March 10 post
It’s been a great few days in the zone. A southwesterly storm predicted to hit monday and tues was a bit of a swing an a miss, with it tracking south providing us with a few inches of blessed pow, but not nearly the amount that NOAA called for, typical for storms from the Southwest. DJ and I met up on Monday morning and skied a Benchmark, with the upper tracks not quite filled in but surprisingly deep in the middle section in medium density knee deep snow. The storm came in very warm but got colder between Monday and Tuesday with 10 F temps up top and significant wind from the west southwest. My second run was solo timber falls, always a nice tour solo to get away from it all. Snow was good again, and is one of my favorite places on a powder day.
Tuesday the on off snow continued and it stayed cold to keep the snow fresh and the moderate winds from the west southwest filled iln EV very nicely. Skied a Benchie left of mushroom rock in the choke. No longer madatory air, since the amount of snow this year has rendered even the mighty mushroom rock to a manageable height. It is truly amazing the amount of snow that has fallen and loaded in EV, the most I’ve ever seen in 14 years.
Wed was a great day with an unexpected cell dropping 7 or so inches of light wind fluffiness. Of course more fell in EV than expected and DJ took advantage of the thigh deep conditions to hit the gun barrel for the first time for the year.
Watching him drop and disappear into the white room was awesome as he was truly enveloped in a pow cloud all the way down. I skied my typical line in left side of the mushroom in choker conditions. However I was inspired by the gun barrel run and returned to do a late afternoon lap solo. I caught the last poma and enjoyed a lonely skin in beautiful afternoon light.
Up top, I moved to the right center of Benchmark, a line known as the ice fall skier right of the gun barrel. An area that is notorious for slides off all sizes due to the wind load and very little traffic. It has no safe area, and a slab ripping below the cornice is expected. You have to get and stay out in front and hit and stick the air to be safe, no stopping no pause, truly a big mountain training run.
I was able to get a spot from Brenden and Reef who were farther skiers right.
A deep breath and a push off the cornice sent me in to the white room immediately. As expected the wind load cracked in typical soft slab fashion. I had time to see the snow crack around me as I punched as fast as I could in the deepness. Able to keep my wits about me and hit the cliff with speed, luckily landing right of a buried, pillowed stump. The landing was over the head and was able to stick it and ski away. Looking back, I could see the shallow slab had ripped third of the upper bowl. The adrenaline factor and snow conditions made it the best run of the year.
After a howl into the wind. I finished the run with a traverse over to the forgotten trees. Trackless and fresh, it was perfect way to end a pow day. That’s all for now.