While Amigoette and I recovered monday from the hectic and fattening holiday, the mountain received a welcome addition of some new snow. Lots of "You shoulda been here yesterday" comments as we reconnected with friends waiting for the lifts to open. Three inches of new and scattered-cloud sun welcomed us as we exited the Gondola. Our opening run of Valley-Berg was a 100% improvement over our previous ski outing last week. My skis actually left marks on Iceberg as we carved our way down ice free. A quick ride back up and soft new snow on Memorial reacquainted us with the Frontside that's been sorely lacking from my ski diet lately.
Jumping ahead, today's conditions have no bearing on what to expect tomorrow and beyond. So, I'll summarize briefly.
Thinking that Powder Bowl should be taken while the sun shone, we were fully convinced as Rex's sequencer crashed, stopping the chair. (This happened many times this morning.) The next 2 hours were north-facing soft snow bliss in PB and Lower LS Trees. Not the best, but relative to the last month, bliss. After 5 trips, as a high level fog moved over the Queen, we headed to Rex.
Rex had gathered a crowd, and with one of the worst line set ups I've seen (two 10 person wide lanes with a mob-turn corner and no singles line) we stood in line while doubles, triples, and skipped chairs were the norm. Once up, we abandoned Rex and headed for Northway. Northway Bowl was OK, and the bumps further down kinda packed pow. But Bruce's Bowl was the ticket. Won best run of the day. Shortly after noon, a pile of high fog (only over Northway) turned to rain, soaking us on the way up. Back into the mainstream and finally finding an Amigo we lost in the opening shuffle, we skied nice slushy, potato snow on the Frontside – till the rain found the Frontside and we bailed for home.
It was very warm all day, and I was amazed how slushy it got. At 2:00, the rain was 400 feet above the base of Rex, and with temperatures of 32 on top, nothing will be saved. The new snow was packing down hard, which is good for coverage, but unfortunately, all the post-christmas funugies ground it down to the rocks before it could pack in over them. The top of Chair 6 is a mess again, as people way over their heads sideslipped through the rocks on both side of the chair. One skier went into Powder Bowl Main Chute not knowing there was a 20 foot band of rocks to cross. He took off his skis to hike back up, stuck them in the snow, and then tumbled down over the rocks into the chute. Two PB round trips later, he and his buddy were finally down through the chute, but not before leaving knee-deep postholes right down our line. Also, watch for rocks in the bottom of Memorial and the mid-band of The Doors.
A great ski day. Went from last week of 90% icy groomers to soft new, packed pow bumps, and steep off-piste.
Testing the new GoPro Santa brought me.
With the snow level now at 6,400 feet and forecast to go higher with lots of precip, it's not looking good. Rain to the top is likely, and over today's cut up slush, it will be ugly with a capital Coral Head when it freezes. Hopefully, the precip will continue as it cools, and a deep blanket of snow will cover the upcoming ice. Four good storms are forecast in the next 4 days, but the snow level will be up and down. Daily conditions will depend on whether the precip comes when the temps are up, or down. And, how long the increases in snow level last. Oh, and lots of high winds will add to the enjoyment, or lack thereof. It will be day-to-day, probably 5am weather checks to make the call on which days to go.