On Oct 6th, a storm caught Wolf Creek off-guard, and left them with 3 feet of snow, and a last minute decision to open the resort for the weekend. Early Saturday morning I left Breckenridge, driving in sketchy conditions over and down the backside of Hoosier Pass, where it was puking snow. A 3.5 hour drive later, I was past South FOrk and staring at a landscape covered in a thin blanket of snow and fall colors.
I became skeptical about the reports of 3-4' of new snow. However, as I pulled up to the resort, the clouds parted to reveal the impressively early bluebird powder day.
As I waited in line to purchase the $33 ticket, the vibe at the resort was clear. Everyone was extremely stoked to be skiing lift-served powder this early. The conditions were amazing, boot-top deep in most places, with pockets of knee-deep and tons of terrain open.
On the drive up, I was telling myself "It's early season, no hucking, Brian.". However, after a few runs, I realized that the conditions were just too good and I sought out my first stomp of the season.
Diving into the trees, I approached a blind rollover. As I peered over the edge of the 15' cliff, a pillow half-way down called my name and with a silly grin on my face, I dropped down onto the beautiful fluffy whiteness, followed by another soft cushy landing. With the rushing of air tickling my senses, I pointed 'em out the exit chute.
In the afternoon, patrol opened the traverse out to Alberta Peak, and I headed out along the ridgeline to top off the day with a dessert of steep and deep chutes.
At the top, the entrance was blind and had quite a few rocks. I carefully picked my first few turns through the guardians, and found deep snow as I entered a narrow gully. I straightened my skis out and pointed it through the deep. Air blasted my face as I gathered speed. As I came hauling out of the chute, I engaged a large turn, spraying snow across a field covered in the first visions of winter.
(NOT MY PHOTO - I was standing next to the photographer after we both dropped in)
With legs burning, and the the chairs empty, I went back up for one final lap down Alberta face, and then headed to the lodge to meet a buddy for the drive back to Breckenridge.
With A-Basin and Loveland in the race to open the WROD, I can't help but look back on this day and wonder if it was only just a dream, or if I really did enter a time warp to mid-season.
Edited by Brian Lindahl - 10/12/11 at 9:07am