We could tell that Ski Patrol had big things in mind for the day because avalanche control bombs were going off all over the place, all through the morning and into lunchtime. The resort's website had said that there were patrol routes planned for East Baldy and the unopened portion of Devil's Castle and that's what they were shooting up. Now, the eastern two-thirds of Devil's Castle, including the Apron and the cliffs and trees through the Rock-N-Roll gates, had been closed all season. That was virgin snow in there and everyone wanted a piece of it. We - and numerous others - were doing laps on Rock-N-Roll, waiting for Ski Patrol to drop the ropes.
The gates were opened just after lunch, just as the sun started coming out. We went in through the top Rock-N-Roll gate and sidestepped up to the base of the cliffs. There were quite a few other people with the same idea, some of whom were in over their heads due to the technical nature of the traverse. I got a little nervous about a piece of it too, side-slipping down a ways instead of pointing my skis down and just going for it. (H just went for it, no side-slipping for him.) At this point we were under the Apron and the snow was deep and soft. Rather than struggle to hike up further, we flung ourselves down the pitch. I was wearing my non-powder Volkls - which had served me well thus far on the groomers - and amazingly, I managed to ski the deep stuff pretty well with them.
Under the Apron