Cast: SmokinFatBob, Girlrider, Tbar, Ravenous Llama, PillsburyHoBoy, and M
We were supposed to all meet up and start hiking about 8:30am or so. At 9:30am, the group of M, PHB, and myself were still missing from the trailhead. SFB, GR, and Tbar started hiking. We arrived at the base about 10:15am after having a hard time finding the detour and ending up at several closed (not supposed to be closed) Ranger stations.
We were a bit nervous leaving our cars on the highway since there was no place to have purchased an adventure pass. In addition, a security guard in a corrolla with hubcap spinners showed up and told us the ski area was closed. We found his hubcaps as funny as his insistence that we couldn't hike by the chairlift, but we could everywhere else. It got even better as we geared up when his reinforcements showed up in a pickup. Their weapon of choice, blasting easy listening music at us. If you've ever been assaulted by Air Supply at 100 decibels, you can imagine the pain and agony we felt, from laughing our butts off.
After we recovered and got our gear on, M, PHB and I started the boot up. We chose the run farthest away from the chair lift and that seemed to appease the easy listening gorillas with their badges and flashlights. Though with our ice axe's in hand, I don't think they felt too brave anyway.
The boot up was tiring but fun as always. I kicked in most of the steps up the 40 degree slope since I was the only one with crampons out of our small group. It was M and PHB's first ever bc trip, and they did great. After about 60 minutes we crested the top of the ridge. We then started to see the telltale signs of the rest of our group. Stalking the elusive splitboarder is made rather easy by the distinctive tracks they make. Add with it the paw prints of an Aussie Shepard named Bailey, and some poor booter (surely being mocked all the way up), it was definite it was our group.
We slugged on across the fire road and was greeted by Bailey, his new dom "Turd", Gr, SFB, and Tbar. After some fine hello's we hiked up to the top of Chair 2. Near the top I took the opportunity to sit on a lift chair, and stand on a lift pole. SFB and Gr glided along so easily on their splitboards, convincing me to get one. Darn that SFB and getting me to spend my money.
From the top of Chair 2, we cut over and decended to Chair 3. The turns were wonderful spring corn and the coverage was more than plenty. From the bottom of 3, we decided to hike to the top. PHB, Tbar, M, and myself all booted up under the lift while SFB and GR skinned up and around. At the top we enjoyed a nice leisurely lunch and coverage so deep the lift poles were again low to the snow. We took some pictures and just hung out before decending back down toward the bottom of Chair 2. From there, a slight walk up to the ridge where we were able to drop into the face runs and back to the car. The runs lower were a nice pitch, but the snow was slushier. It was still good conditions and the sun cups weren't too bad as we all charged down the gully to the road. We were greeted by the security guy from earlier (minus his musical backup) asleep in his car. We then all basked in the joy of the day and shared a toast when SFB went to get the 6-pack of Guiness he had buried in the snow that morning.
* Photo by M
** Photo by Tbar
*Trailhead. We hiked up the run to the left.
**Splitboarders SmokinFatBob and Girl Rider (I'm buying a splitboard this week)
**We all meet up
**Bailey is SFB's dog, Turd belongs to a guy living on the mountain
*Ravenous Llama on top of a lift pole
GR coming down Ram's Revenge to Chair 2
* RL leading the hike
** Splitboarders getting ready to catch up to us
* RL posing by lift. The coverage was incredible at the top of the hill.
** The whole crew
[size=9pt](L to R): M, RL [size=6pt](top)[/size], Tbar, SFB, GR, PHB[/size]
** After lunch we did another run
** RL getting his freshy on
** RL dressed for backcountry success
** Fresh Tracks for all
** SFB in Gene's Gulch
** RL, PHB, and M in Gene's Gulch
** M in Gene's Gulch
** Looking back at an awesome day
[size=9pt](l to r): GR, RL, PHB, M (in back)[/size]