Forums Trip Reports Week of Winter Corn at Carson Pass and Kirkwood
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    1669 Posts


    What are the chances? When you plan a week of boarding for the first week of February you figure you’ll get some powder. It’s always a crap shoot with vacations. Once you book that flight or reserve that room you’re instantly jinxed.

    As the winter progressed and there was no 2 week dry spell that always plagues the Sierras at some point, usually in January or February, we wern’t too worried and didn’t want to think too much about it. But sure enough, we hit it pretty much right on the mark. Couldn’t have done it if we tried. 😕

    Puff Natty and I headed out for our little home away from home in Pioneer on Friday afteroon to meet a group of friends to stay at the cabin, party and ride Kirkwood for the weekend.

    We awoke Saturday morning to cloudy skies and by the time we arrived at KW it was pretty nasty – windy and pelting snow.

    We made the most of it having fun riding with friends. It cleared by the afternoon with only 3 or 4 inches of new. 😥

    “Is this all we get”. Thats almost worse than nothing at all. What a teaser of a storm.

    Sunday morning PN and I headed back to KW with only one other survivor from the nights festivities. We planned on going OB at KW to west shore then up the broad ridge to Melisa Coray Peak.

    First run. $$$
    Windpacked powder at the top of fawn ridge down into west shore, then what felt like 8 to 10 inches in the angle chute which was not tracked yet. 😈

    We skinned up the broad north ridge towards Melisa Coray, but realized it was pretty windhammered and we shouldn’t ride the exposed run down to Emigrant Lake.

    On the mellow ridge, PN shot this pic of me right before I hit a sheet of ice and did a pete rose slide for life into the small trees on the right side of the pic. Helmets work really good. 😯

    Finished with a run down Red Cliffs.
    Puff Nattie skinning to Red Cliffs with Round Top far left.

    We called it a day and headed home. Ecobrad shows up at the cabin late to a pretty weird scene of wigs, matching clothes, and Jenga.

    Monday morning Eco, PN, and I headed up to Round top hoping to find some windblown powder, hopefully up in east bowl or above Winnemucca Lake.

    We found lots of boilerplate with patches of 1-2 inches of windblown. We ended up lapping a section below the Crescent Moon in a bowl that held some snow because the approaches to the former spots looked scary and we didn’t bring crampons…..and because a tree hit me in the head the day before.

    It was a nice, clear day and the snow was pretty fun.

    No pics of the bowl we lapped, but here’s a pic of our exit run.

    Eco on the exit run

    Tuesday was just PN and I so we headed to KW and went right to ride the sunny SE side of Thunder Mtn. A fun run we’ve never done. We skinned back up to Sentinel Bowl and I went back up to sample the north bowl, which looked questionable. Rode the softening snow on the ridgeline, then dropped into the easy entry into a powder section, then lower I found the whole run had a fresh topping and was not wind affected until the bottom. $$$

    You can see the “does it go” chute from here. Sickter line thrown down from a skier on TGR.

    Skinned to Martin Point and got another good run back to the truck.

    Wednesday we went back to hit Thunder Mtn. again and try a new line down the bowl (not the chute, I’m a snowboarder 😆 ).

    PN rode the gut of the bowl and I rode a line looker left which was variable, but fun. Tons o lines out here.

    Another run down Martin Point and we were good.

    Thursday we headed back up, rode the little park for a bit, then got 2 laps on Red Cliffs with (gasp) solid boards.


    PN all smiles

    The two gullies on Red Cliffs are really fun with waves to surf and lips to boost. There was actually a little powder hiding in there too. 😛

    I headed off to finish the day with a 2K run.

    Not too shabby. 8)

    Especially with views like this at the bottom.

    Friday we were back at KW to ride the perfect corn on the south side of KW near Thimble Peak.

    PN dropping

    At the bottom we watched two sledheads high mark the steep, wide couloir that we were going to ride next. 👿 👿 👿

    We skin back up to the saddle and proceed to track up another bowl.


    Another day done. No wait. I had to do the 2K run again. 😛 FKNA

    Saturday, what do we do? We go back up!! What else are you gonna do.
    This time we avoid the weekend hell of KW and go to Stevens Peak. We skin from Hope Valley and a little detour up to Crater Lake.


    Tempted to hit that, but it was cold and probably rock hard that day in that cirque. It seemed like a lot of folks were off to ride the southeast face off the Red Lake Peak ridge. It looks filled, steep and really fun.

    In order to get to the east shoulder of Stevens, we did a short run from the lake in a shady area with some remaining powder, but it wasn’t too fun. Then we climbed up the east shoulder until almost the top. I tried to climb a little higher but my soft boots failed my attempts.

    We both got nice long corn runs, about 2,300 feet worth for a great final run of our week of splittin’. Yeah baby.


    View of Red Lake Peak from below Stevens Peak

    All in all, it’s hard to complain about sunny skies, and winter Tahoe corn. 8) But now it better start dumping again.

    Moral of the TR – It just doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter how much you plan, check the extended weather forecast, read the dweeb reports. You just go, get out there and have a good time. 😛

    80 Posts

    PW, Way to go get it. Corn was going off last week on those SE faces. I was going to call you on the cell to hook up until I came down with that nasty chest thing going around. Couldn’t move for two days… were just resting for more pow.

    Hope to hook up soon.


    2068 Posts

    You just go, get out there and have a good time.

    And that’s exactly why I like hanging out and riding with you. You can’t really change the conditions, you might as well not let them change your mood. Shit, your in the mountains, hangin out, not workin, beautiful sights, who cares if the snow’s bullet proof 😯

    Looks like you guys charged pretty good. How about a little props to Puff Natie for hangin tuff? You must have some sort of magical wand and cast a spell “You are going to wake up early and charge up these Mtns. with me. Smile the whole time and not complain…for a week!”

    I know lots of charging individuals that would have tapped out after three straight days…little lone six or seven.

    2486 Posts

    …and because a tree hit me in the head the day before.

    Are you sure? Could have been Chuck Norris doing roundhouse kicks in the Backcountry…again

    88 Posts

    great pix & lines, way to cover the 88 west to east. solid coverage – love the high base elev in the area (Kfactor?).

    and yeah, i saw your “tree” on Ultimate Fighting Championships last night around 1:43 a.m. 😈 hope you are Ok. it kicked the sh*t out of some guy…

    1421 Posts

    Nice! Way to make the most of it.

    @patroller420 wrote:

    …and because a tree hit me in the head the day before.

    Are you sure? Could have been Chuck Norris doing roundhouse kicks in the Backcountry…again

    Speaking of Chuck… here’s another great site with Chuck facts:

    340 Posts

    Nice, PJ. Sorry I didn’t head down there. Had to work both Saturdays and the Germans were visiting, but I did hit some lines I’ve been eyeing off Relay Ridge. Cornish bliss on the S and SE stuff.

    4149 Posts

    good stuff pj!

    thanks for the pics. 8)

    Puff Nattie
    73 Posts

    Eco-thanks for that props! It was great hangin’w/you again. As for the smiles all week….I had a my finest moment when my shades broke in half at the start of our day. It must have been about 80 degrees, not a cloud in the sky…fortunately, I was able to surgically repair them w/steristips! 😀 (me-happy to have some protection from the glaring sun) We had planned on a day off but before we knew it we had 8 days of riding and we were headin’ home. Boooooooyahhhhhhhh!

    1421 Posts

    What? No duct tape?? 😯

    (Of course, you could have also attempted the Chuck Norris method of fixing them – stare at them until they spontaneously fix themselves out of fear. But if you did that, Chuck would have sensed it, and would have appeared from nowhere and roundhouse kicked those newly fixed glasses into an unrecognizable pile of dust. So you probably did the right thing under the circumstances.)

    35 Posts

    you could have also attempted the Chuck Norris method of fixing them – stare at them until they spontaneously fix themselves out of fear.

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆
    Jim, that cracked me up. 8)

    PJ, PN, Great TR! Awsome pics too.

    17 Posts

    Great pics PJ, PN!

    Nice to see those lines… keep the updates coming! -jQ

    karma surf
    191 Posts

    Thanks for sharing the TR, you guys would be the ulimate guides for that area, I’m bummin’ 😥 !

    I love the photo of PN with her board on edge:

    Who says soft boots can’t carve? 8)

    Nice shot of the original 71 Gun proto in action too!

    I defintely missed out!

    1669 Posts

    Thanks everybody.

    Puff Nattie will be stoked to see your reply, Karma Surf. She’s been working on the carves.

    Come out anytime KS and we’ll show you around.

    Chuck Norris is so yesterday.

    Segal will take Norris down. 😆

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