A week ago I was skiing in 18-24” of heavy powder. Today, 40 plus degrees, no coat, and soft spring snow. I expected to ski an hour or two of icy groomers till the sun softened the overnight freeze. Out of the gate (there’s no gate) the groomers were soft carvable, and smooooooth. Everyone was sleeping in, I guess, and with The Place to ourselves, it was high speed carving fun. GV Bowl was just soft enough to provide an amusing way to get to Iceberg - Iceberg not living up to its normal reputation of the brrraaap, brrrrraaap, corduroy I expected.
The groomer fun lasted for an hour. There was an unexpected ridge-top east wind blowing, which usually cools the sunny-day softness, but today it was hot. And at 10:00 the gang did a pack stop to get rid of coats, grab cooler gloves, switch the goggles for sun glasses, and don our Hawaii/Bora Bora/Fiji shirts. Frontside bound, our stylish crew started really throwing down some energy into the now-soft bumps and steeps.
Gully Gully, Sunnyside, Showtime, Oh My. It was the Goldilocks zone of not too soft, not too hard, not too crunchy - just right. Smooth bumps (that doesn’t make sense. Was it smooth or bumpy?) you could carve, airplane turn over, or zipper line through. Perfect consistency, and top-to-Rex non-stops abounded. And then the day got big. After a fast T2B Valley-Berg-Lower Bull we had a long slow Gondy ride just as the east wind was about to put the Gondy on wind hold. Had a lot of time to look at The Terminator. Luckily, our Random New Gondy Buddy had just skied it and gave it lofty praise. We ditched the Gondy for the day (actually, they shut it down shortly after we got out) and started lapping Exterminator.
Today was a study in sun versus wind exposure versus skier grooming. And we knew where to look. Left of Iceberg, the off-piste was crusty, crunchy no-go land. 50 feet around the corner, out of the wind, Exterminator was, again, the Goldilocks balance of softness, firm under layer, and more of those smooth bumps. Oxymorons aside, run of the day as many laps ensued.
I applaud the Amigos - the pumptitude was contagious. We skied a narrow slice of Crystal as the “extremities” wouldn’t have been good given the need for sun. Not a bad run, not a bad suggestion from the condition-knowledgable Amigos. Thanks to all that inspired me to ski hard. Unfortunately, we were down one Amigo. Amigoette is recovering from last monday’s level 2 MCL strain. She’s a tough one and will be back soon.
Looks like tuesday will be more of the same. Wish I could go. Especially since wednesday brings an unwelcome return of rain, all the way to the top. Cooling temps thursday might add some snow, but I’ll wait and see if it’s enough to hide the nasty ice on friday.