Sunday, January 10, 2010

more rime,

yep, more rime, but the skiing is great.  just hard to see where you are going, what with goggles completely covered in ice.  i try skiing without them, which works, but can be painful on the eyes, and probably not too good for them. 

for those interested beyond the alpine and backcountry, the nordic skiing is great right now. EVERYWHERE!  all the groomed nordic is in thick, and anything that has had a snowmobile track on it is totally fun as well.  it is great way to get some exercise, run the dogs, and get away from the noise and crowds. 

but the resort and backcountry skiing are also great.  some wind loading and more rime and surface hoar continues to add variables to our snowpack, so that caution will be needed beyond the norm all year.  just remember, there might always be a soft or weak spot somewhere nearby that could unleash all hell. 

so i made a trip over to the land of OZ, and found tons of great skiing everywhere we went.  i was with the great AK guide, so when he said we were on the skin track from the east side of Skookoleel towards Oz, i kept my doubt to myself.  i mean, this man guides in the biggest of the mountains.  Alaska, the biggest state, with the biggest lines, of the greatest country, ON THIS PLANET!  well, you get the point.  i thought we needed to go more easterly, but we couldn't see anything, so i did not say anything.  all too quickly we were on top, of what seemed different to what we know to be Oz.  what had happened?  well, we went back up to the top of Skookoleel.  a silly error, but we have all done it at some point.  so we skied another line down skook, and on our second try, found our way to Oz. 

there we met with two other groups, a bunch of old foggies, that we all see whereever we go.  (you might say i am one of those old guys now too, and perhaps people run into me more than they want.  )  the backside of Oz is shaping up, but could still get filled in a bit more, so we stayed in the trees, which are steep and fun.  then back to the southern facing side and down the first of the two most prominent slide paths.  is this Dorothy's, or is it Auntie Em?  i have never known.  it skied big and fast and great and safe, and the exit at the bottom is so filled in that there was no slogging thru brush or wierd tree lines. 

back in bounds, as so often happens, none of our group of three wanted to bother skiing anything besides a groomer.  it is so mentally challenging to go from deep, untracked pow, to inbounds skied up crud, bumps and hard pack. 

off we went to the bierstube for several beers.  even with the weekend crowd, when you only know about a tenth of them, instead of the usual 50 best friends we incur mid week, that place is still a great apres' ski joint.  second perhaps to Moose's down in jackson hole. 

while there, i was approached and asked to mention how much people love the base area facilities.  i asked him to post his own comment, but for now he declined.  but the point is, to many of those with kids, it is a fitting and affordable feature, in what remains a family friendly resort.  so i stand down on that one. at least he agreed with me that the overall parking up there is BAD. oops, i wasn't going to talk about it anymore. 

so hopefully the weather will not get too warm, and the skiing will remain great.  enjoy it while it is, because it is montana, and he can change in a day. 

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