I felt like a real skier today. This winter of weird weather and mostly mediocre snow has made me feel weak at times. Not today. There was some very nice snow, boot top to calf deep where unskied. However, in most places it was over a lumpy base of now frozen cut-up wet snow. It took a sturdy quadricep to hold on when you hit the lumps, but well worth it when you skied into a powder area.
As usual, the south side (north facing) area of Green Valley Bowl was great and stayed great all day. Anything below 6,000 feet was marginal to ugly. Iceberg and Luckyshot started out as good groomers, then succumbed to the light crowd’s ski edges by 10:30, becoming large areas of unedgeable brown ice. The ice did have one redeeming quality as it locked the rocks down, and the only areas of watch-your-edges were on the transitions and easily avoided.
We hit Chair Six minutes after it opened. The traverse is in great shape other than being completely clogged by Team No Wax. No pushing required unless you’re behind them. Nice we could get a couple laps in before they pushed out to the powder. And powder there was. The only thing wrong with a completely untracked A-Basin rope line was I couldn’t see half the time as CD hoovered up plumes of pow.
I considered it my duty to sample as much as I could for the safety of humankind. Memorial was a no-go, Breakover interspersed nice new snow and hidden ice blocks. Bear Pits was 25% untracked bliss and 75% get-me-out-of-these frozen lumps. Door 6 had 3 of the nastiest icy moguls before reaching today’s standard pow over crunch. Powder Bowl should have been awesome, but was carved up while it was mush and is now frozen in those odd shapes. Grubstake almost hurt me, Elksnort was nice and soft, but skied out after just two of us.
So, as the day wore on and our skiable terrain got smaller, Valley Bowl and Valley Trees, kept the smiles going. Until someone suggested a Top-2-Bottom. More for the warm Gondy ride than the snow. Valley was great, but Sluiceway, Berry Patch, and Upper Lower E (figure that out) are the reason I have so much soreness in my old age. Lower Lower E was good, but not worth the pain of getting there.
It’s a fine balance between causing pain and seeking smiles. I was lucky with body and brain finally, this year, able to ski the junk underneath and not hurt myself. And to reflect after a mind numbing slow drive home, what a fun day.
Conditions will repeat tomorrow although with a little less new snow and a lot more people. Earlybirds will get the best-snow worm. Sunday will be nasty with a lot of snow and high winds. I hope it’s windy enough to shut down the mountaintop and save the snow for monday (me). Continued daily precip and coolish temperatures for the next 10 days. Might finally be winter.