Pralongia Ski Area – Day 2

Heading out to the Pralongia Ski area for the day.

The Poo Crew – Bro, Bob, Steve, Jim and Sue.

We skied in the Pralongia Ski area above Corvara today for our second day in Europe.  It was clear and sunny, but again very cold.  The area we skied in was in the sun all day and it brought the “fair weather pilgrims” out in volume.  This lead to several incidents where Steve Kinney and Sue almost got taken out by blazing pilgrims. It would not have been pretty, but we thankfully avoided any disasters.

We had our full Corvara compliment of the Poo crew today.  This crew consists of Steve Hamilton (aka Bro – the happy target of most of my jibs), Bob Spidel,  Steve Kenney, Jim Brunson, Sue Hamilton and your Honorable scribe – Mark Hamilton. Read More…

Corvara Ice Station Zebra

Corvara Ice station zebra was quite an adventure.

Bob and Sue on our first Gondola Ride.

We skied our first day in Europe today and had a great time. We skied around the Sella Ronda, doing the green route, which is the counter-clockwise direction.  You had to stay on piste, as there is not enough snow to go anywhere else. The snow was hard but they’ve made snow regularly, so it was very easy to ski. The views were spectacular, changing as you went over each ridge, but let me tell you, it was eye-freezing cold.  The sun was out most of the time, but the title Corvara Ice Station Zebra very aptly describes the adventure. Everyone was fully fluffied up except Bro Steve,as of course he’s too tough to care.  I assure you though that he participated in the whimpering and whining that went  on in the bottom of some of those ravines. Read More…

Kirkwood Snow Day – Day 11

You need to fluffy up on a Kirkwood snow day.

I was fluffied and Bro wasn’t. So sad!

What a fantastic Kirkwood Snow day yesterday. Had about 10 inches of new on the ground, and additionally it snowed buckets all day long. This is the kind of skiing I love the most.  Fresh snow on each run, with a good base underneath.  What could be better?  It was the best day of skiing Bro and I have had in Tahoe for at least 4 years.  It was sweeeeet!!

We arrived at Timbercreek parking lot at about 9:20am.  It was snowing and blowing, so in typical Kirkwood snow day fashion, they had limited lifts open.  They had 1, 5 and 7 open – which really doesn’t give much access to the mountain.  At the lodge I fluffied up in preparation for the blowing snow, but Steve realized he had left his best face fluffy in the car. All day I had to hear about how it was my fault that the snow was ripping the skin off his face.  He was just jealous because I had a nice skin-protecting fluffy on and he was getting shredded. (the truth is he forgot his fluffy because he had to piss so bad he couldn’t think of anything else – the ole grapefruit into a walnut syndrome strikes again)  I have admit that the wind really was whipping and the snow was biting – so his whining was justified – but a man can only take so much whining before he’s got to say “shut up and suck it up dude!”.  It didn’t help though. Read More…

Kirkwood Family Day – Days 9 and 10

Kirkwood family ski day was a lot of fun.

Charlee between Bro and I on her first lift ride.

Had my Brother-in- law, his wife and their 9 year old granddaughter up over the weekend, so of course we had to take a Kirkwood family day to do a little skiing. These folks live in Fresno, so were not used to the snow – so we got them all geared up and had a great weekend.  Charlee, (the granddaughter) had her first experience in snow in the yard when they arrived Friday.  Saturday we went sledding (even Grandpa Steven and Grandma Hope took a ride on the sleds) and Sunday we went skiing – all firsts for Charlee.

Bro and I headed up to Kirkwood early and took in a few runs on the backside (finally getting there this year) and then met the troops at Timbercreek Lodge at @11:30 am to get Charlee rolling.  Lisa (my wife) had been getting her all grooved in on getting in and out of her skis, and when Bro and I arrived we all went right to the Magic Carpet lift to get up the hill.  Charlee had that perfected in no time and so we all jumped on Lift 9 for her first lift ride to the top of the Bunny hill. Read More…

Kirkwood Backside – Day 8

Kirkwood backside never opened on friday due to the wind.

Sad faced Bro. No backside for us.

We headed up to ski the Kirkwood backside yesterday, but we were bamboozled by the weather.  Well, Kirkwood had a hand in this as well. as on Monday last week we heard from another skier at Kirkwood that they were going to open the backside on Wednesday.  Then on Tuesday, Coop put on his Facebook post that they were going to open on Thursday.  Then Wednesday Coop said on his Facebook post that they were going to open the backside 9am Friday – so Bro and I changed our plans about going up on Thursday and figured we would go on Friday for the opening.  Well, it turns out they opened the backside at noon on Thursday.  Like – what the…??? Then we finally get there on Friday – and the backside was on wind hold and never opened. Read More…

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.

Read More…