It was an early weather check. Based on amigo-reported conditions yesterday, the criteria was 2” of new or more, otherwise back to bed. Eight inches of new clinched to deal. But with the bottom temp at 32, the race was on to get an early start and beat the heaviness that would come as the snow level rose even higher.
An anxious crowd awaited Crystal’s much ballyhooed early opening. Note: Opening early means Chinook. All other chairs are off the table, as Rex, Six, and Northway were on hold while shoveling the heavy new snow took awhile. You’d think the operators would get up early on a powder day. So, we got a run down Downhill (down, that’s in its name) while waiting for Rex. The snow was so heavy it required near straightlining to get down the low angle slope. Rex opened, but Green Valley Chair was broken, Six still on hold, and Northway on hold unless you were Big Cliff Jumping competitor.
The condensed crowd tore up the new snow pretty quickly. Our assignment was Memorial, Valley Bowl, and Doors 1/2/3. Got the word Six was online finally and headed up. CD and I got Chute .5 tracks 1,2,3, and 4. And Chutes 2.5 and 3.5. Six was high enough that the new snow was really nice for strong Northwest Skiers. By industry standards it would be off limits to Colorado and Utah skiers. Powder Bowl was for dodging hidden, frozen, Cow Heads, and Bear Pits was too steep to hold the new snow and slid, or scraped down to the ice layer. Feeling our NW Pow Oats, we headed for Northway, now finally opened to Non-Cliff-Jumpers.
We got Paradise Trees, Horseshoe Cliffs, and Penny Dawg Trees before…. But most importantly, our first two runs of the year down Sphincterville. Ah, good to be home again. Before the cut up new snow got so heavy it quickly shut down the fun-o-meter.
Heavy lumpy cut up junk that was packing sporadically into spine tingling (not in a good spine tingly way) bumps was the only thing we found on our back-in-main-area trials. Any untracked was now boot-top goo. And we called it an early day shortly after noon. Remember the great parts, trash the bad memories, and ski again next time the snow warrants.
Today was day one on my new wider boards. The feet, legs, and muscle memory quickly absorbed their newness and they skied just like skis. They did make the heavy “powder” easier and I quickly trusted them to go to 11 and blast though the junky snow. Nice.
If you got this far, you’ve read six paragraphs that will have nothing to do with upcoming conditions. When today’s wet snow freezes overnight, it will be ugly. However, the groomers tomorrow will smooth out the lumpy wet packed…. “stuff”, and likely be OK. Some new snow expected through sunday and I hope the weekenders smooth things out and mix in the new. This late in the season, however, they haven’t been completing their assignments very well. We need new snow and/or lots of skier grooming and heat. We’ll see.