|Trip Number 6, 2011 Season
March 18 to 21, 2011
Kronenstadt Ski Club
Pasadena, California kronenstadtskiclub.com
The trip photographer,
"Yours in deep powder, Bruce" was totally true this past weekend. Mammoth Mountain sent out a Dump Alert every day we were there and accumulated 5 to 8 feet of soft, light, dry powder snow. Sunday was the best because it snowed all day long, but with no wind, the visibility was excellent (for a blizzard!).
The Friday morning drive was calm and uneventful and we were on the mountain skiing by 10:00 am. The sky was over cast all day with a bright glare on the snow that made it look flat white with no definition of any terrain bumps. It made skiing very tough when you could not see what you were skiing on.
Friday night I joined Maxine, Michael and Harry for the Happy Hour 1/2 price specials at Whiskey Creek. Really good salmon dinner.... This reminds me of a story from my college youth. One year I lived in a brand new dormitory at Cal Poly, SLO, that was made up of ten 3 story buildings and called the Yosemite Dorms. As the first group of students were told we could select the name of our building. It had to be associated with Yosemite National Park. We got a map and found our name. WHISKEY CREEK. The college then decided to name the buildings themselves.
During the afternoon and into Friday night a fire had broken out in the City of Big Pine. Several of our group saw multiple fire engines heading to the town and saw the smoke. Later the Highway Patrol closed 395 for 3 1/2 hours because the fire had burned down to the highway. Approximately 20 houses and mobile homes were destroyed along with several acres of grass lands.
Burnt grassland at Big Pine with new snow on the High Sierras.
Several of the fire destroyed mobile homes at Big Pine.
Saturday morning we awoke to 10" of new snow in the parking lot and more coming down. Took the early shuttle to the Main Lodge and started the search for untracked powder. It was not hard to find. The the middle of Stump alley had been groomed earlier, but now had 8" of new snow. Just to the edge of that it was 16" deep and a little further over it was 24" deep. You had to go straight down Stump to keep from stopping in the deep stuff. What fun! I had to wait about 8 minutes, but was on the first chair up when Facelift Express opened. First tracks down the face, with many more runs to follow. Really fun! Then the visibility dropped and I headed to McCoy's to meet the group for lunch. After lunch the visibility was so bad that most of the lifts closed. But they reopened by 2:00 pm. I headed for Chair 25 and some powder runs in the trees. Made the last run at 4:00 pm. If you take the Green Line from Eagle Lodge and get off at Azimuth Street, you can walk to the condos in about 7 minutes.
That was a very tiring day and so a trip to the jacuzzi was in order. Met a whole group of nice people that were friends from their college days. Hi to the Landcaster sisters Dion and Danae.
Debbie G. did her usual great trip, with a delicious dinner of lasagna, fettuccine alfredo, salad and a huge chocolate cake. We were all stuffed and smiling.
Sunday morning and there was even more snow and the skiing was perfect. Harry led a group with Fran, Michael,
Maxine, Kijae, Julie and Chris. Everyone agreed to go from 6 to 10 and then to 4. And yet with just a small senior (?) moment two regulars ended up at Chair 2. Quickly collected and off we go. Julie decided the visibility was not to her liking and headed in with Chris. I decided with the snow so deep I needed something steeper so I went to Chair 22 & 25. The tree boarding was the best ever. I went to Canyon, but the group ate at Eagle so I missed seeing their smiles from the fun runs they were having.
Because of the thunder storms in Los Angeles and the snow chains needed until Bishop, and the chance of one more ski day we decided to stay the night. Unfortunately the next morning had lots of wind to go with the lots of snow. We decided to leave, but several Kronies skied a part of the day in the wind and bad visibility.
The MINI on Sunday morning after one day.
Michael's SUV after two days of snow.
Debbie's dinner made everyone smile.
Chair 4 in a blizzard on Sunday. Harry, Mike, Maxine, Bruce & Chris.
Kip at Chair 15. Snowed all day, but no wind.
Fran, Julie, Mike, Christel, Maxine, Jean & Harry on the Mammoth Blizzard Shuttle.
Mike digs himself out while Maxine shouts encouraging comments. This was really deep snow.
16" on Friday, 19" on Saturday and 31" on Sunday. And it snowed the rest of the week for a total of 9' to 15'.
After Kip and I left to drive home on Monday, Mike, Harry and Maxine decided to do the "old Kronie thing," took the shuttle up to the mountain and watched the weather from the cafeteria. Around 11:00am they braved the blizzard and wind. Starting on chair 6 they worked their way over to chair 8, where the sun came out and it proved to be a perfect powder day with snow falling through-out.
Early Tuesday morning, Kijae, Mike, Harry and Maxine were in line, waiting for the lifts to open so they could get "first tracks" in the light powder and get the most out of the day since they were leaving by 12:30pm. The wind was blowing and it was freezing on chair 6. They headed over to chairs 8, 15 and 4 and found another world that was fabulous with good snow, no wind and the sun trying to peak out.
At 12:30pm, as they packed up in the locker room, Fran, Jeanie, Christel and Julie were returning from their day on the mountain, while Dan and Stan remained out to ski until 2:00pm.