Team Bad Decision does Squallywood

Posted on February 9, 2011

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I finally got to ski in the state that is better known for Hollywood, beaches, and a huge deficit rather than skiing: California! It was my first time back to the state in half a decade, and I could not have asked for a better crew to go with. Max, Jon, and I embarked on a four day epic, flying from Denver to Sacramento, and then driving to Truckee, where we would eat, play, and stay, all thanks to the amazingly awesome Sexauer family.

The boys on Granite Chief

Although we would later meet up with Amanda, Jason, Will, Britney, and Rick, the first day was just Max, Jon, and I skiing around and exploring as much of the mountain as possible. I think we rode almost every lift on the mountain to get a good feel of the gnarly terrain, and there is a ton! A highlight of the day was skiing off the top of Granite Chief, where I skied a super steep couloir that starts practically at the top of the peak (I guess it is a named run in Squallywood?).

These guys picked rad lines down Granite Chief. Mad props to Jon for being on Hell Bents in there.

That night, the three of us had a great time throwing spread eagles off anything and everything, flying around Mountain Run. It was probably the best experience I’ve ever had night skiing.

Sunset on the first day

I don’t have many photos from the second day, but we got a great tour from Rick in the Granite Chief area, and I boosted a solid 20 foot cliff, which is as big as I would go for the trip. It was also mule-kick day, which is a surprisingly difficult old-school trick (if you don’t believe me, try one).

Jon skiing steep

We spent most of the third day on Silverado chair. There are only a few lifts that come close to accessing terrain like that found under Silverado chair (Sublette in Jackson and Gold Hill in Telluride come to mind), but it seemed like Silverado had twice as many rocks, steeps, and cliffs compared to any other lift I have ever been on.

Max skiing Fatal Attraction off the Silverado Chair

Max evaluates his option after the couloir

Despite the lack of new snow, variable weather, and a forfeited dance party, we still managed to have an amazing time out in California. And I cannot say this enough, but we owe a huge thanks to Rick and Pam for hosting us, feeding us, and putting up with our antics each night in Truckee. Also, thanks to Max for lending me a pair of skis to put through torturous straightlines and cliffs to flat.

I cannot wait to make it back for a deep, deep day to heckle the locals and wait in the KT-22 line for 6 hours to send the Fingers. I will return.

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Posted in: California, Skiing