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    Well after couple good pow days at Crystal to end 2005, I started off 2006 with the damn flu bug. The first time I’ve been major sick in over a decade. The fever, chills and sweats n all. So after what seemed like an eternity I couldn’t hold off anymore. I was going to ride no matter what. I can sleep and nurse the sickness when I’m dead. It was Wednesday the 11th and I arrived at work by 5:30am. My first agenda was checking the telemetry, which indicated snow falling at 20 degrees and lots of it. After a quick email the rest of the week was laid to rest. First chair, Door # 2, knee deep, no tracks soon followed by a little Upper E no tracks. You get the picture. Thursday the 12th, same bat time and bat channel and more of the same. Bandit, Joedabaker and I were calling your name on first chair. Where were ya? Anyways it was only waist deep off piste today and you couldn’t see kaka and it was, as Tony would put it, grrreat. As you can see I’m still stoked as I sit here sippin on a Guinny, at room temp of course, and throwing a bunch of random thoughts hoping they resemble a trip report. Okay now that’s outta the way.

    Today I found myself with Rick and Sanchez touring the MRNP. Off course 8 new inches of snow fell and the gate didn’t open till 11am. Well it gave us time to marinate in the vannigan. As the gates to Paradise opened, the jockeying for pole position started. By 11:30am we pulled into the lot and can you say holy snow banks. The clouds were in and out with a mild spitting of snow. Every now and then the skirts would lift and Rainier could be seen. At first the 3 of us aimed for Muir snowfield but after reaching the base of Pan Pt and the winter ascent route we changed our mind and headed down to Edith basin. That off course was after we watched a group of skinners try their hardest only to be thwarted by gail force winds. They should have used the force. Winds were howling, swirling and the surface reminded me off ruffles potato chips. Ruffles have ridges oh yes they do.

    As we entered the basin there was evidence of a recent slide. It slid from the south face of Pan Pt and the deposition zone had anywhere from 1-2 feet of debris. The runout appeared to be 100 or so feet and about 50ft wide. Couldn’t see where it released from cause them clouds but the area above is littered with cliffs so go figure. After switching to skin mode we continued up to Golden Gate. Snow was really windpacked in this area and bonded well enough while skinning that we didn’t bother digging a pit. The top of GG was windy and there was no shelter from the weather. The 3 of us wasted no time carving the windpacked pow and took our line down. Visibility was limited and lighting a bit flat but not the worst for sure. With the wind blowing across the slope it soon erased any evidence of our existence there.

    Next call was UnBundy followed by Bundys proper. As we dropped in the winds calmed down and the visibility improved dramatically. Up to this point trail breaking duty was shared between the 3 of us but actually Rick and Sanchez did most of the work. WTF! Well they enjoyed the double wide when provided. We found excellent powder, anywhere from a few inches atop wind crust up to 2 feet in certain areas where the kine wind blows. Good turns were had by all. And there wasn’t too many people around. The 3 of us seemed to be ahead of the whoever else might have been out there. Well my Guinny is getting low and it’s getting increasingly harder to type with one hand and sip with the other. Pretty soon I’m going to need another hand to keep the lazy eye open so feel my stoke cause I’m back. It really sucks to be sick. Now I just need a camera so you guys and gals will believe me. ;D Btw where in the heck was El Capiton Ron, Maddog, JW and crew?

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