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Sunny Kirkwood – Days 25 and 26

Sking sunny Kirkwood is always fun.

Bro Steve, Sis Clare and me heading up.

Skied sunny Kirkwood two times over the last few days. It was sunny and warm and very spring-like in terms of snow conditions – hard in the morning but softening up by the afternoon.  Lots of fun to ski once the snow softens up, as it holds an edge and you can just cook right through it.

Friday 12 Feb, Bro and I headed up to sunny Kirkwood, and we met our sister Clare there in the Timbercreek lodge parking lot.  We finagled things a bit to get her the last parking space, maybe accidentally-like moving a couple of parking cones to get her in.  (No one saw us do it – so I’m not sure it really happened)

We traversed across the hill from lift 7 and went straight to the backside – where the sun was shining bright. We cooked down the groomers there for quite some time, and then took a much needed refreshment break – soaking in the sunshine.

Soft snow at sunny Kirkwood in the bowls.

Bro and I at the top of Palisades bowl.

After our break Bro and I tried a few runs off the main drag, but it was still pretty hard and bumpy going – so we called that off and went to our favorite lunch stop – The 7800′.  We talked to Arfell for a bit, but she was all tied up in some deep paper work – such is the life of a business owner. We drank some great Nut Brown Ale and we all ate on the monster stack of nachos that they serve up there. Nice!  Once we were fully fortified, we headed up lift 6 to take on Zachery and Sentinel.  We cruised those, and then Clare was done and she headed out for home (she had a 3 hour drive, so we certainly understood her taking off)

Bro and I headed back up and ended up out in Palisades bowl, where the sun had softened up the snow nicely. It was quite sweet cooking down the ridge line there and on in to the Timbercreek area at the bottom. We’d had our fill, so called it quits as well and headed home.

Charlee is learning to ski very fast.

Charlee and I on our way up the hill.

On Feb 14, I headed back up to sunny Kirkwood with family to ski with Charlee Stoll, my buddy who Bro and I started to teach to ski about 1 month ago. (check that trip out here)  She was up for her second time skiing and I was set to show her more of the tricks of the trade.

We skied Lift 9 for some time, going down each of the runs, and she was getting more and more confident with each run.  We found a fun little gully to go shooting down, but it was  hard to get into and Charlee crashed a time or two before we found the best way to access it.  We skied this several times, with Cahrlle getting better and better, and then she was ready take on the next bigger hill.

We had a lot of fun skiing this run.

Charlee’s favorite run so far on lift 7.

We headed up lift 7 and cruised down, finding another great gully to ski.  This gully is call the “Ditch of Doom” and we skied it a number of times.  It is curvy and bumpy – and just a lot of fun to ski. You can go fast and it tosses you around, but if you are “on it”, you get through just fine – which Charlee did every time – not falling even once. Sweet!

We had a great day skiing sunny Kirkwood but were ready to head out at the end of the day, having worn our behinds out – but we had smiles on our faces for sure.

Here are a few more pictures of our adventures over the last two ski trips.

 

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Skiing Mt Rose – Day 24

Great views from up on top while skiing Mt Rose.

You can see Lake Tahoe in the distance.

Skiing Mt Rose is always a good distraction from the usual slopes that we ski around here.  Bro had 2 free tickets – so of course we had to go.  In the infamous words of good buddy Steve Kenney, “If it’s free – it’s for me!” – so we absolutely had to take advantage of this – and besides, Mt Rose has some interesting terrain and is fun to ski.  The mountain soars above the city of Reno, and you can see Lake Tahoe in the distance from either side of the mountain once you are on top. Pretty cool views.

We got there and accessed the mountain from the Winter Creek lodge, taking the Blazing Zephyr 6 pack lift to the top. This lift accesses a wide bowl called Slide bowl.  The snow was old, but soft and easy to ski for the most part. We skied from one side of this bowl to the other, getting a little chopped up powder in the trees, but mostly skiing on loosely packed, well groomed snow. Once we had done Slide bowl we headed over to the Main Lodge area lifts. We cooked down almost all the runs there, keeping the speed just below snow melt, and having worked up an appetite, we decided it was time for lunch.

Skiing Mt Rose has some great views.

Looking down into the valley from on top.

We headed back to the Winter Creek lodge, as they have the best food and beer in that lodge.  While I was chewing down my usual hot dog covered with onions and jalapenos, I was looking around the room.  I noticed a large number of older folks sitting and walking around the lodge. I thought this was interesting and I commented on this to Bro (kinda-maybe-sorta giving him the eye when I said it).  He sorta snapped “What are you saying?” as if I was talking about him. Now you know me – I just wouldn’t do that – right? Come on – I always treat him with the greatest of respect and almost never disparage him (I am his brother though, so I am required to give him a jab or two when I talk about him – right?.  I have to keep the faith here) He huffed and puffed and I had to skillfully smooth his feathers a bit, and then we headed back out for more skiing.

Steep and challenging skiing Mt Rose.

Bro heading into one of the Chutes.

One of the things you have to do when you’re skiing Mt Rose is you have to ski “The Chutes.”  These are black diamond and double black diamond runs that are accessed via gates, and they are not always open. They were open the day we were there, so we had to do them, even though there has not been any recent snow. The first chute we went down had some chopped up powder and it took some quick wits not to eat it for an after lunch snack.  It tossed you around and kept you off balance, but was quite fun to ski.  Later we did another chute that had man-eating sized moguls, when  combined with the steep terrain made for an interesting run.

After a few more runs, going back and forth over the mountain, we decided we’d had enough of skiing Mt Rose for the day and we called it quits. Below you will find a few more pictures of our day.

 

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Saalbach Ski Resort – Days 11 and 12

The Saalbach ski resort is now a very large resort.

Sue on the hill in Saalbach.

Today we skied the Saalbach Ski Resort for our final day of skiing in Europe.  This last year they put in new lifts that connect 3 resorts into one – and it is now very large, with tons of terrain. The 3 resorts it combined were Hinterglemm, Leogang and Fieberbraun.

The resort looks great, but the snow was lacking.   There was only on piste skiing and the snow was very loose and spring-like. Fun to ski – but we sort of ached for some of that great terrain with some deep poo on it.  Alas, it was not to be had on this trip. Too bad, so sad.

We went to Bro and Bob’s favorite hutte in all of the Alps Read More…

Skiing Kitzbuhel – Days 8,9,10

Skiing Kitzbuhel above a beautiful village.

Looking down on Kitzbuhel from the gondola.

Spent the last 3 days skiing Kitzbuhel and having a really good time.  I’ve fallen behind on doing my blog posts, and I don’t really have a good reason for that, but I’m sure it’s my brothers fault. I mean, I know it’s not my fault – so it must be his fault – right?  Only stands to reason as far as I can see.

All three days have been very warm and we even got rained on the first day we skied here. The snow has been good after it softens up mid-morning – fast and easy to carve on.  The second day we were out, they had groomed the runs while the snow was soft and then it froze solid.  It Read More…

St Johann Ski Resort – Day 7

St Johann ski resort has great views all around it.

That’s the Wilder Kaiser in the background.

Today we skied at a small resort that is real close to our hotel.  The resort is called St Johann ski resort and we grabbed our skis and walked across the parking let and jumped on the gondola.  Sweet, let me tell you.

We headed to the top and took in some outstanding views of the Wilder Kaiser, which is a great rock that dominates the landscape.  We soaked it in and then cruised off to one side of the resort, hoping to find some un-cut poo.  We found some stuff that looked pretty good, but it was chopped up crud that was less than good.  We dreamed we were cutting up the deep and wonderful, but the jarring and deep ditches we had to avoid slapped us back to reality – this was not the poo we were looking for. Read More…

Kitzbuhler Alpen Arrival

Heading toward the Kitzbuhler Alpen was very scenic.

Some of the mountain scenery we saw today.

Today we left Corvara and drove to the Kitzbuhler Alpen, which is our hotel in Oberndorf Austria.  This will be our take off point for the resorts that we are going to be skiing in Austria.  I will be reporting on our trips that we take in this area over the next 6 days – so stay tuned for all the adventures.

Not much to report on today.  Drove over 4 hours to get here from Corvara and saw some great scenery. It was interesting as at the start of our trip we drove through several villages that we had skied to doing the routes around the Sella Ronda and on our James Bond ski run day.  It actually took us longer to get to these villages in the car then it took us to get there when we were skiing. The road curves all over the place, but the lifts take you in a far more direct route over the mountain and then you ski right down. Skiing is the way to get around in these mountains in the winter for sure. Read More…

Colfosco Ski Resort – Day 6

More unique views at the Colfosco ski resort.

Colfosco was a great place to ski.

Today was our last day skiing Italy, so we took an easy day and skied the Colfosco Ski Resort. It is a small resort whose runs were all in the sunshine – so we cruised the slopes and enjoyed the sun.  We stopped at a hutte at the top of one of the runs, had lunch, enjoyed the sunshine and the magnificent views of the surrounding rocks that towered above us. Really great to say the least.

Once done with lunch, we headed back over to Corvara, and half of the Poo crew quit, but Sue, Jim and I forged on. We headed over to a place called Pralongia, which was accessed by a gondola or two and a few lifts.  We had not skied this region of the larger area here, so we had to get it in.  We certainly have not skied all that is Read More…

James Bond Ski Run – Day 5

We found this on our way to the James Bond ski run.

Jimmy’s Hutte on our way to Ortisi.

Today we headed over to do a run known as the James Bond ski run.  Bond skied it in the movie “Live and Let Die” and it was filmed above the town of Ortisi.  The run, named Secada, is off the backside and it is over 7 miles long from top to bottom.  We left Corvara and headed over several ridges, taking gondolas and lifts out of the valleys we had to ski into.  One of the ridges we went over had a Hutte on top named Jimmy’s Hutte.  We didn’t stop there, but we had to take a picture – as Jimmy is one of the Poo crew.

We kept cruising and once we were in the Ortisi valley, we took a train that went underground for quite a ways before letting us out near the lifts.  We headed to the Read More…

Marmolada Adventure- Day 4

A little side trip on our route to the Marmolada.

The rocks go all around you here at the Boe’.

Today we did a trip to the Marmolada, which is the highest peak in the Dolomites. On our way there we took a side trip to go to a place known as the Boe’. Once up there, you are really surrounded by rocks at the top and it’s really cool. We had to see it, and once we did, we continued on our trip to the Marmolada.

To get there, you have to ski over several ridges and then down into a deep valley to catch the trams that take you to the top.  It’s almost 6000 feet from the bottom of the valley to the top, and it takes 3 different trams to get you there. This adventure reminded me of a poem I wrote one time, after listening to my Bro Steve tell me about his adventures while skiing here in Europe.  One of the lines of the poem is something like “you have to take a tram, chair and Poma to get to the top of that momma.”  You can read the poem from an earlier post by going here. Read More…

Sella Ronda Orange Route – Day 3

Sella Ronda Orange route had unique views.

Jim on top, taking in the views

We did the Sella Ronda Orange route today, which is going around the Sella massif in the clockwise direction. This direction is longer and more challenging then the Green route. The views are different as well, and there are some spectacular ones for sure.

We took it easy and enjoyed the views and the runs, which were all hard packed with some patches of ice randomly mixed in. (one of my least favorite conditions to ski)  The coverage on these runs is really quite good with what little natural snow that has fallen. It was sunny and still cold but the bright sun brought the pilgrims out in droves!! It was really crowded in a number of areas, and we were playing dodge the pilgrim throughout the day. We are getting very adept at this, as  it has been Read More…