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Old 01-05-2009, 02:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default TR: Vail Pass

1-3-2008 Vail Pass

Participants:
Killclimbz (photographer)
Chris
Vince
Steve
Marc
Dogs: Cody & Wahine

I got back from California on the 29th and was expecting great conditions after the 5+ feet of snow had come down since I left. Unfortunately a huge warm up left the snow in pretty crappy shape everywhere. Winterpark was lame on the 1st, even on the off piste backcountry stuff. So I skipped the 2nd and gambled on the 3rd having good riding as a storm was supposed to roll in. It was also favoring spots west of the divide so we went for a late start and Vail Pass. We probably should have started earlier, but I had figured most people were up in the mountains for the three day weekend. Bad choice.

What was a 90 minute drive turned into over a two hour drive. We saw a lot of this.


Of course it was snowing so we were only hoping that it was piling on Vail Pass. We got to the lot just after 10am and started the 2 mile skin in.
Vince

Chris


Once we arrived to the area that we wanted to hit it was obvious that it was very wind loaded. With the deposition there was probably around 16 inches of fresh. Considering the avalanche danger around the west and the fact we were in Colorado no one wanted to drop on rollover on a fairly open face. So we did a rutschblock test to see what type of results we would get.
Vince and Chris digging the pit and getting ready to isolate the block.

Yours truly stepping onto the block to test it.

I was able to step onto the block and get centered as soon as a I did the knee bend it broke. On the first hop it slid.


Needles to say it was super tender out there and wouldn't take much to get a release. All sorts of red flags on that warning. The good news is that this area has short run ins with short cliffs to flats. So not much room for the snow to run as long as you stay in broken terrain. Which is what we decided to do. If it slid you might get carried, but it's highly unlikely you'll be buried.

I made the first drop to set up for pics. It was certainly blower. Vince thought it was good.



Wahine.

cont...
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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More dog stoke.

Marc getting his shred on.







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Old 01-05-2009, 02:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Steve trying out his new bc skis.






We all regrouped and had great laughs about the run. Skinning up for the next lap we could see that the face skiers right of were we did the Rutschblock had ripped in the last 24 hours. Big time.


So we worked over even more broken terrain.
Vince taking off.

Putting the landing gear down.


Cont...
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Marc taking his turn.




Chris finding nice turns a little further over.




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Old 01-05-2009, 02:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What is nice about this area is there are a lot of pillow lines down lower in the forest. Steve found a nice line.







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Old 01-05-2009, 02:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Chris played on it too.



We moved over back towards were we did the rutschblock. Just a little skiers left of it.
I dropped in and had a fair amount of snow move on me, but I had did a figure 1 and it was more or less sluff imo. Steve dropped in and turned a little more than I did. Right after this pic it broke loose on him and carried him into a tree well depositing snow up to his waste.

I think he pooped himself.

Vince on the other hand decided to molest a bush.




A look at the break line that slid on Steve.


Overall it was a fantastic day and played the cards we were dealt almost perfectly. This is a sled access area and there weren't any sled skiers/riders present. Something I have never seen at this spot. We could only figure that the avy danger had scared them off. Good news for us as there is plenty of safe terrain back there and we were sure to track it up...

Hope you enjoyed the TR.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdsnowman View Post
Excellent report! I wanna try one of those pillow runs. I could do it How many runs did u get for the day??
We got 5 runs in if you count the out which goes through the trees to the small (puddle really) lake below I70. When it's all said and done you hike 6-7 miles at least. We climbed and rode 4060 vert for the day. Pillows are fun to smash without a doubt.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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sweet pics. does anyone know if the old vp quaterpipe has been shaped up?
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