In three words: Early Season Conditions. Wolf Creek is a bit thin right now, but is about to get the blast from the sky it takes to make a strong base. Too bad I had to leave right as it was coming in. From what it looks like, Wolf Creek may get three feet of snow out of this next storm rolling in early this upcoming week. Wolf Creek is always fun simply because of the greater than average potential to ski fresh snow in-bounds. Last week was no exception, but it had it's hiccups. For starters, we received about 4 inches on Monday during the day which in some spots was wind-blown to boot-top depths....not a bad 1st day of the season. Tuesday dawned with about a foot of fresh snow added to the previous day's totals. Again, in some spots this was wind-blown to knee deep. We ate as much of this up as possible in the trees, tracking out most of it by the end of the day.
However, early season conditions prevailed and any attempt to ski off-piste or steeper sections was met with the feeling of grinding rock to base and edge, hitting downed trees, stumps and nut-whacking baby tree growth. I don't mind any of those, to include the nut-whacking baby tree growth as long as there's powder involved...but hooking a ski under a downed tree is just plain demoralizing...especially when you do it twice. Good thing I lowered the DIN on my Dynafits before heading out on the second day. Something told me I would need it and I was right.
Never one to learn my lesson, I continued over to the Alberta area on Wednesday in search of some untracked in an area I like to consider my own private Valhalla. I call it this because to access a sweet apron of snow with perfectly spaced and monument-like old-growth spruce; you have to enter a chute with a blind-roller at the end. The chute itself is carved into a cliff-band with towering trees angled in towards the chute's entrance, giving the feeling of entering a great hall while tempting Odin and Ullr. When the rest of the area gets tracked out, I've always been able to find untracked here year after year. I found the spot again, but not after having to dead-end at the cliff-face which had failed to fill in yet; forcing me remove my skis and downclimb. Last year at this time, I was able to pop a few turns in the chute to access the apron below...this year, downed trees and rock prevented me from repeating. Still, the apron below was untouched after 48 hours of savage attacks by the hordes of powder-sluts which descended on the area for the 2nd big storm of the season. Just count me a bigger powder-slut than most. Enjoy this lame video I pulled together...I really need to get a POV camera because holding my wife's nice digital in hand while skiing pretty much prevents me from shooting anything interesting.
Fritschi Tecton Brake Seance
5 hours ago