November 18, 2017 – Patrol Room Cleanup

The weather window for Saturday was lining up nicely with a scheduled work day for the patrol room cleanup, and Dan and I made plans to get to the Pass early to try to take advantage a couple of runs before the work started.  I got to Dan’s around 5:15 am, and we hit the road quickly.  By 6:45 am, we were gearing up at the base and enjoying a nice sunrise.  It was cold – around 22 degrees, and looked like 8-10 inches of cold, fresh snow had fallen.  Conditions were definitely going to be great.

Early morning at the Pass

Looking down from By George

The area had laid down a couple of tracks with the machine, which made for easy skinning not having to break trail.  Soon, we worked our way off of KP and onto Eagle’s.  At the top, we made the decision to ski Eagle’s before heading back up for a second lap from the top…the snow was just too good to pass up.

Dan at the top of Eagle’s

Coverage was excellent, and Dan grabbed the camera and headed down.  After he set up, I ripped some primo turns down the gut of run, exploiting the cold smoke.  Later, I returned the favor for Dan on the lower half of the run…

Ripping Eagle’s

Turns above Odell

After checking our watches and confirming we had time for another lap before needing to be down to the base, we skinned back up Eagles and then to the top of EPA.  The temps were staying cold, and the views were excellent as usual.

Atop Eagle Peak

We stashed a couple of beers in the snow in anticipation of returning in the afternoon, strapped in, and dropped into Success.  The coverage was great, and we ripped the steep slope all the way to the bottom.  The ski out via George down to the Patrol room was awesome as well…..nice, fast powder all the way.

Turns on upper Success

We skied right to the patrol room door, and met the rest of the small crew that was up for the day to help with the annual patrol room cleanup.  The rest of the morning consisted of checking out all the lift evacuation ropes, organizing the avy gear, prepping the rescue toboggans, making sure the radios were functioning properly, and a host of other patrol prep related activities.  Around 12:00 pm, we broke for lunch, and with the work mostly done, Dan, Todd and I geared up to head out for the afternoon.

The Cleanup Crew

An hour or so later, we arrived at the top of Peak 2.  There was about 42 inches of snow at the snow stake, and we agreed to ski a line on the left-hand side of Northern.  The snow on the northerly aspects was still light and fluffy, and the turns were great.

Todd skiing Northern

Dan getting some fresh pow

Halfway down the run, we worked our way through a choke point full of tall scrub trees, and continued on.  Everyone agreed on the skin up that Northern, and many other runs, are long overdue for a cutting party.

Todd skiing lower Northern

We were thinking of heading back to ski out the front and to the car, but Todd wanted to get one more run in, so we headed over to Destiny for one more on the backside.  Dan snapped photos of the action…

Destiny pow

Fresh tracks on Destiny

At the bottom, we donned skins and headed up Escalator one more time, with Todd nursing an injury (which turned out to be a broken rib) from a fall on the previous run.  We reached the top of EPA a few minutes later, dug out the beers we’d stashed earlier in the day, and enjoyed the views and a couple of cold ones.

The day’s offerings

Dan & Todd enjoying a cold one

Once the beers were gone, it was time to ski.  We’d been wanting to ski RTS all day long, and figured it would probably go given the snow conditions.  So, we strapped in and eased over the edge.  It looked thin, but doable, so we sent it…

First run down RTS

The snow was excellent.  There were quite a few obstacles, including rocks, trees, stumps, etc., but it was a damn nice run.  I even sent a small rock drop that is normally under several feet of snow.  At the bottom, I snapped a few pics of the guys enjoying the run…

Dan on lower RTS

Looking up RTS

We skied out Amber’s Way, and popped out on Rough Cut below.  Rough Cut looked excellent, so we continued down.  The two skiers went first, and I followed with the camera…

Todd taking a break halfway down

Skiing lower Rough Cut

We milked turns all the way back down to the car, and were pretty stoked on a 5000 foot day of powder skiing with a half day of patrol work thrown in.  All that’s needed now is a few more good storms, and it’ll be game on for the season!

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