Feb 16 2012

TR: Pepper’s Run (Day 10)

Dude man makes the most of a small storm.

There hasn’t been much snow this season so the key to epic turns has been the ability to react swiftly when opportunity knocks.

To be honest, I didn’t really think the last snow event to grace the Tahoe area would amount to much. Snow-Forecast.com has been mighty accurate over the years, but when the margin of error can be plus or minus six inches and only six are forecast it’s not easy to get psyched.

Waking up to a full four inches of cold smoke on the driveway meant my pessimistic view was wrong but all it took to save the day was a call from Dude-man to go earn some turns. I hung up saying, “meet you in an hour at The Back Country.”

From there it was a short drive to Pepper’s Run and a delicious skin up through a maze of willows and young hemlocks that I instinctively knew existed but had never met before. Navigating the best path resembled the usual path, but not consistently.

A clearing wind out of the north east kept the snow cold and us from dilly-dallying at the top. We ripped hides, tightened boots and pointed ‘em down.

Turns weren’t as rhythmic as they were strategic and we needed to stay light on our feet in case a hidden rock or root tried to take a bite out of our ski bases. But the snow was soft and for the first couple hundred feet a full foot of fluff kept us from the harm that lurked below.

A delightful skin up through deeper snow than expected.

For the majority of the descent though it was a matter of aiming well and brushing back the boughs that threatened to push us over. Speed was not our friend, and as it turns out, when we got back to our cars, neither were the neighbors.

A ticket for potentially getting in the way of a snowplow adorned both our windshields, courtesy of a “citizen complaint.” Never mind that the dead end street had already been plowed, or that we hadn’t blocked access to any of the seasonally uninhabited houses on that street, let alone the only inhabited one. Apparently one of the new breed of homeowners complained because they consider us Truckee locals another version of white trash and thought they’d keep their street free of tree-hugging, turn earning, backcountry skiers. Either that or the town government is desperate for cash.

I don’t know who you are, but your citizen complaint will come back to you. As surely as the sun rises in the east you will reap what you sow. In the meantime, beware where you park – the locals aren’t as friendly as they once were.

© 2012

  • B

    Too bad about the tickets. Reminds me of the day a few years back I was skiing something on the W shore and came back to find that another one of those “concerned neighborhood residents” had removed two of my valve cores. Of course I only carry one spare tire so it took some time to rectify that situation. Some folks just invent things to worry about, I guess.