Wednesday March 14, 2012
Today was finally the day I got back on a mountain. I went the Northstar at Tahoe Mountain. It definitely is near or at the top of my list of favorite mountains. I only spent the morning hours riding, but those hours were perfect. They got at least 14 inches of new snow at the top of the mountain last night. By the early afternoon it starts to get warm and the fresh snow gets heavy. The combination of the time of year and the area make heavy snow this time of year. It is not the dry, airy, unpackable snow of Utah and Colorado. This is a much wetter and heavier snow. My legs actually got quite soar a couple times. That has not happened in a while.
It is that weird time of year. There is a ton of precipitation predicted for this area. What kind of precipitation depends on the elevation. When I parked this morning at the base areas I was getting rained on. At the lower area of the mountains it is almost slushy by midday. Up at the top peaks it can be snowing full boar.
There is an area on the Northstar Mountain call the Backside. It is ingrained in my brain as my favorite place to ride, and after today that memory is confirmed. This area holds a special place in my heart, so there may be some biased. It is my first vivid memory of fantastic deep powder, tree, backcountry, steep incline, unbridled, no rules, no trails, and possible death at every turn riding. So it may just be a “first time” thing. This might be why it is my favorite. Similarly, probably why my favorite back seat I have ever been in was the back seat of my pop’s old 1980 Olds Delta 88.