A week ago sunday I went out for a quick solo snow depth check in Turnagain.  Despite the thin conditions (I had to boot for quite a ways) down low, I found plenty of room for some decent turns up high and I drove home thrilled due the general winteryness of the weather (cars were sliding into the ditch).  Regardless of being back in Anchorage, which seemed stuck in early October, the brief taste of snow launched hope that winter was imminent  and I spent  the next 5 days obsessively checking the weather, searching for reaffirmations that winter was arriving for real.  I don’t think I was alone either, as most of my mornings opened with emails commenting on the radar mosaic or some 948mb low south of the aleutians.  Yet despite all the interest and attention, with everyone seemingly busy or elsewhere, the only confirmation that yes winter was actually arriving  and snow was falling were the various automated snowtel sites.

By Friday, having spent a week watching the weather and thinking about snow, I was a worthless drooling wreck struggling to make it through the day.  Graham was actually able to make it out on Friday and called raving about much snow had fallen over the week,  claiming it already looked like January.  Knowing that pre-Christmas is usually the busiest time of year on Tin Can plans were made to get an early start, but were met with  inevitable delays  Saturday morning and we arrived at about the same time as Max, who’d both slept in and eaten breakfast.  Regardless, we were there before most, and were able to get 2 quick laps in the morning, before it warmed up and became tracked mash potatoes.  With plenty of beers on hand we took two more laps in the afternoon, bouncing off the many small cliffs that will be entirely buried in a couple of weeks.  We didn’t bother going up top, despite seeing others enjoying the upper bowl, we kept it in the trees.  A long tiring day, couldn’t be happier that ski season is back and that long boring other part of the year is over.  More to come.

UPDATE: OffPiste has reminded me to push the Federal Land Avalanche Protection Act of 2010 (Senate Bill 2907), which is aimed at “providing Federal funding for avalanche forecasting and research.” To be blunt, you either support this measure, or I consider you a scummy sack of shit from this day forward, contact your local congress person or click here to register your support.