Growing up, January equaled cold. The icy December groomers turned to even icier January groomers. But that weather pattern is a world away back in frigid New England. Here in Tahoe we are treated to some of the very best weather in our lovely solar system. So what we haven’t had a solid dump since 2012. That has not stopped the adventurous ski community of Tahoe from enjoy what has been an amazing month of January. The month started with cold smoke and ended in one of the better corn cycles I have ever skied.
This adventure started as most do. Sitting around a table and talking about all the rad shit you want to do and seeing who takes the bait. In this case I was the idiot talking about going into Desolation and wandering around on my skis for as long as the sun would allow. Lucky for me, Alec Sandburg and Greg Burnett took the bait. As we hopped in the car the next day, we soon realized my bonehead plan would be muscled out of the way by a much more thought out plan by that of Sandburg. We would be heading south to tackle Mt. Ralston just off Highway 50 in South Lake.
Beautiful north face of Mt. Ralston
About 45 minutes into the ascent, we get a gut feeling that today is going to yield some fantastic corn skiing. Now all we gotta do is harvest it. But by the time we summit, we cannot take our eyes of the beautiful north face. As we make our way down the ridge I decide that there is no better time to do a spread eagle and promptly take the first fall of the day and loose a ski. Fear not though, as I am a tough man. I get up, stare down the rather frightening line, take a couple jump turns and then hit a windlip and fall again. 0-2. It’s okay.
After some lunch and a skin back to the summit, I am ready to tackle the less intimidating smooth corn on the south face. I point my skis downward and take off. Smooth, soft, fast enough and all around glorious. Beautifully spaced trees that seem too good to be true seem to be holding some of the better corn I have skied. After a quick changeover I find myself headed back uphill for more. I need more! Another 2,000 feet of wonderfully smooth snow and I am back at the car sitting in Burnett’s fold out love seat drinking beer and talking about tomorrow.
Alarm goes off. All I want to do is stay in bed after a great day the day before. But then it dawns on me. If yesterday was fantastic, why not today? So I drag my small, lazy ass out of bed and head to Castle Peak with Eric Stonehill. A quick skin in and up Andesite Ridge brings us to Castle proper.
Eric getting the goods on Castle
Just as expected it is fantastic! A great way to end a wonderful month. This being the end of my first blog entry I am realizing that I use quite a few adjectives. If it ever pisses you off to the point where you want to tell me, please don’t.
Corn in January