Deep Snow

Well Monday was send drawings to the town for building permit day. Finally the big push on the project is out of the way, but there will be plenty of questions to answer as we move forward I am sure. They switched contractors for one thing, which means our office is going to have to help them catch up. Construction won't start until April, so hopefully by then everything will be squared away. Despite a lot of hard work since coming back from Chicago, I have been managing to get up on the ski slopes on the weekend. Last weekend we got a lot of snow, in fact Friday it started snowing heavily after work and all through the night. There was over a foot on my car in the morning, and Beaver Creek was reporting 16". I headed up early and was able to get some first tracks on Screech Owl and Bald Eagle before heading into the Royal Elk Glades. There was good fresh stuff there as well, but it didn't last. Beaver Creek was the big bread winner last weekend for snow, Vail "only" got 7" and the resorts east of us barely got an inch. It snowed most of Saturday too, so conditions stayed soft but unfortunately everyone in the state it seemed had come to Beaver Creek. There were actually lift lines for the Grouse Mountian chair, which I have never had to wait more than a minute or two to ride. In fact when I got back down later in the day all the parking lots were full, they were parking up and down US 6 and even on some of the roads in Avon. It probably didn't help that it was a holiday weekend as well with Martin Luther King Day on Monday. All of this snow was a lot of fun, but it was also really deep. So deep that when I headed up to the Alta Chutes I ended up catching my ski on a layer of denser snow and popping it off. I figured I would turn around and see it sticking out of the snow, but no such luck. I dug around the whole area where I thought it would be for over an hour and still didn't find it. I ended up sliding down then skiing out on the catwalks and service roads on one ski. I filed a report with lost and found in the hopes that maybe someone will come across it and bring it down. If not, maybe someone who finds it will at least prop it up against a tree. Sunday I went back up, skiied a few runs and then headed over the area where I lost my ski to poke around with an avalanche probe in the hopes of being able to find it. I also flagged some trees with surveyor's tape so that I can remember the spot in future weekends. I poked around for another hour plus but again no sign of the ski. Either I am looking too low, or it slid down the mountain much lower than I thought and it was below me. I'll keep skiing that area and keep my eyes open, if no one finds it I can hike up there in June when the snow melts (yes, June... May will still have snow!) and get it then. Luckily it is above an area with a hiking trail and shouldn't be too hard of an area to get too in summer. Those tree flags will come in handy then for sure! This week I am taking the Level 1 Avalanche Seminar and Sunday is our field day where we get to dig test pits to analyze the snow layers, and also bury backpacks with beacons and practice rescue. When complete we will have a test and get our certification. Just one more skill to help keep me safe in the mountains!