Feb 1, 2009

Inner Basin - Kachina Peaks: Flagstaff, AZ

I did the other Super Bowl today; skiing the Inner Basin in the Kachina Peaks. My neck was all outa whack last weekend, so I couldn't get any playtime in. So that now that I was feeling all good again, I decided to find some snow. I hadn't been on my skis all season, and thought I better take this opportunity get some. I also wanted a good fitness day, so I decided to hike out of the Snowbowl Resort up to the top of the ridge, and ski off the back side into the Inner Basin.

I walked up the groomers and continued up the drainage above Snowbowls 'Log Jam' run. My legs weren't all that fresh, as I had been mountain biking the past three days, but the climb up was a lot less painful than I thought it was gonna be. I split from the parking lot at 8:15, and was on top of the ridge by 11:15. Of course, I only went to the lowest part of the ridge, but I also took my time while putting some video shots together.

I set up a few staged vanity video shots of me climbing up in a tribute to Survivorman's, Les Stroud. No actual skiing int the vid, cuz that would be just too difficult.

It was a bluebird day, with only a little wind. I spent the whole day in tights, and left my ski pants and big gloves in my pack.

Since I was solo and these were my first turns of the year, I didn't want to get too ambitious and get too high up on the ridge. I'm really glad I choose the easiest and shortest line on the whole basin, because my turns were terrible. I had some really bad form going on. Not falls, but just really sloppy. The snow was packed powder with a little crust, which definitely added to the challenge. I was going to continue on down into the glades, but my triceps were kinda cramping, so I decided to head out.

I noticed a skin track heading back up to the ridge, so I put stuck my skins on and tied into it. I shoulda just boot packed it out, cuz the last little 100 feet of elevation was white knuckle terror. It looked like the people before me had some struggles getting out, and now the conditions for me where even worse. I actually lost my traction and backslid down the hill a few feet, luckily there were a couple of trees I could hang onto, on this very, very steep slope, while I pulled off my skis and boot packed up this slope. Being very nervous at this point, I couldn't get off this slope fast enough. I actually scrambled up and over a higher point than I wanted, because traversing over to the lower point was not an option. Phew, I made it.

Now it was time to ski the as always sketchy, icy, thin, and nasty snow back into the resort. The challenge is double, because the lack of oxygen, really gets me into anaerobic mode super fast, so cranking turns is really hard. This is what I hate about this route. Getting back to the groomers felt really good, except I was pretty exhausted. The first day back always hurts, but I survived.

Here's a vid of day with numerous vanity shots of myself:


Here's Google Earth Tour of the Route:

1 comment:

frank said...

Nice work creating the video, but no shots of you actually skiing.