Monday, February 8, 2010

Maggie's Saddle with Jeff and Karen

(Click on the play button at the center of the image to view slide show...)

Jeff and Karen invited me to join them for a tour up to Maggie's on the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe. Karen was just trying out new Alpine Touring equipment (Dynafit bindings) for the first time and came away with a brilliant review. She's sold on the light weight of the system and the ease with which she was able to climb.

Even though there was evidence of previous skiers since the last storm cycle, there as PLENTY of fresh snow to be had on the drop from the saddle to Granite Lake. Where the aspect was just right, the powder was light, and fluffy with a solid base beneath from which to launch high power turns.

Karen made a remarkable leap over a rock which she discovered was exposed only after skiing over the snow pillow which obscured it from above. In response to the "Are you okay" questions when she dropped over the lip, she responded "I'm not sure" as she slowly slid into the cavity on the downhill side of the boulder. Making equal efforts to extract herself and sliding motions into the bottomless abyss in the rock's shadow I watched as she tried to escape her entrapment. By the time I had skied down to reach in to pull her out, she was safely over the "eddy fence" downhill of the obstacle and was ready for more downhill adventures.

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