I’m extremely lucky to have a gang of ski partners that help make extremely marginal conditions turn into a fun day. Today’s credit goes my constant support group, Amigoette, CD, and LD. Thanks.
There’s a number of considerations that go into a snow condition grade. One: terrain available - today 1 out of 10. Two: quality of snow available - today 4 out of 10, minus 2 points for trying to find an entry point through the rocks. Three: a combination of weather, visibility, and adrenaline - Today gets a 4 for weather (see east wind below), 6 for visibility (see low sun below), and 2 for adrenaline (see groomers below). Then, factor in the chasing your buddy factor, 7, laughing on the chair, 8, whining about the same icy patches, 9, carry the 2, divide by the after ski glass of wine, and you get…… Crap I don’t know. It just all wraps up into a fun day. But, spoiler alert, they need much more snow.
Valley Bowl still holds the best snow, but use caution dropping in or traversing from C-3, as there’s more rocks every run. The snow has firmed up and there is no fluffiness left. Edge hard and avoid the icy slides. Or, prosper and live long - I’m not sure. We ground down the little pockets here and there.
I expected the 10Kft freezing level to serve up some dig-up-dirt slush. As often happens, however, a brisk east wind canceled all softening. The low-in-the-sky sun offered no help. The 4 turns on Gandy’s that did soften late in the day instantly dug down to dirt. That’ll be all of Luckyshot if the forecast holds. The lower angle runs off Forest Queen had plenty of snow, were groomed well, and the relaxing speed kept me in the fun zone most of the day. Big loopy runs down Valley Bowl Right, various short bump aspects, Luckyshot’s rocks and icy bumps, up Forest Queen, down Downhill or Rolling Hole, Stump Farm to add some nastiness, and run to the Gondy. Repeat.
You know it’s limited conditions when The Gang goes in for lunch. We had to try out the acclaimed new Pizza Oven. Said oven takes forever to heat up and lunch was delayed. That said, the tastiest run of the day was Pepperoni Pizza and a Beer. So, we skied the Group W route (kinda trace the aforementioned line) over and over till it was successfully ground down to icy patches, firm bumps, and hidden rocky groomers. And then called it a day, a week, an until-new-snow-falls fun time.
The east wind has delayed the expected warm up, maybe tomorrow they say. Once that happens, the thin snow sunny aspects will deteriorate fast, really fast. If the warmup is delayed, things will deteriorate, but slower. FQ groomers will be the place to last the longest. And they may have to since the 10 day forecast has zero new snow. Me, I’m hanging up the now-scarred Rock Skis and getting chores out of the way so that when winter returns, I’ll be ready and available.