In case anyone is wondering what I’ve been up to on my way to the Gathering and why I will not be skiing Big Sky until Wednesday, see below. It’s easy to see I could have stayed in CA and had some excellent powder skiing and also shoveled some of the snowload off the roof of my family’s South Lake Tahoe cabin (and driveway - ugh), but the last place I’m going needs to be reserved a year in advance or you may lose your spot so I'm trying to do it all again. My son is also starting a road trip to CO via Las Vegas this AM.
A Mt Ashland, OR Sunday February 17, 2019 with Sequoia the snowboarder from Talent and 7” new.
Had 11 lift-ride/10.5K vertical half-day in middle of 12+ hour drive. More details and pictures
C Crystal Mtn, WA Monday 2/18 with Tony Crocker and Larry Schick
Highlights included Employee Housing, Bear Pit and a long traverse to a little untracked from our ride on chair 6 and one lap to Northway. 13 lifts (probably under counted due to consecutive lifts)/22.4K
C Crystal Mtn, WA Tuesday 2/19 with Tony Crocker and Larry Schick
We stayed on mountain which was busier and more expensive than usual due to Seattle school vacation week. Highlights were Powder Bowl from chair 6 in marginal visibility and Brand X which is W end of Northway. Quit early to drive to Monroe to save ourselves for predicted 8-15” new. 16K
S Stevens Pass, WA Wednesday 2/20 with Tony Crocker and David Chaus - 5” new
Storm under-delivered and new snow not deep enough to cover firm layer on very busy mountain. Highlight/lowlight was getting run into by snowboarder in very uncrowded Big Chief Bowl. After some discussion on hill he waited at bottom and wanted to take it into the parking lot which I told him was as illegal as him running into me. Ended day with some good powder below 7th Heaven. 20K
A Apex, BC Thursday 2/21 with Tony Crocker
They had 6” new previous day and we found a lot of it was very lightly skied. 11 lifts/20.7K
R Revelstoke, BC Friday 2/22
Will be a short day as Mustang pickup is 30 miles W at 3:15 PM.
MMM Mustang Powder Cats Saturday 2/23-25
Pacific NW/AK/BC ACCSAR MMM on the way to Big Sky Gathering
A few picture from Mustang Powder Cats. Sunny powder in their Alpine terrain is spectacular. All of the lucky 13 customers in our cat renewed.
We got lucky on the weather/snow. After skiing with yellow lens goggles all six days on my way to Mustang, I used a darker lens all three days there.
Interior BC N of Trans-Canadian highway has been in a bit of snow drought. We had 8" the night we arrived and skied it all three days. Last picture is me.
I should give some photo credit to the above. The group photo was taken by Heidi, who is often a tail guide, but was injured during a toboggan rescue earlier this season, and is now limited to driving the cat. She was using Stu's camera and could have zoomed in to catch the group better, but picture shows how immense is one area of Mustang. The scenics were taken by Stu, who is a Dr. in the Toronto area. The closeup of me was taken by Mike, another Canadian Dr. using Stu's camera.
The next two photos of me where taken by Tony Crocker on a run called Christians and Lions that is in a large amphitheater where all run names have a Roman theme. Sometimes it's better not to be first one after the guide as once main area for our group was mostly tracked, I was able to find some steep and deeper untracked by going around tree at the entrance. Not sure if the person above me in the first picture (I'm at lower right) where we entered from trees above me and slightly to the left (even with bottom big rock) is another guest or the tail guide (or I could be seeing things).
The rest of the pictures were taken by me. The first is our group with Tony Crocker at left and Cloud 9, Mustang's highest peak in background. We traversed to under the vertical rockline, just to the left of the peak, on our first run in this area. Even though it is S-facing, snow skied great up high a day and a half after it fell.
Dinner menu from the last night. The optional wine pairing was $25 Canadian for four 4 ounce glasses and the port was additional.
The next two pictures are tracks our group made in the W-facing Alpine on our last day in an area called Forgotten Claim
Even though we had all already renewed for the following year the guides made our final run Mustang's longest, 5th Dimension which can be over 5K vertical and requires a backup cat to do the pickup as it would take cat that drops you off over an hour and a half to get to the pickup. We did not ski the very top due to avalanche concerns or to the lowest pickup due to questionable snow quality. The runs still was about 4500' vertical and our day was over 19K which is high for snowcat skiing.
I thought the ski area boundary sign may be a joke as the nearest ski area is Revelstoke about 30 miles East. But it could be there to tell guides and customers that run is over and it is time to traverse to the cat pickup.socalgal likes this.