Kirkwood goes off the scale

Wed 4th March.

Forty Eight inches (four feet!) of light powder fell at Kirkwood overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. The shuttle bus was delayed leaving South Lake, but when we left Highway 88 was open to Kirkwood and epic day awaited. But as we headed out of town an avalanche hit the Carson Pass closing Highway 88. At one point CalTrans estimated a 2pm opening, so the bus prepared to turn around, just then a police car drove past and opened the snow gates! No-one got into Kirkwood till lunchtime apart from 50 lucky so and so’s who were staying up there, so after a frustrating wait staring at snow gates that only added to the anticipation, Kirkwood more than lived up to it’s claim of America’s Deepest Snow. It was simply off the scale….

When the Cornice Express opened giving top to bottom riding it was simply mind blowing, face shots with every turn, even lower down where they piste bashers had been ! Powder, machine packed powder, on the trails, in the bowls, in the trees, the sheer amount of snow that fell overnight is simply mind boggling. The pics speak for themselves, except that they just can’t portray just how deep the powder was!

Ten is the number

Ten Days… Ten Feet of Powder… Ten Days To Go till Return to Kirkwood!

Take all the best things of Scotland’s snowsport areas, the lift served off-piste of the Back Corries at Nevis, the cliff strewn, gully lined playground of Glencoe, the massive bowl like expanse of Coire Fionn, the steeps of the East and West Walls, natural gullies like Ciste, and like the Lecht and top of CairnGorm some of the best learning terrain around, oh and the rocks and snow fencing, throw in some trees and dump it on a 10,000ft mountain in California, add a T-bar to confuse the locals and you have Kirkwood!

Having come across numerous Scottish Skiers and Winterhighlander’s, during 2005 and 2006, one Glencoe regular put it like this “It’s like Meall a’ Bhuiridh on steroids with some trees thrown in”. Despite it being small in area in Alpine terms, there’s not a lot Kirkwood doesn’t have and it’s got something just a little bit special, a little bit wild and little bit different. Like Scotland, don’t expect the locals to run and hide when the sun goes in. Here a storm day = a powder day. A blizzard = a bigger powder day and a howling galeĀ  = a powder day with fresh tracks every run!