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Wolf Creek, 9-10 Feb

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
What a great place!

I managed to tack a couple of days of skiing onto a business meeting (4th time in 26 years -- I'm on a roll!). I was at Wolf Creek in 2002 and decided to go back. Little has changed.

Now the usual complaints (long flat runouts, slow chairs) are true, but I still love Wolf Creek. The trees are just the right spacing, come in a variety of steepnesses, and still have powder several days after a storm. :
The ridgeline at the top and the waterfall area are very steep in places(albeit short). There are no crowds -- I usually skied right onto the chair. A majority of the skiers seemed to be intermediates, and even their trails were not crowded -- it looks like a good learning mountain too.

I was by myself, so no pics of me skiing. In fact, there were so few skiers that by the end anytime I was on the lift and saw someone actually skiing I took a picture.

Here is an overview to skiers right of the Alberta Chair. All the trees you see are all skiable.

And a couple of closeups.

Can you find the skier who wishes he'd chosen a different route in the second closeup? This is the waterfall area. I chatted with three guys at the entrance gate who thought "sort of steep" sounded cool, at least till they got into it. I stood at the bottom of the steep part and called "Ollie ollie in come free." Kind of mean, but they thought it was funny...

Friday I spent mostly in the trees beyond the Alberta lift. The powder was mostly mid-shin, though I found one run where the snow was mid-thigh and steep enough for it to work.

Saturday was mostly for the ridge above the top of the Bonanza and Treasure chairs (a short hike, with only a tiny climb) with a payoff of steep powder.

In the afternoon I worked the cornice to skiers right of the Treasure chair. The vertical part was probably only 3 feet, but it looked like a lot more from the top. It was the biggest thing I've done. It had a perfect gradual change in pitch and soft snow, making it a perfect learning area. We had a sort of impromptu self-guided clinic up there...

The first time I went off the cornice I was pretty scared, and as soon as I touched down I said (out loud, even) "That was easy!" So I went back and did it again. I did not expect to be scared the second time, but I was. So I did it a third time. Yep, still scared. A fourth time -- starting to get tired (about 3:45 pm by now) and a little less scared, but I biffed the landing (got back and sat down on the first turn). Should have quit at three times.

There were two other things that scared me enough I backed away. One was the run named "52 degree trees" (accurately, I think). Looking from the side, though, I think the steepest part is only about three trees long.

The other was the Knife Ridge traverse. Here is the staircase going up there (unfortunately, I did not know I had snow on the lens).

I had scouted the ridge from the bottom and knew there were are couple of easier routes I could ski down. What I did not count on was the traverse itself. There is a narrow section 50 or 100 feet long with a drop on both sides. : I got about half way across, got gripped, and couldn't go any further. I (carefully) turned around and went back.

Here is an overview from Google Earth of my Saturday track. There is part missing in the middle when I didn't realize my batteries had died.

A great little ski area. I recommend it highly.

Edit - This is my first time using photobucket. It appears the embedded pics are clicakble for a (slightly) larger version.
post #2 of 5
It is an underappreciated little resort. Glad you were adventurous enough to explore it and find the good spots!
post #3 of 5
Nice TR! I haven't gone back to WC since the first big storm of the season (55'' in early December).

I'm curious, what type of skis did you use?
post #4 of 5
I was at the "Wolf" in December and skied 6 days. And yes MOM, it is underappreciated. We had some kids from South Carolina along for their first trip out to the Rockies ... needless to say they were unprepared for the altitude and the snow, and had packed it in by lunch the 1st 2 days.

You can't beat the price, the snow and/or the lack of crowds in going there ... it's really a neat place
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by simonbda View Post
I'm curious, what type of skis did you use?
I'm on Rossi B3 in the 176 length, from a couple of years ago (the ones with the dark orange colors). They are on what is becoming the skinnier end of mid-fat. (83 mm waist, if I recall correctly). I weigh about 205, used to be 5'10", now slightly shorter.

I like them for bumps and powder and trees. With a fresh tune, they are even ok on ice.

About the altitude -- the only time I felt it was climbing. I would just stop pretty often to huff and puff, then start again (one of the advantages of skiing solo -- no implied pressure to climb faster). I only did one longer, single-file climb, and on that one I just waited till nobody was about to start so I would not be in the way.
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