Monday, November 18, 2013

Great Times at Tent Ridge. Short & Fat?

As I awoke and peered out the window it looked as if the weatherman’s prediction of snow, high wind and blizzard conditions was coming true. Being very tempted to pull the plug and turn back into bed I made a call, but to double check the plan. It turned out one of our skiers had a 4 wheel F-150, so knowing we would at least not get stuck we decided to duck back into the mountains and hopefully avoid the storm. Sometimes these storms are on the prairies and don’t seep up into the mountains. That is exactly what happened to us.

Our destination turned out to be Tent Ridge. A first for all of us, but we’d previously scoped it out in the guidebooks. Tent Ridge is known for sliding and this week it stayed true to that depositing a sizable avalanche right down the middle. With this knowledge, and observing the already formed cornices all around (ridge top is quite exposed from every direction and had cornices from every direction), we made for the trees. On either side are nice stands of well spaced larch trees. We made about 6 runs on one side, then bolted for the other.

Unlike the previous week, we didn’t see a single other skier. They were either all slugging it out on Highwood (a.l.a. last week-see previous blog), or hunkered down fearing the weather report. By the end of the day the sun even poked out. So much for the predicted blizzard.

On this day I dug into my quiver and pulled out the 163cm Atomic Kailas skis. Their dimensions are 125-85-100. Short, fat, shapely, kinda like a Maryln Monroe of skis (well at least the shapely part). With the short length they turn so well. The sidecut gives them a nice carve and there’s enough width to float well over pow. I got to wondering if I should have ordered the 167cm Dynafit Huascarans instead of the 178's last year. I’ve often felt a short, fat ski would be a lot of fun. Many of my friends get longer skis so they can "charge hard" they say, but I sure like the turnability of a shorter ski and the reduced weight.

That elusive quiver of one is still out there somewhere, yet to be discovered.

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