It only took one descent from our Gondy dismount to determine yesterday's cut-up leftovers had firmed overnight into I-don't-want-to-be-here junk. Luckily, today was Day One for Forest Queenie and Chair 6. We quickly headed to FQ and lapped some low angle freshies through the tips of barely covered trees. Had to pull some innovative old school lines out of the memory banks. Runs like Upper Magoo, Queen's Bypass, and Rolling Hole/Knoll delivered boot top goodness. Goodness that warmed us above the single digit air temp. Blazing sun and blue sky helped.
Skiing lines that we cut our off-piste teeth on many years ago could only hold us at bay for so long, however. And just in time, we got the word that Six would open in five minutes. Pulling into the back of a short line, we eyeballed the untracked snow that would soon be ours. The traverse towards Campbell Basin was not for the faint of P-Tex heart. In one round, the mob of eager skiers and tumbling snowboarders ground the main traverse into an almost continuous line of rock. We knew the line most people would pass right by, so head faked further down the traverse and dove into Chute 2 and 1.9. Screaming through low-snow narrowness, banging a few unseen "hard things" we emerged in shin deep untracked and flew to the bottom. Shards of hanging P-Tex didn't even slow me down. No one saw our quick exit off the traverse and the freshies lasted for a second round. One more traverse out to The Basin Proper, and the Campbell feast was over. Three quick trips with no line and everyone left.
We shifted our laps to Powder Bowl. Nice soft snow, a fast drop through the trees, and I nailed the next narrow slot (on my second try) and full bore skiing was on. A couple laps of John's Favorite – just as nice. Back to the sunny side of the hill, you could feel the sun impact on Upper K2. With temperatures in the single digits all day, it's amazing what radiant heat from 93 million miles away can do. And amazing that everyone disappeared by 11:30 when there was nearly no one on the snow. We took advantage of the lack of participation to carefully pick our way along the Campbell traverse and grab a few more traverse-over-to-chairline fresh tracks.
As scattered puffy clouds moved in, we took a last run and moved out. With chunks of P-Tex dangling and visible ski-core showing, our skis, our bodies, and the mountain were used up.
Cold temperatures will continue, firming up the snow and crusting the sun-bake. The next snowfall, other than a possible flurry thursday night, (read insignificant), won't be till next tuesday or wednesday. If Crystal does some upper mountain grooming, they might last a few days. Rocks were aplenty in the troughs on Luckyshot. A ton of skier grooming would chop up the firmness into some good snow. However, I think all the rocks will dissuade most people. Chair Six holds the best snow, the traverse to get there, the worst snow. Powder Bowl will be its normal rocky walk off the top after another day or two of traffic. That said, I'm out till the next snow storm.