What better time to ski Wolf Creek than during the Winter Olympics! The racers may love icy, hard courses...but at Wolf Creek we ski powder.
Typical skiing during the storm. Visibility was poor, but your tracks were filled in fast so that you could ski freshies all day.
Top of Treasure Chair, looking at Alberta Face.
Those brave enough would hike the ridges to get to bowls.
The catwalk leading to knife ridge.
Alberta Chair. The only grooming done here is to allow you to easily traverse to and from this advanced area of the resort.
During a lull in the storm a few people climbed Alberta Peak. A few ski tracks are faintly visible, so they aren't the first ones to the top.
Few people. Lots of terrain and powder.
My ski poles are 56 inches long. I could easily plunge the poles into the snow...and that's only half of the entire snow pack.
It's nice of the resort staff to place warning signs at challenging terrain...but if you're skiing fast, you'll launch this cliff before you notice the sign.
One of several 'chutes' - a wide gap in the trees down the steep pitch off the top of Alberta Chair.
After two days of storm skiing I could not return home. A second storm was hammering all of New Mexico. I decided to stay another day, ski under blue skies and return home after roads were plowed.
Yes, the skies were clear, but the top of all ridges were wind scoured overnight! This firm snow would support your weight on skis. This is called sastrugi (a Russian word!), and it's heartbreaking stuff to ski.
Standing on the ridge top, you could see the wind at work...stripping away the powder. Fortunately the powder was good a hundred feet lower.
Wolf Creek also grooms a Nordic ski loop, but it sees little use on a powder day.
This couple lives in Oklahoma, but learned to ski in the northeast on icy slopes. Recently they got fat skis, and love them. Once you go fat, you never go back.
The bottom of one of my favorite runs - Serendipity.
A dramatic contrast between wind scoured Alberta Peak, and the undisturbed powder in the trees. This is why you learn to covet the powder in trees - it's protected from wind and sun.
Looking northwest along the Continental Divide. I plan to hike from here to Silverton in the summer. That will probably take six or seven days.
Back home, another foot of snow. I've never seen a slab avalanche in the mighty Sacramento mountains. This one was full depth - the snow pack sheared away at the ground.