Craig's Report - January 8, 1998

Sun and powder - it just doesn't get much better!

jan07982.JPG (6135 bytes)The snow tapered off last night and we awoke to mainly clear skies and a cool but reasonable -15 C this morning.  The hill reports getting another 44 cm in the last 24 hours for a total of 170 for the week.  If that sounds tasty, well it was.

Both Sunnyside and Cedar Ridge were open right off the bat which reduced the crowd pressure somewhat.  I had a couple of excellent runs down Cedar Ridge, including a great one down King Fir which is now quite navigable.  In fact there were nothing but good runs and even the heavily trafficked Boomerang was serving up plenty of powder as this skier demonstrates,

jan05981.JPG (25248 bytes)while this fellow really gets into it (the dot center right is his/her head).  The snow was quite light and deep enough for frequent face shots without making you wish you had brought scuba equipment and an inertial guidance system.  Just about perfect in my opinion.

jan08985.JPG (17728 bytes)Later in the morning they opened a bit more of Cedar Bowl and while Cruiser was still closed, the lower steep part, which I think is actually part of Cedar Main, was opened.  This required a bit more breath control and was not any too steep for the snow depth.  The reason for the avalanche closures was pretty evident in a very large fracture line visible in upper Cedar Bowl. It is kind of hard to see in this picture, but might be more visible if you click on the picture for a larger version.  At some point in the last few days, this was definitely not a place to be.

jan08986.JPG (13194 bytes)As noon approached my middle aged legs were suggesting that a series of face plants would be arranged if some rest wasn't forthcoming.   I decided to call it a day and check out Sunnyside on my way down.  To my delight I discovered they had just dropped the closure for Lizard below the Tower Six road.  Few people seemed to suspect this and I even had time to stop on the trail and snap this picture of the acres of powder that awaited my not so subtle caress.  At this point I expected that the gentle Lizard terrain would not be sufficient for much more than a straight shot down, but at least on the slightly steeper stuff on the far side of Bow it was virtually perfect.  The snow was light, deep and gentle so that turns were effortless and sweet.  Every turn was a billowing face shot, but with time for breaths in between.  This continued all the way down to the bottom of China Wall, which had of course also been closed.  There was even deep powder on upper Dipsey, but this was hardly a treat.

Needless to say I had a pretty good morning. :-)  It is sunny with just a very light breeze and -10 C at 2:30 this afternoon.

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