Cuttin' Up Carson ski weekend

April 25-26, 1998

     ================Author - Ted "I'm not the anti-Ted" Hullar============
     It was billed as "Cuttin' up Carson".  Although he may soon be joining
     the ranks of the traditionally employed, Bob's trip titles always show
     the marketing genius honed through years of self-employment.  Or
     something like that.
     Anyways, on with our belated story...
     Bob, Ted, and Lucy piled into Bob's car and headed out towards Highway
     88. Everybody else was going to meet us at the trailhead.  The first
     part of the trip passed very quickly, partly due to good conversation.
     Bob's speedometer did the rest; although you would think it would be
     sluggish in its old age, the needle showed remarkable spunk,
     indicating 0-30 in 1.2 seconds, with an average highway speed of
     either 98 (extrapolated upwards) or -7.
     Apparently even Bob was marvelling at his car's remarkable powers,
     because we somehow missed a turn.  As our topographic map coverage
     stopped somewhat east of the Central Valley, we were forced to ask
     directions.  Fortunately a group of high school girls were available
     outside the supermarket, and Bob nonchalantly asked them how to get to
     Jackson, as if getting directions outside supermarkets was part of the
     standard trip plan.  With the assistance of a few high-school boys who
     gave up riding the mechanical car to join the committee, we eventually
     sorted out where we were, and our new friends told us where we needed
     to go. Somewhat to my surprise, their directions got us to Jackson.
     Lucy decided to sleep outside, which lasted about 30 minutes until it
     started raining.
     Awoke the next day to the sound of a dog barking.  Now whose mutt is
     disturbing the peace this early in the morning?  Oh hi, Mark.  Yes,
     yes, of course we're glad you brought Mika and Zenta.  But is all the
     barking absolutely necessary?
     Met Carol at the trailhead.  It's spring, and the proof was on the
     roof of Carol's car in the form of a red kayak.  Also Lynn and Pat,
     two other snonetters.  Skinned up and headed for Stevens Peak, just a
     bit over 10000 feet / 3030 meters.  Snow was okay, although clearly
     not fully consolidated yet. Worked our way across some gullies, then
     up onto the mass of Stevens.  A bit windy on the ridge, but everyone
     got to the summit.
     Alright, now for the turning.  Some powder near the summit, a nice
     treat.  Lower down, though, just deep slurpee, no gliding, no turning.
     Fortunately we had Bob's new radios to communicate once the groups
     got separated.  Better living through technology.
     Then back to Grover Hot Springs State Park.  Ted bonded with Lynn, a
     fellow Saab owner.  They're great cars.  Honest they are.   It was
     also here that Carol espoused her unique principles of car repair.  It
     went something like this:
     Carol:  I need a new water pump for my car.  How much do they cost?
     Bob:  Oh, about 60 bucks.
     Carol:  I think I'll just get a new car...
     Sunday was another warm, sunny day.  Cathy and Paul (from Sacto)
     showed up, having arrived late the last night.  First priority was
     Carol's birthday cake, kindly provided by Cathy.  In her excitement
     blowing out the match, Cathy also successfully blew out all the
     candles.  Fortunately, Carol had forgotten it was her birthday, and
     Cathy was able to use the ensuing confusion to relight said candles.
     No peak bagging today, today we did a tour!  Mark and Zenta had to get
     back to the Bay Area, and Lynn and Pat did something else.  The rest
     of us took advantage of Kirkwood's hospitality and left a few cars
     down there, to enable a point-to-point trip.  Started at the Carson
     Pass sno-park (no, the other one), then headed up to Winnemucca lake,
     then Round Top lake.  From there, we skied down to the ridge, hoping
     perhaps to get some good snow on the other side of the ridge.  The
     snow was no better, but at least the wind was a lot worse.  We wisely
     decided to ski down to the back side of Kirkwood.  After relaxing on
     the stationary chairlift, we climbed up the old-fashioned way.  Then,
     after the culture shock of seeing snowboarders, we used them as
     obstacles and skied down the mushy front side of Kirkwood, back to the
     cars.  Lessons learned in the parking lot:  1) You will not have any
     privacy if you decide to change your clothes in your Miata parked next
     to a car full of backcountry skiers, particularly if the top is down;
     2) A large red kayak on the roof of your car does not guarantee you
     can find it in the parking lot. But you did find it, right, Carol?
     Packed Bob's Subaru to the gills, then off down the big hill.
     Uneventful drive, at least until we got to Cathy's ancestral home in
     Oakland.  The goal was to retrieve Snowdonia the cat, and take her
     back to with us.  Cathy claims that Snowball is her cat, but you
     wouldn't know it from the way she bolted past her on the front steps
     and into the neighbor's yard.  The inhabitants of the house seemed to
     know Cathy, so at least that part of the story is credible.  In lieu
     of Snowypuff, Bob was rewarded with a box of lemons, held captive by a
     And finally, a new tradition for trip writeups:  The Mystery Quote.
     Taken out of context, of course.  If you weren't there, you missed it:
     Answer sometime in the future...
     Ted Hullar

Some route info on the Carson Pass Area main page