Craig's Report - February 18, 1997 - 3:30 PM

Grumpy Whiner?

I got the impression that most of the people who I rode up lifts with today felt I was just a grumpy whiner for grumbling about the conditions. They all seemed to find positive things that seemed to elude me, so you can adjust your perception of my comments appropriately.

For me the conditions ranged from fairly decent to gawd awful. Generally the upper parts of the mountain were not bad and in Fish you could even make fresh tracks in a few centimeters of dense blown in snow. It sure wasn't powder and it was rather particular about being skied with a smooth carve, but all in all it was pretty decent. To get there you had to pass a sign suggesting that all of Snake Ridge was "Not Recommended" and sure enough the bottom of Red Tree was scrapped and icy, but not terribly treacherous. I even rode up with a girl who said Steep and Deep was good, which I found surprising.

There was also a sign at the top of Cedar Ridge saying "Not Recommended", "Marginal Skiing", "Use Extreme Care", "Dead Man Skiing" etc., but once again the top part of the ridge was pretty pleasant with soft rounded moguls and little ice. Below about the top of the cat track things changed though and things got quite icy. It was still skiable, but care was in order for a big painful slide appeared likely if you fell. (Note that kidding aside, slides are no joking matter here and unless you are sure you know what you are doing, consider carefully before passing them.)

Upper Easter was also okay with fairly soft snow. In less traveled areas this degraded to a pretty tricky crust farther down and Freeway was its normal slick self, albeit with enough lumps of soft to allow you to thread your way down relatively smoothly.

Sunnyside, at least where I tried to go down, was a real mine field. The generally slick conditions were enhanced by lumps and snowballs frozen solidly to the surface in a seemingly random fashion. Not fun and definitely not recommended.

Currently it is about 2 C at the house and cloudy with the odd flake falling. More clouds and flurries or showers are forecast, but it is also supposed to remain warm. :-(

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