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Kirkwood Cold Smoke – Day 7

Happy to finally get to the Kirkwood Cold Smoke.

Bro and I heading up to get the stuff.

Another storm dropped around 12 inches of new snow, so Bro and I had to get up there and cut up some of that Kirkwood Cold Smoke yesterday. Seems like half the known universe took the day off work to do that same thing, as the lift lines were half-way up the mountain before the 9am opening (maybe a slight exaggeration – but not much). Kirkwood only opened lift 7 around 9am, then lift 5 around 9:20 and then lift 6 opened about 9:45.  (we could hear lots of blasting as we waited in line as the ski patrol were doing avalanche control out at Sentinal bowl and off The Wall and cornices there) It took at least an hour before the lift line started to die down on lift 6, so we did lift 5 for a while (only able to make a few runs due to the line there).

I was skiing on my new Dynastar Cham 97 High Mountain skis yesterday.  This was the first time I have put these skis on the mountain, as I wanted to make sure the coverage was good before I used them. Man I am in love.  They are so light and turn so well, in all conditions.  They were SWEEEEEEET!  Maybe if Bro treats me right, I might let him try them out sometime – but maybe I won’t. Depends… Read More…


Kirkwood Powder – Day 6

When Kirkwood gets powder, it's the best around.

Heading up for a day of Kirkwood Powder.

Mother Nature delivered a heavy dose of Kirkwood Powder on Thursday, so we had to go and chop it up on Friday. I have to say it was probably the best skiing I’ve had in the Sierras for at least 2 years – maybe more.  Upwards of 12+ inches of powder on the lower slopes with cool overcast conditions to ski it in.  Wonderful it was.

Buddy Steve, Bro Steve and I arrived and headed up lift 5.  We cruised it a time or two, and then got in line at 11 awaiting its opening.  While in line, we struck up a conversation with two other skiers who had been to a number of places we’ve been to in the US.  We talked for the 20 minutes or so we had to wait and shared experiences and insight.  One of the guys made some very astute comments I thought I would pass on.  He said, while referring to skiing, that “If you lower your expectations, you’ll never have a bad day” and then he hooked this up to women and said “Go ugly early.” (now I have no experience with that, but if you were living in the “pick up” world there would probably be some logic in that) Read More…

Northstar Groomers – Day 5

Had a great day on Northstar Groomers

There we are heading up the mountain.

Headed up to Northstar with buddy Steve and Bro Steve yesterday.  We decided to take in a few Northstar groomers, as we had not been there this season and they had quite a bit of terrain open.

We arrived and were a bit shocked by the number of people that were there.  We had to drive around to find a parking spot – and this was on a Wednesday.  What the heck – doesn’t anybody work anymore? Oh well, we got our stuff and began the long arduous journey through the perfectly pavered Northstar Village . We took a firm hold on our wallets and resisted all urges to dash into any one of the many high-end retail stores that line the way. After several close encounters we made it to the gondola at the far side of the village. Stopping to get our breathe and wipe the sweat from our eyes, we got on the gondola and headed up onto the mountain. (whew!) Read More…

Heavenly California Side Open

Heavenly California side skiing is quite good now.

Steve Kenney and Bro Steve heading up.

The Heavenly California side opened last Friday, but today was the first chance I had to get there.  Headed up there with Bro and a good friend, Steve Kenney, to check out the slopes. Steve Kenney is here to warm up for our upcoming trip to Europe, where we’re going to ski in Austria and Italy from Jan 15 – Jan 30.  Stay tuned here for a blow by blow account of that trip – which is going to be off the hook for sure.

Getting back to today and the Heavenly California side – we headed up Stagecoach and buzzed right down to Olympic.  Did a run or two on that and headed to East Peak.

We did Orion and Big Dipper runs, both hard packed and fast – but a bit roughly groomed. Read More…

Stagecoach at Heavenly – Day 3

Stagecoach at Heavenly is quite a good run.

A picture of Heavenly from an earlier trip.

 

Bro and I had to go up and do Stagecoach at Heavenly – since they just opened Stagecoach yesterday. We felt obligated to do our duty and give all our dedicated fans an up close and personal analysis of the conditions.

We arrived at 9am, and the parking lot was already almost full. Sheesh…what’s with that?  We got a space and fluffied up good (as it was about 18 degrees out) and headed up.  I realized I had forgotten my camera – so I figured I would just have to create the images of the the day with my mind-blowing prose – so here goes.

We got to the top and headed right back down Lower Olympic to get back on the Stagecoach at Heavenly lift. We blazed at face-freezing speeds (I’m not joking here) and got back on the lift.  We had defrosted by the time we got back to the top and headed over to Dipper.

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Kirkwood Skiing Analysis – Day 2

Kirkwood skiing analysis from the expert Hamilton Bros.

Heading up Lift 11 to start our analysis.

Bro and I headed up to do a little Kirkwood skiing analysis yesterday.  Since we were last there, they have opened Chair 11, so we had to check it out and give to the skiing world our expert analysis.

We jumped right on Chair 11 as our first run, and headed down one of the groomed runs.  It was smooth and fast and well covered.  We flew down, breaking the sound barrier at least a time or two and jumped back on the lift.

The next run we went to a non-groomed run – Conestoga – and it was “obstacle rich” and treacherous to say the least. We found this to be the theme of the day at Kirkwood.  If the run was groomed – it was well covered and fast and smooth.  If it was not groomed it was a “take your life in your hands” sort of experience that you were happy to get through and still have all your body parts intact. This was true on Lift 5 – where all 4 runs there were groomed and well covered and smooth.  It was true on Lift 6, where no runs were groomed, and all had many obvious obstacles and were nerve-wracking to ski.

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Opening Day Ski Season 2015

Smiling Bro on opening day at Kirkwood.

Happy Bro heading up for the first run

Yesterday marked the opening day for the ski season 2015.  We had 3 resorts open yesterday – Kirkwood, Heavenly and Northstar – which added to the already open Mammoth Mountain, Alpine Meadows, Mt. Rose, Boreal, and maybe others around here that I forgot about. This is the earliest that these resorts have opened for several years – so we know this is the start of a great season.

Anyway, we headed up to Kirkwood at 8:30. (despite Bro saying it was 8:45 and that I was late.  No – he arrived early – but I sure heard about how I was late for the rest of the day.  What am I going to do with this guy?)  We went to Kirkwood because they were opening lifts 1,5, and 6 and we wanted to get onto those black diamond runs off of 6. Read More…

Snowing in the Sierras

It’s snowing in the Sierras right now.  Starting to lay it down for sure – and more is on the way.

Here is a picture from Kirkwood’s Facebook page as of around noon today.

Snowing in the Sierras now.

Over 11 inches of snow as of noon. Nice!!

Here is a picture from the Heavenly website.  They have gotten about 7 inches so far, per their “snow stake” camera.

Snow in the Sierras at Heavenly too.

Heavenly East Peak view as of around 2pm today.

 

It is happening folks. Winter is upon us – bring it on Mother Nature.  We are ready to go skiing!!!

First Snow 2015-2016 Season

Hello sports fans.  The winter season is upon us – and we’ve had the first snow “visible from the valley” in the mountains here.

First Snow in the Sierras as seen from the valley floor.

Winter is coming!! Snow on the hills.

With that first snow we get the much anticipated return of the Hamilton Ski Line witty commentary series – and I am sure that has you all cheering.

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Ski Season 2015 Is Over

Ski Season 2015 is over for sure.

Going up Lift 6. Pretty slim snow coverage.

Went to Kirkwood last week and Heavenly this week – and with that the ski season 2105 is over for Bro and I. Pretty sad state of affairs really, but the lack of snow all year and the recent high temps have brought the ski season to an early end. In some ways I am really going to miss skiing, but this season was so bad – I am almost glad to see it go.  I mean when you never got off-piste all year and there is nothing but packed runs every time you go to your local resorts – it is hard to stay enthused.  With the season over you can at least hope for a better season next year.  You can dream of a great season with deep powder and many long beautiful runs.  That can keep you going through the hot summer.  Aren’t dreams and hope grand?

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