Tuesday, March 9, 2010
KIRKWOOD IS THE MOST EPIC PLACE EVER!
Kirkwood resort is a hidden gem amongst the vast Sierra Nevada's. My boyfriend and I had the pleasure of going there while we were in Tahoe this past weekend. It dumped snow all Wednesday, and into the night. We rested and got up at 6:30am to make the drive from North Shore to Kirkwood, and it far exceeded expectations. As we winded our way up and down mountain passes, away from the lake, the landscape opened up finally, and revealed our playground for the day. It was the most beautiful sunny morning, the snow was glistening, calling to us to come.
We wasted no time parking and making our way up to the lifts. We were met by photographer extraordinaire Josh Otto. Josh was kind enough to stray away from working at the Freeskiing Championships that were taking place to come give us some tickets. We said hello, then he set us on our way! Garrett and I were literally shaking with excitement as we walked to chair 6 to begin our excursion.
Chair 6 took us straight to the top of the mountain, and there were more amazing tree and cliff lines to choose from than we could handle! After a couple of laps to the right side, we decided to go left off the chair and traverse over to a cornice, followed by cliff, after cliff, after cliff. With huge grins on our faces we made it over to chair 10. This is where the action was, we dropped into wagon wheel bowl, after crossing by some "experts only" signs. They mean experts only too, with lava rock surrounding you everywhere on the mountain, there is no gray area as to where beginners should, and shouldn't go. My heart was racing all day as I slid past narrow chutes of lava rock, and jumped off cliffs. I was amazed that this great of terrain could be offered at a resort!
On looker's left of chair 10 you can see THE CIRQUE which is a part of Kirkwood that is permanently closed to the general public. By one look at it, you can obviously see why. We dropped over the backside of the mountain to get a better look at the full terrain, and get a glimpse of the sheer rock face of The Cirque as we rode by. If we thought there was nobody on the frontside of the mountain, then there was absolutely nobody on the backside. I was told by one of the locals that Thursday was the best day of the season, and that there were a lot of people there that day. In comparison to where I usually ride, I was ecstatic to see that their view of "crowded" meant standing behind 3 people in line on the best powder day of the year.
We charged hard all day long and by 2:30 our legs could no longer even hold us up! It took us much longer than it should have to get from the backside to the frontside due to fatigue, but we still couldn't stop smiling. We were shown to our very gracious accommodations that were provided by Josh and his girlfriend Molly. We walked into an enormous 2 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo, with a balcony, right on the slopes. BEST DAY EVER!!!!!
But it wasn't over yet! I rested for an hour or two before meeting up with Josh and his friend Nate to take some pictures hitting a handrail. Conveniently, the handrail was just right down the street, and had a perfect in-run, and take off. We shoveled some snow over the sidewalk to make a jump to the rail, and we began. I have to admit I was slightly nervous, I have never actually hit a street handrail before! But everyone was there to help and I quickly worked out the nerves.
I love working with professionals, we were in and out of there in about an hour and a half, and we came out with a great shot, considering how tired I was. Thanks Josh and Nate!
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