Trip Number 4,  2011 Season
February 25 to 27, 2011
Kronenstadt Ski Club
Pasadena, California  
You can't have great powder snow days, without some gnarly blizzard days.  As the fourth KSC ski trip drew near, the weather report went from a possible 3" to 7" of snow, to a 100% probability of snow with 2' to 3' expected.  So making sure the chains were packed and easily available we headed of into the maelstorm. For most of the early morning drive the weather was great, with a lovely sunrise over Owens Lake.  We passed two, "put on your snow chains for only $40" signs and drove sans chains to the Highway 203 turn off to Mammoth. By now the snow was several inches deep and time to reinforce the Mini's traction. New chains, on a new car. No glasses to read the fine print of the instructions. But still it only took Kip and I 20 minutes and we were on our way again.
We parked at the condo and took the shuttle bus up to the main lodge. The flags were wiping straight out from their poles and the snow was coming down so hard as to be a white out. Not the kind of day to by a $92 lift ticket, but the mountain was still open.  We took the gondola up to McCoy's to have a warm ride and then ventured out into the storm.  I found that by looking at the trees on the far side of the trail I could see which way was vertical and not fall over from vertigo. About four runs and it was time for a warming lunch.  The Main Lodge charges for a roll if you buy soup, but McCoy's does not?
A couple of runs on Roller Coaster and Kip was done for the day.  By the time I left around 3:30 pm only 5 chairs were still running 4, 8, 11, 17 & 20.  The storm continued into the night.  Dinner at The Stove with Julie, Lynn and Fran was very good, but the walk back to the condo was freezing.  Saturday morning the snow had stopped and the wind was not blowing and there were no clouds?  Not per the forecast.  Fran had signed us up for MVP early up so we were on the 7:05 am shuttle. No one at the Main Lodge seemed to know if it had been canceled due to the storm.  Turned out it was for March 26th.  Chair One opened at 8:20 am to a long line of skiers hoping for a first tracks powder run.  I got mine on the Wall.  This is the kind of snow that boards were made for.  About 11:00 am Fran and I get on the lower gondola to head to lunch, or the top if it opened. It was open and the 6 other people in the gondola convinced Fran that she had to go to the top and ski fresh powder. She did, and is now a believer. Untracked fresh snow is easier to ski on than tracked up snow. Who knew?
About 8 of the group were at McCoy's for lunch and by the time we left the clouds had rolled back in and it was snowing again. That lasted the rest of the day and they closed the top due to a lack of visibility.  Good time to go back to the condo for a rest.  That night Debra our Trip Leader  made another of her terrific dinners - ham, turkey, macaroni & cheese, string bean casserole, broccoli & cole slaw salad and for dessert, Marie Callender pies a la mode!  Thank you Debra.  Everyone was enjoying the evening so much that I could not get them up for a group picture. So I had to do them one by one. Here are they are in alphabetical order.
Art, Bruce, Dave, Debra, Eric, Fran, Joe, Julie, Karen, Kijae, Kimberly, Kip, Luis, Lynn and Mike.  Looks a  little like a high school album.
All our best to Luis for a speedy recovery from a knee injury on Friday. Welcome to Dave & Kimberly, new members from Orange County. Kim teaches 4th grade, friend of Jeans and Dave maintains the IT department of a civil engineering firm.
The My Mammoth iPhone app is pretty amazing. Shows the status of every lift, trail and bus maps, and it will track every lift and trail you ski and tell you how fast you went.  On a previous trip, Luis set the KSC downhill speed record on Scotty's at 70.9 mph.  Glad you did not fall on that run.

On Sunday it was blue sky, no clouds or wind, but it was cold. The water in my flask froze inside my vest pocket. Great day for skiing all over the mountain with a group of 7.  Several people stayed for Monday & Tuesday skiing.  Maybe someone will send photos and a story.  The parking lot at Eagle was snow free by 3:00 am and so off came the chains.  Great three days!

Next week is our midweek outing, so someone send pictures and a story. B
Bruce, Kijae, Julie & Fran, at the Top of 12
Mike's daughter & son in law, Stephanie & Raul
Kip, Raul, Bruce, Fran, Julie, Mike, Joe and Stephanie at the Top of Cloud 9 Express.