Once again, DCUBA rides; with powder snow and bluebird skies.
The Baller (Str8Ballin) and I got out for a ride today. Too bad Gerbil was away at gravel college in Pierre SD, or we might have let him ride with us too. We've been getting some snow, so when the sun finally came out it was time to ride.
Avalanche danger was high today, so we had to be extra cautious
There was nothing but pristine bluebird skies and sparkly fresh snow today. It really reminded me of a powder day in the mountains.
There was really no lack of awesome snow conditions.
Too bad we don't have any pictures of the REALLY good stuff. We were too busy tearing that up! Unfortunately, lots of snow leads to plenty of good stucks.
Baller is starting to get the hang of this carving thing. He doesn't want to be identified as a carver though. He'd rather be called a trailrider with a minor in treesmashing.
Too bad it looks like Baller has attended the Rubi School of Carving.
Back in the day when we were just lowercase g braapers, Baller Hill was a challenge. Baller made it his bitch before his XC500 was even warmed up. Too bad the photo turned out to be a stunning closeup of an ash tree with Baller summiting somewhere in the background.
In search of some new inclines to conquer, we stumbled upon this one
If it weren't for the nearly vertical section at the base, the beaver-chewed punji sticks, and the dead tree right at the crux of the most natural line, it would be easy. We've named it Basswood Bluff, and it has yet to be climbed. From the summit, you get a little better sense of what it's like.
Baller made a silly video calling us "Urban Ballers." ...whatever..
Snow was really good today. At times when the sleds were in full float mode, we were just leaving the tracks you see out west: a bellypan/hood width swath through the powder with no evidence of ski or track marks. At one point, we had 26 miles on and we were never more than 3/4 of a mile from home base. When there's only two sleds out, it takes a long time to devour all the good powder!
So I went out yesterday to clear Basswood Bluff a little. I was not sure which chainsaw I would need so I brought them all. After a few hours of strenuous logging the line was ready. On my first attempt I was thrown violently off to the right where a tree had been only moments before, good thing I cut it down. On my second attempt I took that hill. The second to last picture is the escape chute which might also be climbable.
DCUBA hit Cornfed's Canyon for some braaping action on Wednesday
Cornfed called the other day with a report that there were some sweet climbs and cornice jumps out behind his folks' place. Gerbil instantly hopped on his sled and headed out there because he's still sore about missing the best local riding day in years because of gravel college. I hesitated, because I needed to test ride the 400 and didn't really want to be stuck 15 miles from home if things went bad again. Eventually I just threw the hundy on the trailer and headed west.
When I got there, it looked like the braaping hadn't really started to go off yet, but there were some local backcountry skiers sessioning a few booters they'd built. Once again, avalanche danger was a concern due to surface hoar followed by windloading about a week ago. Some human-triggered slides were evident, so we had to play it safe.
Some of the climbs looked a little daunting, especially after I saw some phone video of a line that Gerbil had taken before I got there. Things almost turned out disastrous. It was a real pants soiler indeed!
Once we got a feel for the venue, the untracked lines started dropping like flies as we proceeded to climb everything.
Although the snow was mostly set up and drifted, it was still possible to get stuck if you tried hard enough.
Cornfed tried a line that didn't get conquered that day.
While Cornfed's brother helped him get his sled out, Gerbil climbed the adjacent bank.
Summiting some of those hills made some awesome roost!
The 400 wasn't plagued by water in the gas anymore, and ran like a champ. It wasn't enough of a champ to clear the drift in the last picture though. A week ago, that drift would have been soft, and smashing it would have resulted in a powder explosion and giant faceshot. Now, the drifts are hard, and you risk having your nuts meet the bars if you aren't careful when you hit them.
There wasn't lots of powder left to land on, so the cornice drops weren't really that big a part of the action that day. No big drops were attempted, but if you picked and chose, you could do some little jumps.
Gerbil was getting really vertical at the top sometimes, and that led to a couple problems.
Here's a little wider view of the venue that we're now calling Cornfed's Canyon.
If we get another big dump, things could really go off out there. There's still carveable snow in the protected areas, and with a refresher snow it will all be awesome.