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killclimbz 03-10-2009 05:26 PM

TR: Vail Pass 3-8-2009
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Location: Vail Pass
Cody and Bella (dogs)

On Sunday the plan was to hit a semi secret spot that drops right off of the continental divide. Wide open Alpine lines with the recently good snow stability seemed that this would make it a go. Light snow had fallen and this area is known to get wind loaded with about double what the local resorts are reporting. So the morning report of 3-4" seemed to mean good things were going to happen. We got to the parking lot and looked up high at the ridge where our first run would start. The giant snow flume blowing off the ridge was not backing off. It looked like steady 40mph winds. Too much misery for our blood. Vail was reporting 6" of fresh, so we packed up and went to Vail Pass, expecting more snow than that. We got about a foot of new snow. The skies were sunny and absolutely no wind, unlike just 20 miles away. This was a good call on our part.

Chris and Pete scoping their lines.

killclimbz 03-10-2009 05:30 PM

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Forrest decided to do some mushroom skipping.
He also chose to jump off of the same rock that had fractured and slid on us earlier in the season. What a difference warm weather and stable snow makes.
Chris found more goods down lower.

killclimbz 03-10-2009 05:37 PM

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On our next lap we spotted this little gem of a spine.
Forrest laid claim to it.
And slayed it.
Cody giving me the "When do we go?" look.

killclimbz 03-10-2009 05:41 PM

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Pete found some sweet pillows to mash on.
Forrest also found one last thing to jump off of.
That line ended well for him...
Can't win 'em all.

Hope you enjoyed.

nzboardlife 03-10-2009 06:42 PM

Did enjoy, this kinda thing makes me want to hit the backcountry more.

SnowBun 03-11-2009 12:26 AM

Awesome pics!!!!!!!

Are the dogs able to keep up well with you? What breed are they? Did I mention they are super cute?? :D

killclimbz 03-11-2009 10:06 AM

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The dogs do great! Depending on the terrain you will put some (sometimes lots) of distance between them. I'll pull up from time to time to let them catch up and get a breather. The steeper it is, the easier time they have keeping up. Cody is very experienced and has the stamina that he is rarely far behind anyway. Pete's dog Bella is a little older and fairly new to the games. She's still figuring it out, which has made for some interesting challenges the last couple of outings. She got spooked on a steep ridge this last outing, turned around, and then get herself stuck good in a tree well. Poor girl. Forrest was able to dig her out and it was all good. Bella is a Husky and Cody is a pure bred mutt. Chow/Shepard mix or something along those lines.

I got a few more pics today from riding on the pass. They were all taken by Forrest Thorniley. He has a pretty bad ass DSLR and takes some great photos. You can check out his site here.

So here are a few more photos of Cody and myself slutting it up.
Lining up a triple mushroom...
For which I didn't realize the ridge was that steep. You can't see the two mushrooms below the top one and I totally overshot them anyway. Talk about leaving a bomb hole.
This picture of Cody cracks me up. You can't say he doesn't give it his all.
Coming off another pillow.
and photo slutting it up.
That was fun...

killclimbz 03-11-2009 11:01 AM

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So, does it look like you are going to make the move? Got some interested buyers for your house in Washington?

killclimbz 03-11-2009 12:08 PM

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Well the good news (if any in this market) is that banks are often letting you short sell your house. A dude here in Colorado moving back to Iowa (I know Iowa, WTF?) sold his house for $40k less than what paid for it. The bank ate the costs and considered it paid in full. Of course that doesn't really leave you anything for a down payment.

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