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Turnagain Pass - First Look 2015-16

The anticipation of winter is always an oddly stressful time for me. I used not give it much thought as winter always came and the skiing commenced. But that was before whatever is going on now. Global warming? Natural cycles? Depending upon your political leanings, you can choose your explanation. But the bottom line is that winter has been fickle and elusive the past few years. Each year I'd say, "....well, it can't be any worse than last year...." and then it is. Gives me heart burn. Fortunately, this season seems to be shaping up in a more positive way. 

My first turns were in September and that got me fired up. Then it warmed up again and I continued to train on the bike. Just as well since I had my knee operated on. I certainly wasn't missing out on anything. Toward the end of October the snow started falling up high again and we made our usual pilgrimage to Jewel Glacier last weekend. The skiing was okay and the temps were fridgid. Felt like winter had arrived.

Mountains don't even look good until they have snow on themI was eyeing this weekend from earlier in the week as a front came through leaving snow both North and South. My friends let on that the skiing on the high peaks at Hatcher Pass had been good and figured this new dump would only help. But the wind came ripping in and changed all that. As the weather looked to clear for Saturday, I got a text with a short video of a poor soul ripping out a big slab and getting himself buried to his waste at the end of a thrilling ride in the slide. Umm...maybe we'll go South.

And Turnagain it was. I'd heard there was snow there and we were not disappointed. Unlike last season, we skinned from the car and spent a few hours skiing powder on Sunburst. Other fun hogs were getting their fill on Tincan. The winds were light and the temps mild so everyone was happy. On my last run I managed to tag a shark sending me over my tips for a nice sommersault. Luckily, my head didn't find anything but tundra. No major ski damage and a quick hit on my ski bench will have the P-tex looking like new.

Sticky tundra not too far down

What's not to like?

Tincan and Hippy Bowl seeing some action

The out wasn't too bad and we were able to leave skis on the whole way to the car. That's more than I did most of last year. This winter storm coming tonight looks like the real deal and should get things locked in for awhile. The temps are supposed to drop after it so I'm smiling for now.

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