Post subject: Shasta, Bend, Spliffs and Grabbin' Cindy
Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:40 pm
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm Posts: 1620 Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself, lemme back up...
Over the holidays, I decided to head up to visit my folks in Bend, OR. I wasn't planning on doing any snowboarding, since I had recently had surgery on my thumb (second time in a year for the same f*ckin' injury - long story...), and I was sporting an awesome cast on my right hand. So I wasn't doing much of anything athletically... though at least I was still able to practice proper ice-axe-while-descending technique:
I did however bring my gear, uh, "just in case." Really my excuse was I was just gonna drop off the boards at the local shop and have them tuned while I was up there, so they'd be ready to go when I got the cast off. Then I got to thinking, "hmm... this cast kinda looks like it will fit over my pole, hmm..." A quick test in the garage and I was on the phone with my buddy Lev making plans to hit up the Bachelor sidecountry the next morning.
They had been getting dumped on the previous week, and things were finally clearing up (this was a couple days after Christmas). Things were looking good on the skin up.
Great views from the top:
And the snow on the way down was awesome! I didn't seem to get many decent action shots. Here's one of Kirin, ripping it up on skis. Lev and Kirin used to snowboard, and decided to try AT skiing this year to mix things up a bit.
Lev managed to get some nice action shots.
1 epic lap down, several more to go! And the thumb was holding up nicely...
On the last lap we decided to go session a rock. Lev hits his first drop with 2 planks on his feet instead of 1:
... and I got in a little "cindy" grab - that's a Cast Indy!
It was a great day on Tumalo. I've been up there several times and probably have never seen conditions that good. With the great snow, cold temps, and clearing weather, we quickly made plans to head over to Bachelor the next day for some lift accessed sidecountry.
On the way home, I stopped by Side Effect, a great local board shop. They happened to have a Burton Spliff. I have been thinking about this board ever since it first showed up, and particularly after earthsurfing started posting some interesting thoughts about it on the forum. Just about everyone I've talked to who has actually ridden this board, or any of the similar ones (Nug, Root, etc), has had nothing but good things to say. So I was curious. The shop guys also had good things to say. Well it turned out that mountaingear was having a sale on that board right at that time, and the guys at Side Effect were able to match the deal (major props to those guys!), and no tax, and... suddenly I had a new Christmas/birthday present to myself to check out! But DAYUMM... this thing is SHORT!!
I was skeptical that this thing could possible work as advertised. Well, no better testing ground than resort sidecountry in deep conditions. I could check it out on the groomers, at speed, in deep pow, and skinning all in one day. Stoked. Our buddy Russ also joined in, and got a demo K2 Panoramic. That board looks really well made, and the skin system is pretty slick. Russ setting it up:
Nola tests out the stance width - just about right!
Nice views of Broken Top and South Sister from the lift:
We took the lift up to the summit, and dropped off the backside. The snow was kind of variable, and the Spliff handled great. I was already surprised. Once we got to the getback cat track, we ducked the rope and started skinning out to out destination. Russ enjoying skinning through the trees:
Finally topping out, with the backside of Bachelor in the background:
We got there just in time to catch Lev dropping. He was already way ahead of us. Damn AT skiiers.
The run down was great, and once again, the Spliff worked great. It was pretty deep pow, and it really didn't sink any more than my normal boards (Jones Solution 164, Burton S 162). It was weird.
In fact, the only problem I had was that my existing skins were WAAAY too long. I had to wrap them over the tails and use a Voile strap to secure them!
After skinning back to the cat track, we got in some high speed runs on the groomers, and again the Spliff felt great. It wasn't twitchy at all, which is what I was kind of expecting. Then one more run down the cinder cone in great pow for good measure, and we called it a day.
So my time in Bend turned out to have way more snowboard excitement than I thought. And that would have been enough for me, but then on the way home on the day after New Years, I had to drive right by Shasta...
Of course I left way later than I intended, so by the time I was driving by Shasta, it was already about 9 PM and dark. I figured I would stop and take a side trip up the road to Bunny Flat, first to see if it was in fact plowed (yay - it is being plowed this year, so no need to worry about access), and secondly to try messing around with some night shots with the new camera. It took me a while but I started to get the hang of it:
Then I took a completely blind shot aiming at the Trinity chutes. When I saw this I knew I had to stay and ride the next day.
It wasn't a dream - still there in the AM!
There was a ton of snow on the mountain, and it definitely looked like mid-winter in the parking lot. I think at the time the snowpack was 140% of normal.
I started skinning up, with hopes of powder in Trinity chutes.
But as I got higher up, it became pretty clear that everything was totally wind-hammered.
I kept going, thinking "well it's a beautiful day, and besides how bad can it be to have a 5k run, even if the snow isn't great?" Here's my turnaround point, looking down:
Casaval ridge and Trinity Alps
Trinity chutes... next time
"well it's a beautiful day, and besides how bad can it be to have a 5k run, even if the snow isn't great?"
How bad can it be? Uh, turns out... REALLY BAD! The snow was that nasty kind of windboard where you'd be on top of it one minute, then you'd crank a turn and break through and sink and practically endo. Oh well, I guess it was an opportunity to see if the Spliff worked in sub-optimal conditions.
It still beat any day of NOT splitboarding though!
After getting back to the van, I played around taking some more pics.
Post subject: Re: Shasta, Bend, Spliffs and Grabbin' Cindy
Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:05 am
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:55 pm Posts: 45 Location: Squaw Valley
I', sitting in Sunriver, on ski trip visiting my parents. After seeing this, I really regret not bringing my split. I guess next time I need to come up with some sort of excuse to bring one of them along too.