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| |-+  October 2014 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  October 26, 2014, Paradise powder!
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Author Topic: October 26, 2014, Paradise powder!  (Read 7670 times)

Posts: 28

October 26, 2014, Paradise powder!
« on: 10/27/14, 08:02 PM »

It is with great pleasure that I report my first October skiing experience!! I have now, officially, skied in every month of the year, and I'm two months away from my first year-long streak! What's even more exciting is that it was a foot of fresh powder!

The day before, the parking lot at Paradise was a rainy, snow-free slop fest. I watched the forecast carefully, and the best bet for weekend fresh tracks was on Sunday. Leaving P-town at 4:30 am, for a 8 am arrival. As I made my way up the twisty approach road, rain turned to slop (where you can hear the water under the tires), to light powder (where the road noise disappears) as I climbed up and up to the parking lot.

The last couple miles of the approach were pure powder, and I was laying fresh tracks with my  "Extreme Winter Contact" tires I bought on Craigslist the day before! Little did I know I'd need them the next day. This is always white-knuckle driving, that anxious feeling of being stuck. However, I know that this road is plowed, unlike many of the roads in Montana where I'm usually doing this kind of driving, so I knew as long as I could keep it on the roadway I'd be set. Plus Subaru Outbacks were made for this!

After many miles, I rounded the last bend, in a foot of fresh, and made my way into the parking lot, where I was most afraid of getting stuck. I went up to the high side of the lot and faced downhill, so I could use gravity as my friend on the way out. Considering some other Suby's were needing to dig out in the afternoon, I'd say the tires were worth every penny. With little sleep and a powder heaven outside, I took a nap in my car.

Anyhow, I got to it and starting skinning from the car, seeing a few parties on the way. On Saturday the snow didn't START until Pebble Creek, so I was already in heaven, not lugging my skis up on my back for suncups as I did last month on Mt. Hood. Problem was the higher I went, the worse the weather, wind, and visibility. With my GPS, compass, and common sense I trudged slowly, knowing that I couldn't count on a trail to get me back to Paradise. Tenuous for sure, but I had prepared to spend the night if necessary, and I always tell myself that "I'm training for a harder trip." One where navigating out of these conditions may be live-saving. On I trudged.

Now the weather was warming up and the precip was getting soggy. True FULL ON classic Cascades. Wet and cold. I used to tell myself if it was raining, then it was too warm to worry so much about freezing to death but that was when I was young and naive. With winds at 30 mph constant, and 40+ mph gusts, I figured I had enough. I had minor issues with my sunglasses and goggles, so it's a good thing I packed a second set, as I needed them to see anything on the way down, as the wind was right in my face. My gloves also got wet and my back-up set was inadequate, so I utilized the lesson (not) learned by Maurice Herzog and put my second pair of socks on over my gloves, which was perfect. Super warm. Normally this isn't an issue but my mountaineering gloves are being repaired.

Powder socks!

A few awesome powder turns, and a lot of negotiating the rock bands, a lot of whooping an hollering! And I managed to ski all the way back to my car, even down the paved path and down three sets of stairs! This is as much jibbing as this guy does. I disagree with freightrainer, who said the skiing was a bust - for someone who has never skied in October, it was great!

First time ever skiing in October!! Month 10, Turns All Year!

A self-D (my nickname is Big D)

Shine powder gods, shine on me!!
« Last Edit: 10/27/14, 08:28 PM by caverpilot » Logged

Here's to it, and here's from it, and here's to it again! If you get to it, and don't do it, you may never get to it to do it again! -Joe Cocker

Posts: 606

Re: October 26, 2014, Paradise powder!
« Reply #1 on: 10/27/14, 09:21 PM »

Enjoyed your report Big D. Thanks for sharing, and good deal on getting those tires just in time!

You seem stoked about this sport, which is fantastic.

-Doug O

Posts: 2304

Re: October 26, 2014, Paradise powder!
« Reply #2 on: 10/28/14, 08:09 AM »

You have a great style for your trip report. Wink
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