Today was the worst snow I’ve skied this year. And what a hoot we had all day. Well, almost every run.
Greeted by a weird inversion, it was 17° at the bottom and 25 on top when the lifts opened at 8:45. Anticipating sun and warming temps, I was a little under dressed. And underwhelmed once again by the opening drop into The Valley; Iceberg was fast and carvable. Thought it would have to be a groomer day. The Frontside poke was skiable, but not free-ski fun. Hmmmm. Bear Pits was better, making me work for a living. Actually it was work, I didn’t get paid. This retirement ski thing is a failed business model.
But, the Fun Model kicked into gear with a faster-than-I-should-have-gone Valley-Berg-Lower Bull got the speed run award. Hmmm…. We put our minds together, maybe not all of them working at full capacity, and another T2B was proposed. Funny, the Valley Bowl, shady side, was suddenly skiing great. It started the Valley-C-3 Chairline-Sluiceway-Lower Eagle’s Drop run, and it was Fun Model to the max. Lower E was a field of perfectly space/timed smooth bumps for the I-like-bumps crowd. Note: I’m part of the I-Like-Bumps crowd and you may need to keep that in mind for what I consider great runs.
Our new Terminator line was next on the list. The snow’s in that state where wind, sun, snow change as you go from The Doors - crap - to The Frontside - crap minus 1 - to Upper Bull - lumpy crap - to Exterminator - Meh…- to Exterminator Left - Wohooo. Amazing that aspects just out of the sun and wind were still good. And amazing what the three of us found (didn’t see another person skiing out there), tore up, got a little untracked, and threw down some powerful lines that will help ruin it for the weekend crowd.
As I said, it was the worst snow I’ve skied this year. That says a lot about how good things have been so far (I took the colder than shit and no new snow week off). And how great my Local Team has been at egging each other on and finding good snow. Pickings were slimmer today, but the Poke-and-Ye-Shall-Find method of run control worked its magic. Best january doldrums in memory. So far.
The pickings are gonna get slimmer and slimmer as the weekend crowds smother the slopes. Groomers will get skidded and the off-piste will deter all but the unknowing. Hopefully, enough people will go off the groomers to smooth out the lumpy, chunky, crunch. I forecast a downhill slide for conditions with 3 days of MLKing holiday crowds, no new snow, and warming temps. When the new weather finally comes in late monday, the snow level will rise to mountain top and all bets (you didn’t place one did you? Oh no….) are off. Pay attention, or next week you might be skiing in the rain.