Kirkwood December 3, 2016

Share your trip reports that involved mogul skiing. Let us know where the good stuff is, and where it isn't!

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Kirkwood December 3, 2016

Postby SSSdave » Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:28 am

Looks like I get to post the first mogul skiing trip report on the board this winter of 2016/2017. Of course most resorts have only limited lifts and trails open at this point.

My season pass resort, Kirkwood, after a series of modest storms came through Northern California about a week ago, left a 23" base that I skied on last Wednesday and then again yesterday Saturday. Only chairs 5 and 11 were open and much of the upper mountain remains closed. However on Chair 11, The Reut, is a short trail right below the lift that is one of the best slopes in the Tahoe region during early season when snow depths are still shallow for mogul skiers to re-awaken their bump skiing skills on. Except it isn't well known for such because later when the base gets deeper, it is unfortunately regularly groomed every couple days.

Those in charge of grooming our resort slopes much like at most other USA resorts unlike in the old days, tend to be mogul haters. Thus the only slopes with bumps tend to be steep difficult to groom advanced slopes, often out of sight and out of mind. Slopes uncomfortably steep for skilled mogul skiers to start out on at the beginning of seasons much less reasonable slopes for those without skills to learn on. But yeah the below slope named Short Spoke is ideal and left alone while snow depths are shallow. Map crosshairs at map center is at the top of the slope:,-120.06494&z=15&t=T


Chair 11 itself has a 7860 foot elevation base and an 8640 foot top for a modest 780 feet of vertical. North facing and sparsely forested, it resides on the protected lee side of a spur ridge of usual storm winds so tends to also pick up loose blow in. At the lift top that is half of the way up to main ridge line, is an easy intermediate gradient slope below the lift named Wagon Train. It drops 330 feet to a split with the noted Short Spoke trail off to the right below the lift where it drops over steeper terrain.

Tower 9 is at the top of Short Spoke at 8310 feet where the prime bump line drops past towers 8 and 7 then down to tower 6 where at 8000 feet it reaches a wide flat open area of merging trails that continue the last 140 feet back to the lift. So Short Spoke is just 310 feet of vertical. At the top it starts out low gradient with small bumps and convexly steepens as bump size increases until reaching a short steep drop of a few moguls after which the fall line turns a bit right into a slight gully at moderate gradient with moderate sized bumps of maybe a dozen turns before the fall line is abandoned by the cut in forest slope where one has to move out of the fall line left several turns in order to reset up for a long section of very pleasant lower gradient smallish bumps down to the road.

Well last Wednesday my first day of the season I skied this run 6 times rather nicely but stopped at least once each time. Of course as an old guy was taking it easy and was not long before my lower back muscles became increasingly sore so just skied 4 hours. It was also a dim and cloudy all day with light off and on snow showers so visibility was often poor thus was often turning by feel alone. Midweek early season there were few people on the slopes, much less any bump skiers. The next day Thursday I was moving around like a sore stiff old man but by Friday was quickly feeling better and knew getting back out Saturday would be fine.


Indeed on Saturday came out smoking. And yeah am on 2011 Twisters I've custom painted to glow. Much better it was sunny with good visibility so I could see where I needed to turn haha. After a couple warm-ups making max quick short turns down groomed slopes went up 11 and did 4 straight non-stop runs down the direct fall line of Short Spoke per above image feeling like a lively pin ball. What a great feeling to rip! Over the day as the Ski Tracks screenshot shows did 15 runs before calling it a day. In the afternoon I did catch an old mogul acquaintance Craig that lives nearby in Nevada that was with a couple monoskiing bumpers also ripping down that slope. Then today Sunday was just a little sore that shows how nicely am building up the body for more serious stuff that is likely to be open later in December during holiday time.

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