I met up with Ralph, Chris and Bob at the Soldier Mountain ski area on a gorgeous, sunny morning. A little after 9:00 we were heading for the ski lift. Taking the lift is a real time saver, eliminating 1500 feet of climbing. Can't beat that!
|View of 2nd Peak (center) from the ski patrol hut|
|Chris charging up the hill|
It was a great morning. When I rolled through Fairfield earlier the temperature was 6 degrees. It was just as cold during the climb, but with the sun shining and little wind I was in my base layer in no timem sweating profusely. Chris found a zone and was charging up the mountain leaving the three of us lagging back. After an hour of us chasing Chris, he finally stopped so we could take a break and admire the views. After Chris's run, it was Bob's turn to lead the charge up the hill with his splitboard.
|Somehow I got in front of Bob and Ralph to take this photo|
|Almost to the ridge|
|Looking back down|
|The summit is in view|
|Ralph showing great form|
|1st Peak and Big Bowl - wind scoured|
Ralph's plan was to ski one of the step chutes in Big Bowl, but the snow looked a little dicey to me. After hearing Chris tell Bob that the snow was crusty and that Ralph had made it down without a problem by doing jump turns, I knew it was way too much for me. I headed to skiers left and found some decent powder by the edge of the trees and headed down to meet the other three in Big Bowl.
As we skied out I couldn't believe how many bonus powder shots we were getting. Unlike most exits, where you're fighting crust and ice on the edge of a gully, this exit consisted of short runs in the shade that offered excellent skiing.
|Looking back at our turns (first run in purple and laps in red)|
Thanks Ralph, Chris and Bob!
House to house - 12 hours
Car to car - 7 hours
Over 3000 feet climbed, 3 laps
Unlimited amount of smiles
A sore neck and shoulder