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Old 04-25-2012, 08:50 PM   #1
SuperWill
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Default Tahoe Time

Hi guys and gals,

So despite the disappointing start to winter and the ski season I once again left ol' Banner Elk in December and ventured west to Tahoe. Its now April 25 and I've been coaching and skiing at Alpine Meadows for the past 120 days. If you were to compare this season to the last one.....Alpine Meadows received 852 inches of snowfall last season and 373 this season (so far)....so thats 479 inches of snow that did not fall. That's forty feet of snow!

With that being said, this season has meant fewer powder days, more snowmaking and more ice and thin coverage. The first two months were pretty brutal. Alpine and Squaw have limited snowmaking capabilities and the ponds would run out in two days. We only had a few runs open and it never snowed. Something was strangely familiar.....I destroyed two pairs of skis this season. I have never hit so many rocks. Core shots literally everyday. Here's some of my handy work after blowing out the sidewall and edge

I could keep going about how bad it was in the beginning but it was still better than most seasons for me and how on earth can you complain with sunsets like this....

Eventually Alpine got their stuff together and set up an amazing jump line. So here's the first video of some 360's in the park on February 9th 2012.


Seriously fun jumps. But coming up short sucks....and we are all dying for powder. There was one or two good days in February here's one.


It keeps getting better right?? So we hope...onward to miracle March! Last March brought Tahoe 246 inches....this season around 160 inches...so still amazing considering we've had nothing all season. We doubled our base in March at Alpine Meadows and had some great powder days. One of best was hiking a few hundred feet up the West shore so here's the a vid of the first real storm in March made on my iphone btw.

Backflips into pow...why not?
The fun really never stops in Tahoe. I'll continue this thread as time allows. I've got more powder footage and kayaking to come. Hopefully this will bring some summer stoke to folks who didn't get to ski much in the east.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:27 AM   #2
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Default Miracle March

March brought winter to Tahoe...suddendly we were...back again.
Once the snow started falling it also started melting. Its so easy to ski in the morning and then kayak the afternoon.

East coasters tend to stick together out here...I think its because of the accent, we understand each other....so here's my buddy Brandon from West Virginia riding at Alpine during a storm with music by Bela Fleck.

After enough snow filled in the backcountry we headed in. One of the easiest spots is Jakes Peak on the West shore of Lake Tahoe. 2500 vertical feet. Takes around 2-3 hours to get up. Unless you stop to have fun on the way up....




more to come....
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:53 AM   #3
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Nice, Will. It looks as if the far left cat in the back flip pic is bouncing from one tree to the next.. not off of that rock...

Can't watch the videos atm, but will check those later.

What's happening in that Burton Custom shot?
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:58 PM   #4
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Default Alpine Meadows

This first one is a season long edit with a lot of the people I ride with daily...

The Alpine Meadows Schlittentag is always a fun event.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:55 AM   #5
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Nice edit. Looks like the snow finally showed up in March. Wish I could have made it out there this year.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:59 PM   #6
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Now this is TR. You guys are rip'n it. What are you using for your edits?
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:27 PM   #7
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Good stuff Will --skiNC western members rip

also looks like you had a lot of fun
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:02 PM   #8
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Dang, it looks like you done messed up some skis, but still had lots of fun!
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:33 PM   #9
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Default more Tahoe

Alright...so been on the road for the last week...back in Banner Elk and welcome to the jungle..which is my yard. Its kinda weird after traveling through the desert for a few days to see so much grass. Anyway, I've got a few more edits that I think some folks might like to see. Tahoe was incredibly beautiful this season. I took more photos than video so here's a short slide show to showcase a few of them.


One of the newest neat things at Alpine Meadows this season was the smart phone app....able to show us top speed...maps, snowfall, temps....everything basically. So of course you have to see how fast you can go...I was surprised at how fast we went. This day I hit 65...
On another day I found a spot to go 73mph....on rockered volkl bridges....heh, heh. kinda sketch.

By far one of the best days was in the backcountry above Tahoe City with my buddy Pauly and his snowmobile. If you don't have one in Tahoe...know somebody who does...its that simple. Here's why....

....thanks for the comments...I'll post up the final vids next time.....
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:15 PM   #10
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sWEET stuff will
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:13 PM   #11
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Nice vids, way to get some pow!
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:40 PM   #12
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Default best job on the mountain...

Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley have amazing kids camps, race teams, development teams/big mtn. and freeride teams for kids 4-18. These kids and their coaches rip as you should imagine.
Because of the merger this season we can easily get to Squaw from Alpine via the shuttle service. As a coach I was able to take my team to Squaw on the weekends. We realized that Alpine was better because Squaw had a lack of snow and Alpine was still better when it snowed because of lack of people.

Early in the season Squaw Valley's snowmaking was so bad that there teams came to Alpine to ski better groomers. A few stickers poped up saying..."Welcome to Alpine...now go back to Squaw." When forty or so kids are lined up in the park you could understand why. When it got crowed at Alpine we went to Squaw's High Camp to ice skate.
It eventually snowed and fortunately my kids are old enough to rip the pow...most of the time.
So here's a my Development Team at Alpine...kids are all 11 or 12. I was constantly amazed at their progress each weekend for 8 weeks. I was told coaching was the best job at the mountain and it really is....these kids can ski everywhere, hike anything, and love doing it.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:52 AM   #13
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At 2:00 I thought that was a rock or trees or something in the snow. Nope, it was a skier buried in pow.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:11 AM   #14
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on powder days we have to ski behind our kids...(this should go for parents too) so that when/if they fall you are there to get them out of the snow...if they can't on their own....good advice from someone who's made the mistake before.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #15
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Default last ones!!

alright, so who said it was a bad season??? It is what you make it...right? So here's my last few videos made in April with corn snow and lots of snowmelt for the river....

Lake Tahoe is ridiculously fun....


so there you have it....another season in Tahoe under the belt...if you haven't made it out there, you should. Growing up skiing in NC has given me a great background for everything out there...I passed my Level 3 PSIA exam this season at Squaw Valley..(one of the hardest places to pass) and was still happy when everyone else was *****ing about no snow, poor snowmaking and ice early in the season (cause I've seen it much worse at Sugar). 125 days on snow and I must say.....damn I'm glad to have those ski boots off! Cheers and have a great summer!
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