Thursday, January 5, 2012


as i sat up early this morning, a bit before dawn (getting up this early is a result of a post holiday cheer reduction plan, which in turn results in early bedtimes), i began to hear some rumbling noises that at first i thought might be the wood in the stove settling, then realized it was rain pounding on the deck roof, and wind knocking the swing against the house. ah, if it were only april.

BUT IT IS NOT! it is fucking january. sure, sometimes it rains here in January, but usually after it has already snowed for a month to two. now, well, you know. what little valley snow we had is gone. i swear, on tuesday, in kalispell, with my car's thermometer reading over 45 degrees, grass was greening up.

there were two positives yesterday, but unfortunately they are accompanied by the negative side too.
first, our beloved ski patrol, always trying to make things a bit better, opened the Western Bowl (or hellroaring basin, if you prefer) to the traverse. the skiing was actually pretty good, but one knew the traverse was going to be tough. and like so many other things i have noted of late, it is the worst i have seen it. but what made it even worse still, was that for some reason, snowboarders do NOT know how to read. it appears, in my unofficial survey, that 20% of snowboarders are illiterate. not one, but two signs implored snowboarders to avoid the basin, as the traverse was tough. still, there they were. and they were not the experts that can manage such obstacles, but the intermediates. cluttering the trail and making it even more dangerous and onerous. i swear the patrol would have been better if they had encouraged snowboarders onto this traverse, as certainly they do not want to do what the "authorities" would suggest. i felt as though it were like telling a teenager to NOT smoke pot, or NOT drink beer! and of course their response would be "well, if mom and dad don't want me to try something, it must be great, and here i go, into hellroaring basin"

the second positive, is the glacier nordic club is now grooming some of the old nordic system at the base of the Big. they have actually gone down into haskill basin and connected to the ironhorse trails, which, being on stoltze land, is optional for all to use, not just those that can afford to live in ironhose. (the "r" is purposefully left out) this now gives us a more close to home option for nordic than blacktail or issak walton. unfortunatey, the trails are quite thin, as expected. plus, as many of you know, it is mostly an up and down course, so the climb out of the hole is daunting. if you are not up for a hard workout, or not in skate ski shape (who is) i might suggest using your old waxless classic set up. also, with the warm weather, the trails got soft and many pole plants were touching down to terra firma.

well, as the light comes thru on a new day, the rain and wind have abated, at least for now. certainly winter will start any day.

No comments:

Post a Comment