Chutes Accident…

Sorry to report that one of our locals was hurt fairly badly in Yellowjacket last week. After a high side fall at the conclusion of a turn to avoid rocks up high in the choke, the female skier found herself in an uncontrolled slide many hundreds of vertical feet at a high rate of speed toward the boulders at the bottom. Luckily, one of her party basically tackled her into a stop before she hit the bouldery and stumpy bottom of the chute. Thankfully, the party did have enough man power to evacuate her without assistance and get her to the hospital. Major leg injuries necessitated surgery with lots of pins, screws and plates installed. The road to recovery will be a long one. However, she is a tough bird and will undoubtedly outperform the doctor’s expectations.

This is a good warning to all. Chute skiing in the spring and early summer is dangerous by its very nature. The snow surface is typically narrow, runnelled, cupped and interrupted by bomb craters.. The surface conditions can turn on a dime from slush to ice quickly with just a few degrees difference. There are new stumps and rocks poking their ugly little heads up everyday, the chute bottoms are filled with boulders, stumps and various avalanche debris. Basically, it is just plain ugly down there. Unlike the normal ski season, where most of the Rose chutes have a nice snowy outrun, the chutes this time of year end in the chaos of stumps, rocks and avy debris that will almost certainly lead to nasty injury or death if you hit them at any speed in an uncontrolled slide.

Still interested? Make sure your mind and edges are sharp and you are skilled in performing a pole arrest in steep terrain. Of course kayaking or swimming Lake Tahoe may offer a better option for even the most skilled diehard skier this time of year as well. Whatever your pleasure, I wish you the best of luck, skill and an attitude of gratitude for whatever adventurous path you choose to take on.

May the odds be forever in your favor…



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Last Run?

Last run…maybe… although they beckon so when the light is magical at sunset and the mountain is all ours, but alas, The Chutes are looking pretty barren lately. This could be it. Had a great run last night at sunset with Peter and Naia. It is most definitely our last run down El Cap as the rock hopping has become too extreme for everyone but a guy like Mark Helleckson who seems to be able to take the crater marked chutes at mock 70 and jump large expanses of rocks and stumps… not me though. Was a beautiful sunset nevertheless and always a worthy adventure! Saddle is still skiable if you need to scratch your “Chutes” itch…


The Chutes Last Hurrah: Sometimes PBR is reason enough!

Each run is “my last”. But each “last run” becomes the second and then, third to last run as a new phone call invite comes in or the memories of a sundown on Slide bother my sleep and make me rethink that “last run” edict. So… these photos are actually second to actual last run with Nate and Sherry. From the walk up to one “hang in there turn” after another we have had a great time on every “last run” this month. We found a PBR on the way up that had been chilling in the snow all winter long… and I’ll tell you what, I am not  particularly keen on Fred Pabst products… but that beer was the best beer I had ever had while watching a glorious sunset at the base of The Chutes. Funny how good a crappy beer can taste once you’ve slid down a narrow, rocky, bomb cratered, debris strewn 45 degree chute on a couple of boards.

However… after walking over a 10′ rock gap on my skis and another 30 footer down below to catch that last ribbon of snow toward the walk out trail, my bases and I are done, unless we get a big dump later in the month. So… El Cap is finished for the year unless you are willing to just connect the stripes. There is but one choice left, Saddle is still skiable, skinny stripe from the top, and I suspect…. I may just have one more “last run” in me before my season is over. Hope you enjoy the pics as much as we enjoyed making them!


June Ski Report for Mt. Rose

June Ski Report: Chutes are still happening. Hit up Yellowjacket for a great time yesterday with Naia and Peter. Many of the Chutes now require a gnarly walk in from the top but YK goes right from the ridgeline thanks to all the blown in snow. Pitted from bombs up top, the skiing was still good but improved immensely the bottom two thirds. Was able to pick our way to the right just shy of the lift with a five minute walk to the car. Not bad for June. With the hot weather though, its going fast so get it while you can! NW also looked like a good intermediate ski as we walked by and Slide still has some runs to offer.

A Call to the Dark Side…

I received a post from Squawlified this morning that accuses me of being Little Miss Sally Sunshine, so in an effort to better balance my image as a man of neutrality, I am dedicating this post to The Dark Side of Rose in the hopes of appeasing his need in my continued tradition of trying to meet the needs of ALL my readers…

His comment: “THIS POST WAS WAY TOO POSITIVE! People want more negativity! If you don’t have anything mean to say, don’t say anything at all.”

To the rest of you I say: “Please don’t kill the messenger on this one… I am merely the conduit through which this negativity flows and there is no particular order.”

Mt. Rose:

…has become way too crowded

…built the Slide Lodge WAAAAAAAAY too small and there is no place to sit on crowded days

…should open the lifts when they are ready… not wait for the clock

…thinks of its most loyal customers as “pass abusers” instead of loyal customers

…should enroll some of its patrollers in hospitality training so that EVERYONE feels welcome as they do by the lift operators

…should require Hunter to wear normal underwear instead of a thong under his holy work pants

..should quit grooming the trail down to Upper Ramsey’s when the run itself is not groomed (read: Japtrap)

…should bring back the Downhill Dummy and Pond Skim, traditions that bring our local skiing community together to enjoy some tomfoolery and explore our creative side


Oh man oh man… sorry Squawlified… I just can’t go on… even I am getting depressed while writing…

The fact is, Rose does a pretty good job in running a ski area that makes most of us pretty damn happy a majority of the time which is why we keep coming back. Although there are differences in the way each of us would run the ski area had we the option, and certainly there is a lot more the area could do in terms of validating and celebrating the local ski community at Rose, compared to every other local ski area, they are stellar at providing an amazing ski experience. Which is why we keep coming back.

Thanks to everyone in every department, from Rosebuds to Maintenance, from parking to patrol in making this mountain one which we all love. Maybe not perfect… but perfectly enjoyable.