Craig's Report - December 20, 1997

Powder and Bush

After all the delays and worries about El Nino, it seemed fitting that Griz laid on a little powder for opening day. The upper parts of the hill received about 50 cm of snow in the last week or so, which made for some very tasty skiing. The snow was generally boot to knee deep and pretty light, even fairly far down. The thin base was apparent however in the large amounts so shubbery to be found off run. Rocks didn't seem to be a problem though and the alders could be thought of as just adding a little extra challenge to some great skiing as with this shot down Cedar Ridge.

Sometimes though things got a little thicker. I had just had a few really sweet turns elsewhere on Cedar Ridge when I found myself facing a veritable forest of alders. You can just make out a snowboarder contemplating a new career in forestry. My first run down Sunnyside also resulted in sweet turns leading into an alder dead end; much worse in fact than these. I later did find a reasonable line down Sunnyside, but it was definitely furry.

Even the main part of Boomerang had significant growth on it, although it didn't seem to slow this fellow down much.

All the lifts except for Face were running, or at least I think they were as I didn't head over to Deer at all. Easter and Snake Ridge and upper Cedar (above Bear) were closed as they tried to get a handle on what are apparently some pretty wild avalanche hazards. The KC chutes were also closed, but you would have wanted a big machete or chainsaw to venture in there in any event.

The main runs in both Cedar and Lizard Bowls seemed very nice as did the Bear Run itself. I discovered the hard way that Wallaby was closed and was thus treated to the long glide down View Trail. Not surprisingly Kangaroo was also closed. The parts of North Ridge I skied seem to be in pretty good shape except for the first section below the top of the Haul Back. It was fine this morning, but didn't look like it would hold up to the traffic that area gets. The only lower front side run I skied was Elk on my way out. It was thin with patches of grass and twigs in places, but certainly fine for just getting off of the hill.

Generally things look pretty positive. As long as a reasonably steady amount of snow continues to arrive now, there should be lots of good skiing.

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