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The Call of Untracked Powder

February 27, 2011

Home away from home

We drove up to the mountains last night to get the fabulous powder.  We parked the camper in a the usual spot in Pine Grove , the small town just an hour and a half from Kirkwood.  At 6 am we heard too many cars driving by out there, so we brewed a quick cup of coffee and hit the road.  Many feet of snow graced the sides of the road and, the sparkling snow heightening our anticipation and hopes for some fresh tracks.  This trip was impromptu, I sneak away in the face of much to do at home. 

We were not alone in our thoughts.  With both roads open to Kirkwood, we were joined by throngs of others in a quest to hit the mountain.  The lift had not yet opened when we hit the line, yet a mass of people were already ahead of us.  It was 12 degrees, yet no one noticed the cold.  Our wait was serenaded by the boom of avalanche bombing, which boded well for later backside lines.  The anticipation gnawed at my stomach as I watched the mountain get tracked by the people ahead of us, unable to do anything about it. 

Happy Day

When we arrived at the top, we headed directly for the trees.  Our decision was rewarded.  Open fields of untracked powder were just beyond a stand of trees.  I had no idea where Tim went, I gave a minutes wait, but then went.  The snow was velvet, the quiet in the trees absolute.  We hiked around in the next few runs to find more stashes.  We found some, but the mass of people was intense.  We were in the first group to get up the life on the backside, it was our lucky moment.  After two perfect runs, this mountain too was tracked to pieces.  We hiked the top ridge next.  Six or seven turns in perfect powder were mine before hitting the lower bowl. 

We decided to come on home instead of staying for Sunday, since there would be no new snow.  It was a fabulous day, but one that reinforced how much I love the open backcountry, of hiking out alone in the middle of nowhere, getting even just one perfect run, earned from the effort of my own two legs.

Our own private Idaho

4 Comments leave one →
  1. helen permalink
    February 27, 2011 7:32 pm

    Of course our mountains are not always SO crowded–it’s the second and last weekend of kids’ ski week in Tahoe. Lots of schools had it off and people were headed up there.

  2. Carolyn permalink
    February 28, 2011 12:10 am

    I love this picture of you. So glad you had a wonderful time. Carolyn

  3. April 2, 2011 8:32 pm

    I love the funny hat while you put on booties. Do you carry any protection when ‘exploring’?

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