Yup, early season conditions abound. Tease me, please me, hurt me.
A nice 6-8” layer of smooth fluff over the week’s skied-up base provided some sweet skiing in the morning. Where you could see it anyway. A thick fog crept its way in, out, and around the mountain. If you saw a little teaser hole, that’s where you went. Most of the time the tease was rewarded with smooth powder turns. Other times it would close up as you got there and you banged around on unseen bumps. But, we figured the game out for the most part, and laid tracks where we could.
And then those early season conditions start to bite. Just as you think the coverage has improved, the patrol opens something new. First-of-the-season forays into Memorial, Sunnyside, Door 2 started with wooohoos of freshies and ended in snarls of brush and junk. Keep your rock skis at hand, there’s plenty for them to do. The well-traveled cat tracks grind down to gravelly bits easily. The Upper Cat Track to the Frontside, the top of the Doors, dropping off the Luckyshot Cat Track, Luckyshot, and all the accesses to Grubstake became P-Tex eaters. Staying fast and light on your feet resulted in only minor well-worth-it damage.
Amigoette and I followed the visibility as long as we could till there was no new left. Went on some nice smooth pow runs into sketchy brush holes. Dug up some rocks testing the coverage. And settled into the best of the bunch that worked even when the fog rolled through. Favorites of the day were Valley Bowl, Grubstake Trees, C-3 Chairline, Upper Memorial, (Upper Sunnyside if we’d been able to see), and Close-to-the-Trees Luckyshot.
By mid-day, the loose snow was getting heavy and thicker, and the skied out snow was packing firmly. I cycled a bobsled run - one-line - through the trees and brush and the short steep soft pow of Chairline till finally, the fog won. Took a blind run down from Mountaintop and called it a good day.
Given - it will warm up some tomorrow, there will be some precip, and then it will cool off and there will be some precip.
Unknown - How warm, rain or snow, how much precip, how fast it will change.
Next week it will cool off and snow, and then get clearish.
All bets are off.