Sunday, January 22, 2012

Time to get a little blacktail

Well after the continued crowing of the collective minds at the NWS and their insistence that la nina was indeed still hanging around waiting to crash the veritable fly fishing party that has so far been the winter of 2011-12, she blew into western Montana last week with a vengeance. 
Up until last week I imagined the snowpack on our local slopes more resembled what one expects on an  April morning during a spring below zero spell.....a melange of sketchy coverage on frozen, tracked up runs. 
By early last week forecasters were again calling for the season's first serious winter storm, 4-8' in the mountains and 1-3' in the valleys.  I greeted the forecast with a fair amount of skepticism, but by late Tuesday afternoon it was obvious we may be in for the dump of snow that was promised. 
After watching the snow continue to pile up from my office window ALL DAY long Wednesday, the call of the mountain was too strong.  I put the text out to the guys "Craig's taking a pow day tomorrow, who's in?".  My brah Urban T. BDW informed me he was already at his yurt outside Whitefish, prepping himself for a big day at Whitefish Mountain Resort, I informed him that as bad of shape as I was in I wouldn't do justice dropping all that change on a lift ticket there, so I declined.  A few minutes later my buddy Gary texted back, saying he was game so after some logistical planning and a glance at the weather forecast, we decided to meet up early the next morning to make sure we got freshies at Blacktail Mountain.
After a full evening of rounding up all my crap, finding my boots and board and a fitful night of sleep I woke up to the snow still falling and a pretty sweet looking snow report.  (sorry for the picture quality, it may be time for a new ipod!)

The driving conditions, while far from ideal, added to the anticipation of deep pow that was building up on the drive to the mountain

Gary and I got to the hill plenty early, bundled up and strapped down and with barely a soul in sight we took the first run of what would turn out to be an EPIC day!! 

Freeheler Gary slashin' some deep turns!

The pow was deep and tasty all day, even with a foot of fresh we NEVER had to stand in line at the lifts!

the dude himself surfing some deep

As I predicted my lungs and legs only made it until a little after 11 before I had to take an early lunch break.  During lunch I texted broseph Urban Tiberius Bear Don't Walk to check how things were going up north at Whitefish Mountain resort (it's still tough not to call it Big Mountain).  He informed me that he had come to the kind side and was trying out his new snowboard (congrats brah!)  He was a little miffed that we were mackin so much fresh and that Whitefish Mountain had only received 4" overnight.

A Mad Urban Tiberius

After lunch we rode out to find most of our tracks filled in, so the afternoon would be spent making fresh tracks again, truly EPIC!!  (at least we didn't rub it in too bad for Urban).  My legs only lasted until a little after 2 o'clock and with snow still falling I had to call it a day. 
On our way back home we made the requisite stop at local favorite M&S meats for some buffalo jerky, where my bro Gary struck a pose with a local.  Since M&S is just north of the rez line, I wonder if this guy is not a cuzzin?

All kidding aside, it was a great way to start out the snowboard season of 2011-12, even if it was as late a start as I can remember.  I can't wait for the next dump!

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