Crystal, Day 1

Today was numero uno for the ski season. Hit up Crystal today with D, J, & a guy I hadn’t met before: M. We all loaded up in the LuvvMonster (a.k.a., Luv Ma-Chine) and headed out to Crystal. We hit snow just out of Enumclaw on 410, which is early for the height of the season; for pre-Turkey Day, it’s unHEARD of.

It was a great day of knee deep pow, with lots of pockets of waist deep. Spent most of the day running off Green Valley. M wasn’t quite up to our level, so after one run down Green Valley bowl, he headed around the back of REX and was going to go down Lucky Shot. As he turned left down the run….he got overtaken by an avalanche. Yeah…a real avalanche, in bounds, on a GROOMED run. I’ve been down that way time after time, and have never heard of such a critter there. Sure, I’ve seen small slides over the cat track leading under powder bowl, but never enough to cover more than an ankle. Poor M…he was able to get a hand out and flag someone down, even though he couldn’t see anything. Some guy came along and found him and dug him out. When D, J, and I found out, we headed to the first aid station. Unbelievable, but M was fine. no problems. He even managed to get all his gear!

So we had a long lunch with a pitcher of brew, then headed home. The Monster was fantastic–didn’t even notice the snow. I had a little trouble engaging the 4wd at the base of Crystal Mountain Blvd, but once I came to a full and complete stop and played with it, it lit up and just hauled us off. There was a storm all day long (high winds, very little visibility), and the snow was up over the sidewalls of the tires. That diesel just wandered out, no problem. Took FOREVER to warm up, and never really put any heat out until we loaded the engine at the bottom of the hill. Engine fired right up first try without even extended cranking. We had filled the tank in Enumclaw, and we filled the tank with precisely 25 gallons of #2 ($2.99/gal, pump shut off at $75, but I paid again and couldn’t get any more fuel in the tank, so I’m pretty sure it was full. Fuel gauge later said above “F.”). That tank had carried us 354 miles, for an average of 14 mpg with combined city and highway. Not terrific, but pretty good, considering I’m still having wastegate problems removing the top end power and efficiency. Should have the solenoid later this week before our trip to Brighton.

Pictures tomorrow after work, and maybe some winter traction tires too 🙂

Finally, have been looking at the LE2 setup at Elliott’s:
http://www.elliottsportworks.com/lt1.html
and running the 223/230 cam. The other option is the Trick Flow 430HP setup from Summit. I’ve pretty much ruled out the 383 stroker, but have considered a 355 (.30 over bore), with high compression pistons. I don’t know…maybe I’ll just leave the bottom end intact and reassemble with the hopped up top end.

Grrr…decisions!

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