Riders on the Storm

Riders on the Storm

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Riders on the Storm

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One of my most favorite things to do during the winter is to ski during a raging snowstorm.  A lot of people shy away from this, but as long as you dress appropriately and invest in a good pair of low light goggle lenses, it is really quite easy and enjoyable.  

  One of the best things about storm skiing is the fact that they are very few people on the mountain.  You also get fresh tracks with free “re-fills” all day long.  When your all bundled up you feel like your in your own little world as you blast past all the trees and visible rocks, constantly getting face shots and choking on the cold smoke.  You get a real sense of adventure and excitement, a nice change from the tranquil bluebird days we get here in sunny California.   

  When you’re out in a storm, it is always best to ski with a partner and stick to treed areas and near rock outcroppings in order to get better depth perception and visibility.  It is also highly recommended to ski with your avalanche gear, your beacon, shovel, probe, etc. 

   Of coarse one of the best places to ski during a storm is off the KT-22 chair lift.  Endless terrain and relatively sheltered with perfectly oriented ridges relative to the wind direction in order for the snow to pile up and not just to blow away.  KT also has just enough trees to help you gain the valuable visibility in near white out conditions.  I have skied KT in 60+ mph winds and 4-5” inch an hour snowfall rates and couldn’t get enough. 

  This POV footage is from an early April storm down at Kirkwood.  We skied until about 2 pm when the wind became really strong and visibility was just too poor to continue.  My last run I was blinded by a snow gust and did an unintended 10 footer to flat and got slightly buried by my own slough…so it was time to call it. 

Kirkwood Storming 4/3/2010 from UnofficialSquaw on Vimeo.

 

 

 

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