The fast is over!

Alberta Peak 12-14-09

the view from Step Bowl to Alberta Peak 12-14-09

Well I finally got on my board for the first time this 2009-10 season this past weekend at my favorite Colorado resort – Wolf Creek. They got 6 feet of snow last week and I was lucky enough to catch the last 2+ of that (never believe what the National Weather Service says regarding predicted snow totals there – they called for 4 t0 6 inches the night before they got 18″ – if they use the words “snow may be heavy at times” or “significant accumulations possible” – just go). Sunday was a full on raging blizzard with sustained winds of 30 to 40 and gusts to 60 so I had to hold my board with both hands while hiking the bowls and while it was still fun after 5 hours of buffeting we were ready to call it a day and save some legs for Monday. When we got to my car it had merged with the snowbank it was parked next to and the ride back to South Fork was the hairiest I’ve ever done there. Shortly after that they closed the pass  which did not reopen till 10 the next morning which is why I never stay in Pagosa when it’s dumping.

Local jumping the rail on the hike up to Knife Ridge

Local jumping the rail on the hike up to Knife Ridge

Frank on the Knife Ridge Bridge

Frank on the Knife Ridge Bridge

Monday brought clear skies, no wind, no tracks and no people as at least half were stuck in Pagosa waiting for the pass to open. So we had the whole glorious mountain to ourselves (and a few other lucky east siders) for most of the morning and definitely made the most of it. Knife Ridge was in prime form and worth every step of the hikes to get there. Not that I need a reminder, but man do I love that mountain!

Meanwhile, the rest of the state finally got some snow with most locations getting up to a foot of much needed fresh. Aspen Highlands opened for the season on Saturday and called 18′ in Highlands Bowl for the storm but friends of mine were shut down at Snowmass on Sunday as they closed all the lifts mid morning because of high winds (the only advantage of those old slow non-detachable chairs at Wolf – they never close). Right now it unfortunately looks like we’re in for a dry spell for awhile – not the xmas present the Colorado resorts were looking for.

As for our lucky neighbors to the North, it just keeps getting better. Whistler officially set the record for the snowiest month in recorded history with 18.3 feet of snow in November!!! They are now in the middle of another snow cycle as they’ve called 2 feet in the last 48 hours with a year to date total of 247″ and 6600 acres open and yes it’s only December 17th. The rest of BC is getting hit as well which has resulted in a continual barrage of emails from all the places I’ve either been or considered going to up there telling me how I need to get there now. My pick of the litter this week is this video from Baldface Lodge which is calling last month Snowvember – got to love it. However, if you really want to get a feel for the BC mindset check out the videos in the blog post below this – very funny…


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