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May 6, 2012

Birthday Turns for Elissa

It was Elissa's birthday today, but before the BBQ and party she wanted to make some turns. A quick mission to Paradise was in order.

We arrived at the visitor center a bit before 9:00 AM, none too early it turns out, as the lot was nearly full and hoards of people already in full lemming mode on the climber's trail to Muir. Yikes. Perfect weather, though, and everyone was in a good mood. We chatted with Matt Schoenwald a bit just before Alta Vista, then headed out in overdrive, watching the masses of people on the Pan Point face ahead of us for signs of instability. All seemed in order, and we stayed in the line of climbers and skiers until 8,760 ft. for "stealth" reasons - still no one had made a move to ski the Nisqually Chutes, but we took no chances and quickly ripped skins to descend the ~400 vertical to the entrance.

Our timing was perfect. A couple of point releases were just starting to roll as we skied up under the hot sun, but nothing propagated. We did a couple test turns on a narrow steep section, then let it roll for the next 4,000-some-odd vertical feet. I hitched a ride back to Paradise with Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad and the 2 daughters in a crammed minivan, picked up Elissa at the bridge, and went directly to Copper Creek for pies for the party.

8:45 AM and only a few spots left in the lot . . .

. . . but no one beat us to the goods. Elissa ponders her line.

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