Sparkling Conditions Skiing The Reindeer Lodge

Sure the mountain was great today with blue skies, light winds. good groomers and excellent off-piste in The Chutes and elsewhere, but why ski Rose when you can hit up one of the most venerable and unusual institutions in the Mt. Rose area. Yes. In this year of great snowfall it was time to finally conquer The Reindeer Lodge. Sign needed a little paint, but hey, what do you want for roof top skiing? Avalanche conditions looked pretty stable but I turned on my beacon for good measure. Zipping up my coat and lowering my goggles with a steely eye I was ready to take on The Reindeer. Cold smoke met my skis as I sampled the Green West Side Roof runs finally gathering my courage to challenge the intermediate Blue Square East Side Roof.

Finally it was time. My destiny awaited. I looked over the North Gables Run to the bottom and chills ran down my back, could I do it? The cars driving by honked encouragement. So, with some last minute support from my dogs, I shook off my fear and told myself I was ready to shoot the gut and try some turns up North. But was I really man enough to conquer the backside? Working up the courage to ski the Double Black Diamond North Gables where the wild powder lies I looked down into what looked like eternity and launched off the roof peak.  Time seemed to stand still as I dropped and dropped turn after turn after turn.. the 12 seconds seemed almost endless, a ski highlight in my life and then, I was down. All ended well with three wild turns with some equally wild pups after me. What a challenge. What a day!

For a unique front country ski experience where the ghosts of music legends wonder around the building and you can almost feel the nostalgia of the World’s Largest Typewriter Collection and decades old frozen buffalo burgers greased up underneath you…  where you can almost smell all the old beer spilled on the floor in days past where night crawlers are currently the only residents, I highly suggest it. One thing will be sure… crowds will be light with absolutely no lift lines! Ski the Reindeer I say! (before it collapses into the ages)


3 to 5

So I am talking to a buddy of mine back East last week and I say, “Yeah, we are stoked out here, getting another 3 to 5 out here tonight and tomorrow” and he retorts, “Thats all, wow, we are slated for 10 inches this weekend.” And then I simply say, “no man, 3 to 5 feet.” There is silence on the other end as it sinks in. He doesn’t live in the West any more. “Shit” is all he manages to say.

Well, we do have a break for awhile from the almost endless stormy pattern and maybe, just maybe, we can finally dig out and get some light back in our windows. When you get 50+ feet of snow in a winter, yeah, the view ain’t so hot out your windows! Sun, blue skies and cold temps will make for some fantastic skiing this week. Who knows, maybe The Chutes will be open for seven days straight. With Cali Ski Week over and done with, the slopes should be a little bit more open now and you can once again ride Good Vibe Mountain with folks you know… and where everybody knows your name.


Sunny Pow

Looks like we got a free refill last night, not deep, but something that could be fun! Rose website is reporting Zephyr will open at 9 instead of 8:30. But that could be a typo. Roulette anyone?


Amazing Grace…

Rose has been decent although the pea soup fog has been a little bothersome. If you can find some freshies out there they are incredible as the snow is Utah Quality right now with temps in the single digits. The Chutes opened today for some joyful smiles. I have been out in the BC playing in the pow. Below is a representative pic of why I haven’t posted much. The “Big Storm” forecast for tomorrow wound up coming inland and not picking up much moisture, so its starved unlike most of the storms that have pummeled us this winter. We might get up to 6″ out of tomorrow night, we’ll see. Winds will pick up unfortunately with this system. If you are going to ski tomorrow, earlier would be better than later. BTW, the Double Down Park is up and running, and you will definitely be Doubling Down if you take those jumps, Rose made up big time for their disappearance. The are AWESOME. Consider life insurance.

There is a little problem I need to address… Patrol has worked diligently putting up boo and ropes where traditionally there have not been problems because of natural terrain features which keep people inbounds. Unfortunately, even with the new rope lines up, folks have been following tracks outside the rope line thinking its OK, the tracks must return to the lift. In fact, NO, many of those tracks go all the way down to Washoe Valley or Ophir Creek. You simply CAN’T get back post holing up in waist deep pow on a steep slope. Picked another wonderer up today in Washoe Valley in neon ski cloths who was lost and skied down Winter’s Creek through a LOT of White Alder and Manzanita and had a four hour epic piss-poor time of it. Another guy who “thought he was gunna die”. (OK, so only dumbasses need to continue reading the rest of this paragraph) Look, let me be perfectly clear. If you don’t know where you are going, stay the f&%k within the rope boundaries. Thats why they are there. To protect YOU! We are tired of pulling your sorry asses out.

On a more positive note: Have fun and get out there (but know WHERE you are and where you are going!)


Photo: Nate Corona   Skier: Mike Selby

Zephyr Bad/Powder Good

Mongo Like Powder. Anyway, there was disappointment today in the lift line when riders found out that  Zephyr is down for the rest of the day and maybe tomorrow as well. There is reportedly a broken com line that is fiber-optic in nature which needs AT&T attention to repair. Might be done sooner than later, but I would bet on later. Before you bitch uncontrollably keep in mind that all this snow has led to attrition both in staff and equipment. We are going down in the history books this season folks… they are doing their best up there to get fixed. A simple “thank you” just might go a long way.

In any event, the skiing was fantastic on the Rose side with cold smoky pow on the slopes. Even the cut up stuff was fun! The only thing that wasn’t fun were the crowds which you can imagine were pretty big given the recent snow with only the front side of the mountain open. The Stokemeter was high as more snow crystals hung in the 15 degree air and it felt like the middle of winter on a really good year. Its just hard to complain when its so damn nice to be out (but some will find a way). Hope your day was as good as mine. I took my time on the way down and took some pics… check out this Sentinel Tree in the morning sun. Beautiful!


10:48 First Chair Lakeview. Right Time. Right Place.

Hwy closed. Still shoveling. Chainsawing… trying to get road open. Suddenly Rose opens. Rushing up I get there as the first 10 folks (and there are only 10) load the chair. Near the top I hear the yelps of joy from the ultimate First Chair and since my destiny is a PURE run, cut a traverse to NW from the top of Lakeview for one of my best in-bounds runs of the season. As there was no one behind me, I had a chance to stop and take a Tracks pic (below). Yeah, you can tell. It was bluebird goodness without the bluebird crowds. Despite the great snow this season there have been damn few days where there wasn’t a cluster in your vicinity or behind you when enjoying the pow. Thats why this day was so perfect.

Riding Lakeview with a few dozen people brought me back to the “good ole days” when the pow lasted until noon and you knew a lot of the folks riding with you. It was like that today early on… perfect.

Also met a wonderful woman named Tammy Melrose who guided me to the good stuff. You can see this powder girl below in the pictorial. As you can see, she is a winner!

For those of you wondering just how much snow there is… well, we are buried up here… just look at the mountain.

Finally, if you are wondering why Slide isn’t open wonder no more. Here is the Slide Lot Loader parked at the bottom of the Slide Access Road which is clogged with snow.

Well, its late afternoon and its snowing again… I am still going with the Doug Coombs quote: “There is no such thing as too much snow.” Although I am beginning to feel revulsion for this quote from some around me. If you are feeling terrible about all the snow you have to shovel. Just go skiing and it will become quite clear why the quote still rings true. And always will.