It’s hard to describe how good Schweitzer was last weekend. A foot-a-day had fallen from Monday to Friday as La Nina left snow everywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Cold temperatures kept the snow light and fluffy, and well, mid-week crowds at Schweitzer had no chance of chewing up that much fresh.
And then it snowed Friday night. 3 inches, it said on the web site. But this is Idaho, where everything is larger than life, and these were 3 inches that covered our boots. On our second run, I followed John into the trees to the right of Stiles, and was immediately blinded by the deluge of snow thrown up from his first turn. We both ripped an untracked line with snow billowing up our chests and over our heads. It was perfect.
It kept snowing consistently much of Saturday, and we concentrated on exploring the trees in North Bowl, accessed from the top of the T-Bar. There was so much snow and so much terrain, we indulged in freshies all day. Undoubtedly my day of the season so far.
And then Saturday night brought another ‘Idaho 3 inches’ of fresh. This time it was supplemented by substantial wind blown pow, and a glorious sunny, cold day. Even better, it was Superbowl Sunday. This meant no people. It doesn’t get much better.
The whole morning we mined fresh lines in deep snow off the triple chair in Schweitzer Bowl. And in the afternoon, we explored the north facing lines that drop into Outback Bowl around Australia. There was some truly epic, thigh deep, untracked lines in the trees. It was so deep, we kept in very close contact to remain safe in the face of person-devouring tree wells. It was certainly not safe alone in there (pics here).
So Superbowl Sunday once again brings one of my best ever ski days. In 2004 it was all the same ingredients – sun, a foot of fresh and no crowds, but in Aspen. In 2006 it was similar, but Niseko. I think I’m already looking forward to Superbowl Sunday 2010.
Saturday: 8900m, Sunday: 9150m
Season totals so far: 24 days, 13 powder days, 183,550m vertical