It was a day of poking around trying to find some OK snow. Most aspects didn’t even require a ski to be placed on them to put them in the No Go category. Any aspect that received sun last weekend was ugly frozen junk over hard icy bumps - disaster you could see from across the mountain. So we hunted for shady leftover packed powder.

Even the shaded snow had firmed up overnight, but our intrepid threesome left no snow unskied in our search. The Valley Bowl had thickened in the overnight cold and we put it on hold for more skier grooming. Iceberg was firm, groomed nicely, but deteriorated down to the months old rain layer in short order. Luckyshot would soon follow, but we got our groomers out of the way as morning sun that felt so good changed to thickening patches of dark clouds. Hmmm…. Any hopes of sun-softened snow fell by The Wayside.

I made my buds wait at the bottom while I tried an ill-fated-knew-it-unlikely-to-be-good run down Grubstake that proved to be…. sun-crusted junk. Elk Snort was deep and soft and the groomer to C-3 was carvable. When Six and Northway opened, a cloud hung on the top of Powder Bowl so Northway was the call. Only parts of Paradise Bowl that never see the sun were on my good side. It appears the Cat that grooms Northway is broke, and not in an out-of-money way. This has allowed the normally groomed lower run to stay small soft bumps, some of the best skiing of the day.  Bruce’s Bowl, Bruce’s Trees, and the tree bumps below the Nose were soft, energetic fun. My run of the day.

From Northway we fought our way across the frozen wasteland to Campbell Basin. You have to go all the way to the end of the Campbell Traverse for the good turns. Powder Bowl was… OK. Powder Bowl has succumbed to the fate much of the mountain has. There was a lot of snow a few weeks ago and a lot of skiers that couldn’t handle it. That’s left the cut-up underpinnings in a state of crossing constant traverse lines and bumps cut left to right - not down the hill. We did our best to straighten things out, alternating from Wohooos to Who Did THAT!

The good snow was at opposite ends of Crystal today. Campbell’s far skier’s right, Powder Bowl, and Northway Central. Back and forth using a now scraped ice Luckyshot and Iceberg for transportation. Ended the day somewhat satisfied and glad I didn’t ski Bear Pits.



The weekend looks to keep things frozen, a few flurries of new that will just hide the underlying pain, and maybe, just maybe, a little sun and warming on monday. It’s that time of year when skier grooming (there’s not much of that going on) a