Three things not to do. Get your annual cold plus a cough, schedule one of the biggest snow dumps of the year with President’s Day weekend crowds, and give up on that sneaker big day.
After 2 weeks off due to some crappy snow conditions, Amigoette getting a nasty head cold, and said head cold traversing to me for a week and a half, today was the planned comeback. I was a little hesitant thinking what 6° air would do to my recovering lungs, and recent snow reports haven’t been stellar. So… plugged in the “don’t give up” program and headed to Crystal, hoping to exceed my low expectations. After an early drive (more later) and a big clothing bundle-up, wow! Even my best expectations were exceeded.
There was a little snow overnight, an inch here, 2 inches there, and 4-6 inches right where it needed to be. And luckily, the Winter Break Crowd didn’t make much a showing, and what they skied were groomers. So, we skied nice new snow over chopped pow over occasional ice patches - surprise! Since no one was skiing the off-piste, we could ski the silky new snow on one run, and then move left or right and do it again, missing crunch exposed on the previous run. And so it went. We started with Showtime and moved north a little each run, ending with Exterminator. Surprised every run how smooth the new snow felt, how little the crunch layer impacted, and how fast we skied down. There was no need to hunt too far.
Main Chute in Powder Bowl ended up with 6 tracks. Ours. One of the fastest, straightest, scariest lines I’ve ever skied in the hundreds of Main Chute adventures over the years. Be careful dropping into Bear Pits on an adrenaline overdose. It might give you an awesome ski day hangover.
Sidebar - There’s going to be river erosion repair on 410 5.5 miles west of Crystal Blvd. They started today and expect traffic impacts for 2.5 weeks. One lane traffic with up to 30 minute complete closures 7-4:30 weekdays. On the way down today the delay did a good job of bunching traffic up behind the slowest link in the chain. Lots of dump trucks coming up, loaded with rocks and dirt. Hope the asshat passing on a corner understood how close he came to dying and killing a couple carloads of skiers when that dump trunk pulled round the corner just as he moved back in line.
Hope the rest of the ski amigos get well for next week’s sunny days.
It looks like the now-exposed icy crunch (Valley Bowl and lower Powder Bowl excluded) will hang around till friday night. New snow for the weekenders. This should be the last weekend of big crowds - my prediction. Next week is supposed to be sunny with no precip. But, we’ve heard that tune before.