Today was an adventure, or more correctly, both an adventure and a misadventure. I started the day with a rather silly mistake. After spending the night in the car, upon waking up and removing myself from the vehicle, I promptly locked my keys inside. Needless to say, not how I wanted to greet the morning.
It was just after 7:30am, and although my wallet and keys were securely locked inside the car, I was thankfully wearing my coat, which included gloves and a cell phone in the pockets. I made a call for roadside assistance, but was disconnected due to a low battery. My next call was to mom and dad, knowing they would be able to contact the insurance company for roadside assistance, and would be happy to do so at 7:40am. I was waiting for assistance to arrive, but the call of confirmation did not come, so I walked from the car to the highway (exactly 2 miles), hoping I might find a friendly driver with more battery life than I, and make another call to my insurance company. I sat by the intersection, and soon a friendly passerby offered me the use of their phone. I made the call, and right when I connected to an agent, a state trooper pulled up to offer further help.
He asked me to give the good samaritans their phone back, which I did. He then proceeded to radio dispatch to have another locksmith sent out, since I had been waiting over an hour for the first one. About twenty five minutes later, the first locksmith arrived, and I hopped into his truck to ride back to my car. RIght as the first started to work, the second locksmith arrived, rather annoyed to have been called as a duplicate. Long story made short, I was on the road about 9:15am, and made it in time to start snowboarding Spout Springs at 10:30am.
It was nothing less than an ideal opening day from my perspective - all the trails track-free, and four to ten inches of light dry powder on top. I overheard that the main lift was not running until 10:15, and judging by the lack of tracks on the main run, that was true. I started by doing laps under the chair, just making the happiest powder turns, a great reward for the trials of the earlier morning. Eventually, as the groomed run was becoming tracked, I made my way off piste and enjoyed fresh tracks for the entire remainder of the day.
There is a wonderful gully on the main face that nobody else had attempted, so I made three laps through the area myself, cruising between bushes and trees, before I saw another snowboarder spoon my tracks. After that, I made my way along the ridge, toward the outer runs, where there were only the tracks of the ski patrol. I found entire runs with no evidence of traffic, and carved with wild abandon, on the groomed runs, and then deeper into powder on the sides. It truly was a great day to have first tracks, and they were there to be had for the whole day. I even snapped a photo of a run with only my tracks defacing the otherwise pristine slope.
I finally decided I had better get on my way around 3:30, and packed into the car for the drive back to Pendleton, and on to La Grande. Tomorrow I will need all my energy for Anthony Lakes, another single lift ridge, where I hope to find more powder to poach.