Thursday, December 27, 2012

Meet at the Oasis

First snow riding post of the year! Guess its time to change that banner image?  I'm not sure I have any good candidates from last year...I'll have to do some searching.

This was my third day on Cannon but the other two didn't warrant any kind of mention really.  Typical early season stuff.  We finally got our first real significant 'event' for the '12-13 season and I had a pretty interesting time trying to take advantage of it today.  Its now looking like tomorrow will probably be the better day to really get the benefit from the accumulation, seems like this morning was a bit light (and really windy) and now as I write this its dumping more in the inch an hour range.  But I'll be there tomorrow as well so I don't regret making a stab for it.

I brought Gina to work and ended up just missing first chair by about 20-30mins and got the word early that first chair may have been last chair.  Everything was on wind hold except for Eagle Cliff.  SWEEEEEET. Eagle Cliff was better than nothing and they had left lower Gremlin ungroomed with all kinds of irregular whales and berms to mess around on so at the very least the one option we had was interesting.

I lapped that until about 10:45 or so until I started hearing rumors that they were running the Cannonball lift.  Which seemed very odd because at that time they weren't running any other lifts that would access Cannonball.  Apparently there were enough people who made it up while the Peabody was still running and had camped out up there instead of heading back down that they decided to run it even though no one from the base could get there.

A rumor was all I, and a few other hardy souls, needed though.  I only had a bit over a half day before I would need to grab Gina from work so it was either continue to lap Gremlin or start hiking up into a whiteout chasing stories of an upper elevation oasis.  I chose cardio.

I was with a mixed group at the time...Irwin and his wife with a few others I didn't know, some teenagers who tagged along, Joe and maybe 1-2 others.  Pretty early on though the conga line was moving much too slow for me.  Luckily some stopped to rest and regroup at the access road over to middle ravine which allowed me to take the lead.  Normally I wouldn't just ditch everyone but I was on a limited schedule and it was snowing so I dropped everyone real hard. NO FRIENDS.

You still couldn't see Cannonball with the blowing snow, I had to get pretty hilariously close before I knew it was running for sure.  The lifty was PUMPED I had hiked for it.  I guess I was the first one to show up having hiked.  He said there was only a handful of people up there and to hit Skylight first.  I did, and it was good.  As I was finishing my first run the rest of my initial group was just arriving and there were another group or two coming behind them.  I was able to get 2 more runs in before they opened the Peabody back up and the masses arrived.

I took one last run and ducked over to Taft on one of the lower traverses and that was nice in spots but it was just barely worth it.  I bet by tomorrow they might be able to drop the rope on it.  It felt real good to be out really getting after it a bit instead of just lapping groomers.  Hopefully these weather patterns are here to least until April anyway.

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