Whitewater and Red Mountain weekend
January 24, 2013
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With a high pressure sat over most of the northwestern US, it was time to head north. Weaker sun, less daylight, colder weather – all ingredients to keep existing snow in best conditions possible. Schweitzer to Whitewater is less than 3 hours, so it was a natural destination, especially as the base was deep and mostly northern aspects would keep the conditions tasty.
It’d been the best part of a decade since our last visit to Whitewater, and the prospect of exploring the terrain served by the new triple chair was as attractive as episodes of Swamp People. And we weren’t disappointed. The new area was a 2000 feet vertical mix of cruising groomers, bumpy and gladed single black diamonds, and steep-as-crap tight trees that were Red Mountain-esque in nature. A novelty, and great skiing, was the lower ungroomed blue runs that mostly involved hopping around massive, snow-covered boulders resting between filled in creek beds.
I dream of being here on a mid week powder day. One day maybe.
Conditions at Red Mountain weren’t dissimilar. Anything vaguely north-facing held stryofoamy, packed powdery snow that skied beautifully. Huge bumps. Tight trees. Scary no-fall zone steeps. The base was as good as I’ve ever seen, with most of the usual messy cliff bands covered and easily negotiable. So we did the usual exploring, poking around in trees, never quite knowing exactly where you are until you find epic lines buried in the woods. I suspect the locals like it this way. And I don’t mind it either.
Whitewater 8800m, Red Mountain, 8100m, 8200m vert
Season Totals: 40 days, 18 powder days, 373,200m vert