Sunday, March 6, 2011

Skiing Vacation Continued

A debris trail of poles and skis leading to me in a tree
Richard getting up close and personal with a tree well
Not sure how John ended up like this, but it looks like his ski is trying to climb the tree without him
John and Richard had a little miscommunication about who was going to ski that untouched powder first

Last weekend I skied at Whitefish Mountain Resort with my friends John and Richard. Despite the relatively cold temperatures we had a great time. The ski area is so big that even after two full days there were areas of the mountain I hadn't even seen. We were happy to find powder in an area that had no lift access during the week. New snow Saturday night and Sunday kept the conditions prime. I think we are all equally matched at skiing and were basically willing to ski anything that didn't involve cliffs. That said, we all had our fair share of crashes both with each other and with trees.

We keept an eye on each other to ensure that no one fell into a tree well. If you are not familiar with tree wells, they are the voids that form at the base of a tree when it snows. In the northwest tree wells can be particularly dangerous. Deep snow and big tree branches combine to form potential traps. In Alaska were I grew up, the tree wells at not so dangerous

Now for all the concerned readers, don't worry. Tree well incidense are rare.

Sunday night John and I left Montana and headed back to Seattle with a stopover in Sandpoint, ID for a second attempt to ski at Schweitzer, but we lost to mother nature again as high winds keep most of the mountain closed. The same weather system has dumped over two feet new snow on Stevens Pass. The road through Snoqualmie Pass was closed completely. We finished the road trip with some ridiculously deep skiing at Stevens Pass. It was some of best conditions I have ever skied in at Stevens Pass. The La Nina snow has finally come through and there are still many good days of spring skiing to come.

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