Kwanis Cabin Night Ski 
Saturday, March 17, 2012, 08:10 AM - Weekend Fun
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Mike, Tom and I headed out on Friday night at 8pm in the dark for a lap up on Sandia Ski Area. The night was still and warm (35 F), but the daytime temperatures left snow conditions terrible - 75 deg days = ice. We still made it up in about 40 minutes and then traversed to the Ellis Trail and bushwhacked to the Crest Trail through the forest. It's cool to watch your friends headlamps meandering through the snowy, nightscape. Not a cloud in the sky so when we hit the ridge and saw the city lights plus all the stars, I had to stop for a little bit to take it all in. Patchy snow up to the cabin wasn't too bad on the way up, and I drank a Guinness (St. Patty's Eve!) on the roof of the cabin while we watched the final tram head down for the night at 10:30pm. The small, bright light arced through the mountains on it's way back to civilization in the calm night. Mike pulled out the starmap app and we checked out mars, jupiter, and venus. Skiing down left a lot to be desired. This will be my last ski on Sandia for the season! We worked our way now the ice through weird deep patches in the trees to a clearing where the ice/snow mix left a maze of skiable patches of choppy ice. I fell a couple times but managed to make it through the clearing, only walking on the grass once. The others weren't so lucky. We didn't skin up for the trail back to the ski area, but rather tried to keep our speed up along the icy trail. A little scary at higher speeds through the dense trees because I was leading by ~120 W headlamp. A couple herringbones later, and we caught a line down skier's left in the resort. The ice layer was chopped up halfway down by a groomer to everyone's delight, but Mike still convinced me to ski a line of iced up moguls for no reason. I smirked when I ran it clean and he crashed three times on the way down. Split boarders...think they know everything. I'm also guessing this is how he ended the day with 2 bent poles. For Tom's first season, he did awesome! Very impressed with his progress. Back at the car at 11:35pm. Great time guys!


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