Gray sky, gray fog - even the snow looked gray. There was some nice new snow, 4-12”, covering everything. The problem was the everything.
Any aspect that got sun on friday and saturday was new snow over now-frozen sun-baked mank. Unfortunately, once committed to Memorial, we had to ski the whole run. We couldn’t see most of the run as it was foggy as shit. A wall of fog from Green Valley south obliterated all vision. North of G-Valley, it was a horizontal layer of fog that turned the world a swirling grayness down to the lower level of the GV chair.
Blinded by the fog, we poked around trying to find a place with enough trees so you could see, and with snow that wasn’t just a disguise for icy bumps. The crunchy/icy layer was a surprise. We’d left some really nice packed pow friday, but over the weekend, between the sun and crowd, all that was left below the new snow was crunchy ice and hard bumps.
So we vertigo skied from place to place finding a few turns here and there. The new snow was really nice, it was just the underlying snow that tripped you up. Or, the whiteout fog disorientated you. We anticipated Bear Pits, nice packed pow on friday, as being a good place with trees for vis and steep for fun. Once through the no-see-um traverse, things looked promising. A soft fast entry, then….. Whoever’s been there in the last couple day has carved the whole area into big swoopy side-to-side hard bumps. Try to ski the fall line and it was banging over walls of ice. Same for Outer Ferks.
We found the best line, after much that-wasn’t-good exploration, to be long T2Bs down Snorting Elk-Sluiceway-Berry Patch-Lower E and ride the Gondola back up.
Maybe Powder Bowl held the elusive leftover packed powder under the new, but we could never see more that a few feet up the hill. People coming out of the mist said vis was non-existent. So, we took an early departure and chalked one up as An Exploration Day.
Tomorrow will start a clearing trend with increasing visibility, but the warming trend will be wednesday. Clear and warm on wednesday will soften the crunch and heavy-up the leftover new. I expect a transition from too frozen, to perfect, to too soft. Then re-freeze it all later in the week. Spring is coming.