What an amazing feeling to wake up to on Christmas. I went to bed with 4 or 5 inches from Saturdays storm and woke up to 2 feet on Christmas morning. Santa really delivered this year.
Every year on Christmas we get together with some friends and go cross country skiing. For the past few years we have gone to Mesa Cortina in Silverthorne, but with the lack of snow before Christmas we thought it would be best to go up to the town of Montezuma where there is always more snow. This year I think we could have gone literally anywhere in the county and had plenty of snow. But we headed up to Montezuma anyways.
My roommate Camden drove in his Honda Pilot and we were right behind him in Matt’s outback. They typically don’t plow the roads in Montezuma until everything else is taken care of because it is a small town and everybody has at AWD or 4WD and snow tires. Our friend Hunter lives on Webster Pass which is even less likely to be plowed. When we got to the turn for the pass there was a 4 foot snowbank blocking the road. Cam decided to just send it in the Pilot and blasted through, it was awesome! I wish we had recorded it.
We made it to Hunter’s house which is situated right next to an avalanche path, it is slightly terrifying, especially with the high risk at the moment. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to splitboard or xc ski so I brought both.
After a few minutes inside we decided to get out there in the storm and go for a hike. Cam, Matt, Becca and I decided on skis/splitboard in case there were some turns to be had, it was too deep and powdery to resist.
I was used to being on my DPS skis with Dynafits and hadn’t been out yet on my splitboard. Man, I forgot how heavy it is. Everyone on xc skis were smoking us, and the dogs were running back and forth between the two groups unable to leave the skin track because the snow was over their heads.
We crossed underneath another big slide path which was slightly nerve wracking and then once we were back in the trees Matt took a few steps off the trail to a short mellow slope and heard a huge whoomph and felt the whole thing collapse. The snow pack was 2 feet of storm slab sitting on a persistent weak layer of facets. Not good.
The wind was fierce crossing the meadow towards the area where the skiing is. We couldn’t see much of the mountains above us in the storm but we knew that it was steep walls up above us. We ducked in the trees back together as a group to enjoy our peppermint hot cocoas and hang out for a minute out of the wind.
This was out turn around point so Hunter showed us up above where we could get some mellow turns and the rest of the group of xc skis turned around the head back to the house.
We went up to a little meadow, but soon we saw a big headwall further up behind it and decided we would just ski the lower part of the meadow to avoid any avalanche risk. I went to rip my skins off and discovered that the glue on my skins was sticking to my splitboard. I decided it wasn’t worth taking them off and just turned around to glide on my skins back on the skin track. The boys and Becca tried to ski but it was so deep and flat that it was hard to make any turns.
It was still super fun and we were just excited to be out in the deep snow. We headed back to the house satisfied with our adventure. It felt so good to get back out in the snow again!