wuss out like us.
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:18 pm Posts: 57 Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Hey Jim & Steve, I had a blast, thanks for the great trip!
Awesome work on the TR Jim. Makes me feel all kinds of lazy over here. The next one's going to have to involve some splits. Great pics! I'll work on getting y'all into better focus next time.
I'll have to do some fact checking on the osin prices, but man, what a great board. If I recall correctly, someone here split one and did a writeup on it.. I think I'm going to hang onto it as my resort powderboard for a bit; it's so much damn fun.. Contrary to my other swallowtail (nitro sabre 181), this one handles the whole range of conditions well and even carves decently on hardpack. I smell a review coming..
Nice. The hiking at K-wood is alway good on a pow day. That area you asked about is Melissa Coray Peak and the California Chutes that drop into the Emigrant Lake Cirque. Very fun back there - an easy traverse/climb from the top of Chair 4, then you flat traverse back to the bottom of Chair 4 on the exit. A split is recommended when there's pow.
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:26 pm Posts: 407 Location: S.F. Bay Area
I busted out my O.SIN 178 on Saturday, went back to the short board on Sunday but still coulda/shoulda used the swallowtail then as well. With the cold snow, kinda wish I was sporting something bigger with more float though, even the ST had trouble staying on top of that stuff with my fat a$$ on it.
Sunday was nice, as they opened the backside hike/entrance to 99 steps from the top of the Wall. Makes for a nice entrance to the place you hiked from the highpoint of the ridgeline closest to the Cirque. Worth a couple extra turns with minimal extra effort. Lotta fun stuff under the Cirque in Eagle Bowl from either Thunder Saddle or The Wall. That place makes me cry on a good pow day knowing that the best lines throught there are reserved for the once a year Freeride comp and closed the rest of the time... Damn lawyers..
Anyway, nice TR.... Way to get to the good stuff, especially off Vista... Best short hike around that place... Was fun hiking and poaching the Cat Skiing area by Martin Point & the Spur, kinda in the area of that last pic... Some of the TGR maggots hit that up on skis and it looked sweet...