Family Ski Week – Days 30-33

Just wrapped up a family ski week and it was a blast.  Well, it really wasn’t a full week, but ole bro and I did 5 days in a row and by the end it we felt like it was at least a week – maybe a month. Yesterday was the last day and on one run in the crud, them tired ole thighs were so thrashed they refused to respond. What’s with that? In our younger days we could party all night and ski all day for a whole week, and never have this trouble. (at least that’s what we tell ourselves – and we’re sticking to our story – true or not)

The week started on Sunday 20 March at Kirkwood, skiing with Charlee.  That story is covered in the previous post to this and you can check it out here.

Family Ski week is always lots of fun.

We are heading up at Sierra at Tahoe.

Skiing Heavenly
Monday, 21 March, we hooked up with sister Sue and skied at Heavenly. We got there a bit after nine and went in the lodge for a bit for coffee, as the wind was blowing and it was nasty out. We got fortified and then went out and did one run.  Sue was not on her game, having driven 10 hours the day before, so we put her in the  lodge and Bro and I went back out.  Later on, they took the upper mountain lifts off wind hold, so we did some runs there and found Milky Way trees to be pretty good stuff – soft snow and easy to ski.  We did that a few times and tried some other places, but nothing was really very good.  We had lunch and went back out for some more.  They finally opened Mott Canyon and in Mott we found some very soft, very ski-able snow, so we did that a few times just to make sure we liked it (which we did) – and then we called it quits for the day. Didn’t get any pictures of this day as I forgot my camera – ah the brain slippage syndrome (BSS) strikes again.

Skiing Sierra at Tahoe

Wonderful powder found during family ski week.

The trees are very ski-able for sure.

Tuesday, 22 March, we woke up to a nice surprise of 16 inches of new snow at the resort we were going to – Sierra at Tahoe.  I had never skied there before, but Bro had told me they had some great tree skiing, so we were excited about getting into those trees with new snow.  We were not disappointed. We arrived, and after negotiating the very slow ticket line, we got onto the mountain.  Sue cruised down groomers and Steve and I headed into the trees. We dropped into the stuff through the Huckleberry Canyon gates and man was it gooooood. The snow was deep and pretty light. The trees themselves were spaced just right. Dodging limbs with all our might. Poofy pillows, we screamed delight! (breaking into poetic mode it was so good)

It was good.  I mean really good.  We found some awesome powder and some great terrain.  Had to hike a time or two to get out, but it was worth it for sure.  We had worked up a hunger, so we headed into lunch at the 360′ Smokehouse BBQ. We had some great sandwiches and soup there.  Really good stuff and we were re-vitalized so we headed back out.

We skied over the rest of the mountain to check out other runs.  We found a few other powder stashes here and there, but the really good stuff was gone.  We had done it all, so we headed out knowing that we had several more days of the Family ski week ahead of us.

Kirkwood is a great family ski week location.

Here we all are on our first run up.

Wednesday, 23 March, we met up with Clare at Timbercreek Lodge at Kirkwood.  We headed up lift 7 and cut across to get to lift 11 and then on to the backside. The sun was shining and it was warm, so we knew the backside would be sweet – and sweet it was.  They had groomed a few runs, so we did those and a high rate of speed.  Bro and I headed out to Fawn ridge while Sue and Clare stayed on the groomers.  We were hoping to find some secret stashes of powder and we did find a little bit, but not much to speak of.  Those powder hounds at Kirkwood know almost all of our secret stashes (but not all – as you’ll find out later).  About this time were parched, so we soaked up some liquid and some sun at the little grill on the backside.  Man, working hard for sure.

The sun was warm and the company was great.

Hard at work on the backside chairs.

We headed back up and Bro and I cut over to ski down some of our favorite faces under the Hamilton Crag (which is an old knarled tree near the top of a ridge) We like it and we visit it several times a year – so we named it. It’s ours.  It was really good to see that it was almost buried in snow this year. (not like other times that you can see in an earlier post here)  The sun had softened the snow up so nice, that we had to do it again – which we did and loved it all the way down.

We headed into The 7800′ for lunch and had a plate of their super nachos, with a bunch of stuff on them.  They were big enough to satisfy all four of us, so we gobbled them down and headed up and got over to lift 6. We did Zachery and Sentinel a time or two, and the snow surface was great.  Fast and it held an edge so well, you could fly down and really lean into your turns.  Lots of fun!

Last run, Bro and I decided to head out to Palisades Bowl to see if there was any pow left in our secret gullies – Hamilton 1,2 and 3. We traversed across, keeping a good high line and got to Hamilton 2. We dropped in, staying to the shady side of the gully, and the powder was the stuff we dream about. We dropped down to the bottom of the gully and then back up the shady side, almost becoming weightless when we turned at the top to drop down again. It was euphoric, wondruss, beautific, and just damn fun.  We loved it.

Check out them smiling Family ski week faces.

Top of Sugarbowl lift Mt. Lincoln.

We were done, so we met up with the sisters at the Timbercreek lodge area and headed home.  Only one more day of the Family ski week left, and that was going to be at a resort I had not been to for over 27 years.

Sugarbowl Ski Resort
Thursday, 24 Mar, we headed up to Sugarbowl ski resort.  I last skied this resort in 1979 and they have added a new parking lot, lodge and lift since I was last there.  Last time I was there, the only way to access the mountain was via a Gondola from the parking lot, which was always interesting.  They still have this access, but have put in a much easier access point where you can walk to the newer lodge.  So much better.

We started at one side of the bowl and skied up and down every lift to get all the way to the other side of the bowl.  This is a huge, wide open bowl, with some very challenging terrain available in bounds.  It looks great, and after a big dump, would be absolutely incredible to ski – as you could drop in most anywhere. There are also a whole passel of gates to get into back country areas that make this place a virtual paradise of pow IF you could hit it just right. That’s the rub eh? – hitting a great resort at the right time to get the deep untouched pow. We did not have that this day, as the snow had been cut up and the sun had blazed on it for several days since that last snow – but we could sure see the potential at this resort.

Check out the Sugarbowl resort behind him.

Bro about to drop into Nancy’s Couloir.

We had fun, but there were some disappointments at the resort.  The cafe we went into at lunch had the hot food line and bar closed. Huh? What’s with that?  The new lift they put in to access some previous hike-to-only terrain is a fixed cable triple.  Huh? All the rest of the lifts at the resort are Quads, and most of them high speed at that.  Why put in a fixed cable triple when there are so many other great lift options available these days? Don’t get it.

Anyway, we skied from one side of the bowl to the other and then back to the other side.  Somewhere in there, Bro and I decided to try some of the soft stuff off the groomed runs. We dropped into Nancy’s Couloir off the Mt. Disney lift, and then we were slapped with the rude reality that we’re not the studs of yore. The ole thighs felt like dead meat and did not want to handle the soft, chopped, moguled snow. It was a battle all the way down, but we made it.  We realized that it was good we were on our last day of the family ski week, as we probably couldn’t do another day and come back alive. Fricken wimps we is – but we be happy wimps!

We met up with the sisters and ended off for the day and for the week.  We said our goodbyes in the parking lot, as the sisters were headed a different direction to get home then us.  It’s so great having a family ski week to ski together like we used to when we were growing up, but it’s sad when it comes to an end. Had a great time fam – thanks.  We’re going to have to do this again, but not soon, as my legs need a rest.  Love ya!

Here are some more pictures from our Family Ski week for you to enjoy.

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One Response to “Family Ski Week – Days 30-33”

  1. Big Bro says:

    Great post Bro. Loved the poem.

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