Spring was supposed to spring into action today. We raced towards Crystal this morning expecting blue skies and warm sun. Somewhere along the forecast lines, wires were crossed. The supposed warmest spring day of the year turned cloudy with a stiff east breeze, our nemesis this year, and nearly everything was a frozen wasteland throughout the day.
Valley Bowl was pretty good in a relative sort of way and Iceberg was quite Bergery in a very firm, but carvable kinda way. The east wind was scouring the ridge top and our faces with 30-40mph ice crystals. Lower Bull was soft on the groomed half and frozen moguls from hell on the ungroomed side. It only took one mogul turn to cross 80% of the mountain off today’s run list. I forgot this lesson later.
So, we Valley Berged around - actually there was no around, it was just Valley Berg Valley Berg, Valley Berg…. - with one random Luckyshot thrown in. It took a good tuck to get across the flats into the headwind. By 10:00 our hope was to stick it out till noon. So we took a poke at Powder Bowl.
The Main Chute that isn’t a chute was a weird-but-fun tangle of wind drifts, and the middle was OK. The further down you got, the worse it got. This is where my brain faded. Ski Amigo was pointing towards Bear Pits. I couldn’t hear what he was saying, and since he pointed again, I thought he wanted to give it a try. Actually he was saying “don’t go to Bear Pits”, which I realized after arriving solo through the gate. I’ve skied The Pits in a lot of bad conditions. One of our sayings, for any run, is “I’ve skied it worse” in a effort to make it seem not so bad and make us feel better. I can say after today, I’ve never skied it worse. In fact, I can only think of one other day anywhere that conditions were worse.
Valley Bowl to C-3 Chairline and Elk Snort then put me in One-More-Run Mode. There was just barely enough stoke on Elk Snort, 15 best turns on the mountain, to last through the groomer and most of the way up the chair. Making you forget how cold you were and how the wind driven ice chucks hurt your face. OK, one more. OK, one more. OK….. Um that’s it. Thirty minutes past our original noon goal. Yea!
But you take what you get and make some fun out of it. Mission Accomplished.
The “good” weather has ended and the weather will return to, “more or less, what it has typically been thus far this season”. It’s kinda fun watching the NWS guys try to make a prediction out of this year’s chaos. Roll with the punches. Those punches looks like frozen with occasion wet snow on top and rain at the bottom for a couple days. Cloudy but dry wednesday, another punch, then dry and sunnyish on friday. Doesn’t look good after that and as “the models disagree” and all bets are off. Actually, after throwing in the 2017 weather randomizer, all bets are off sounds like a pretty accurate forecast.