Check here for personal reports of snow and weather conditions at Crystal Mountain each day I ski along with thoughts and ramblings about the day’s adventures.
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I ski for smiles, not numbers,
but here they are anyway


Days - 35

Vertical -955,282

Smiles - 571

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« The North Way | Main | On Line »

Leftover Pow, Wow!

We met lots of interesting people on the lifts today. As we discussed great skiing, a fun day, and where the good snow is, it usually comes up that Amigoette and I are retired when we mention the weekdays we've skied lately. "Why do you ski the weekends when you can ski during the week?" is a common question. Simple answer. Because the snow is great today. Sunday is a good compromise during mid-season Prime Time when saturday's are generally quite crowded, but the weekend snow is really good. There were some long lines, but with lots of historical data (that happens when you get old) it was easy to predict the lines and move around the mountain minimizing the wait time. Not sure I want to let all my tips out of the bag; maybe in the closed confines of a Gondy ride – or keep reading the blog for clues 

1:30pm, 4th Time, Only Our Tracks. Know this secrete spot? Worth 20 bonus smiles if you do.Last night's new snow nicely freshened the cut powder leftovers from saturday and dished up two rounds of untracked Memorial for breakfast. Speed helped me float over the few hard bumps underneath the boot-top pow. Until I caught a ski while dropping a favorite line between two trees. During that sickening riding-one-ski-accelerating-into-a-ferocious-headplant moment, my right pole snagged, pulling my glove off as the pole ejected. For good measure, I stuck my ungloved hand deep into the snow just before my face impacted. Brrrr, but I recovered.

We watched the Northway and Chair 6 lights go green and raced north as the other half of the Amigos headed south. Pucker's Gulch was…  Funny how just a few sidesteps up to Morning Glory Bowl is all it takes to escape from the crowd, noise, and hecticness of a powder morning. Everyone on the traverse had taken different routes, disappeared, so I took a moment for a slow visual 360. Alone with Amigoette, quiet, and awesome views – instant decompression. Slow powder turns through the trees with relaxed easiness rolled into Pucker's steepness, mostly untracked, then suddenly, a blur of snowboarders sitting on their butts as we dove through the chute into big fluffy bumps. Actually, me trying to catch Amigoette as she blasted the cut pow to the bottom. At the chair was a 5 minute wait, but the bad news was it had grown to 10 minutes as we swung onto the the chair with 20 people at a time clumping onto to the end of the line.

I thought Pucker's would be the run of the day till we took Employee Housing Avie Line back to the base. Off-the-hook top-to-bottom pow. No line at the bottom, so we did it again. The Gondy line was shorter than Rex and we gained 6 more "10 minute friends" on the way up. Eight pumped up powder hounds enclosed in a confined space for a 10 minutes might be illegal. But it sure made me ready for the fast ride down Exterminator that was next on the list. The trees off the top were some of the deepest snow of the day. Lower E was its waist-high-icy-mogully self.

We tried to find the rest of the gang by heading to Six, but the Forest Queen line, about 20 minutes, and the anticipated Chair 6 line (confirmed later at 20 minutes) sent us packing to the bottom and back to the Frontside where the Rex line was zero minutes. Nice. Sunnyside, Doors, LS Trees, Bear Pits rounded out the day in packed pow style. A last run out E-Housing, just the 2 of us on the run, iced today's cake. WOW!

A shout out to John who was skiing his last day of the season today. Good luck on the new ACL, and we'll save you a seat at the table for opening day next November.


Video - Ended up kinda long, but it fit a good song.

Our last run out E-Housing had a half inch of new on the morning's tracks. Possibly another dusting tonight before cold sunshine tomorrow. I'm playing with the grand-babe tomorrow and then hitting it tuesday as some daytime snow moves in. Cold temps and light snow tuesday through thursday should keep things fresh.

Reader Comments (4)

For the photo, that bench partway down makes me think it might be the end of Rinky Dink Ridge, but I'm not sure. It could also be the top, right hand side of Grubstake Peak above the traverse line. My third and final guess is SOB--the trees validate but not the lack of jibbed-out moguls. Glad you had a great day.
February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim Kircher

I have read your blog since last year. Great stuff. I enjoyed every single post. How do you know as soon as chair 6 and northway are open? I know there are lights in the base. How do you know when you are in the mountains?

February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLuke Zhang
Luke, there are lights at the bottom of Rex, the top of Rex, the top of Green Valley, and the top of Forest Queen. Also, the ski patrol sometimes Tweets (Twitter) if you have a smart phone. Some anticipation and selective interpretation of the light boards helps. Asking your friendly lift-top ski patroller is also a good way. If you see someone skiing down Powder Bowl, even if the lights are red/yellow, it's also a good indication.
February 28, 2012 | Registered CommenterKkz
Sorry Kim, it was a pretty mundane place, but the best 4 turns of the day. A lesson in ski photos. The answer
February 28, 2012 | Registered CommenterKkz
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