Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Powder Weeks, 2012

We finally got our snow.  The weekend of January 21 brought a pair of storms that delivered instant base to the High Country.  We need not dwell upon what came before, but we can remember fondly the unique access and plethora of icy adventure options we had in the 78 days of November 2011.  Now ski season is here, in some form or another.  I taught a single day of an avalanche course that first stormy weekend.  In the process the students and I scored some soft freshies between the waves of snowfall.

Tuesday the 24th the storms finally cleared.  This first clear powder day of the year found work-places up and down the Eastside vacant.  A rock-climbing friend asked "You all play hookie to ski, why can't I take a day off to climb?"  I responded that "if you could only climb rock a few days a year, no one would judge you for taking time off.  That's how rare stable bluebird powder days are."   

Scott, invoking the Powder Clause

Chad has great timing.   And is a busy man.  He juggles alpine climbing, rock climbing, and now backcountry skiing passions.  He has a girlfriend.  He runs some sort of real-estate business that I can't even begin to understand.  And he loves living, hanging out, and partying in Southern California. He watches football, missing playoff games only for helicopter skiing.  He keeps season passes to multiple ski areas, and travels multi-hemispherically (do "multi" and "hemi" cancel out?  Does Chad travel spherically?).  This January alone he had Mammoth New Years plans, a Utah dude-ski weekend, and had scheduled with me an introduction to backcountry ski weekend on the Eastside.  Chad is, to put it mildly, flexible and adaptable.  He ice skated for New Years, went Heli skiing in Whistler instead of faceting away in the Dry-satch, and was ready to change plans here in late January. Thankfully we didn't have to change anything.  If there's a weather god, he or she came through for us the  27th and 28th.

Hollywood Bowl on any given Sunday.  Chad recommends skiing in winter and wine and concerts in summer.

February 7, more than two weeks post-storm.  Yours truly, in Mammoth Lakes old growth.

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