Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nothing good comes from going east

Head west, young man.

To the west lie the mountains, to the east lies flat plains, ice storms, salted roads, corrupt construction companies, and cities with too many people trying to get to the same place at the same time.

The further west you go into the mountains, the deeper the snowpack. On the east side of the mountains, the wind and the cold leave little quality snow to be skied.

On the west side of the road. glaciers have carved the mountains into bowls that catch the snow. On the opposite side of the road, flat, featureless piles of rock are scoured by prevailing south westerly flows.

The best skiing is often found to the west.

This is the general rules, but as with most rules, there are exceptions. For one, variety and curiosity are forces pushing one to explore unfamiliar areas. And sometimes, it does snow more to the east.

Skiing on the west side of the road the previous day, we struggled through breakable windslab. The next day, we explored east of the road and found soft snow after some tough trailbreaking through facets. 

After skiing what could be the worst snow that I skied all season (sastrugi), we spent the next day on the east side of the road and found untouched snow even a week after the previous snowfall.

Head far enough east and the mountain starts to have features found on the west side of the road. 

Glaciers have left their mark east of the road, but they still struggle to hold snow.

Smoother mountains on the east side of the road allow for skiing on all aspects. Helpful for chasing corn snow as the sun moves across the sky.

It is possible to get surprised by unfamiliar terrain. This run was longer than it looked from the top!

No comments:

Post a Comment