Craig's Report - January 13, 1998

Out of the deep freeze

jan07982.JPG (6135 bytes)It was really cold here on Sunday and Monday.   The thermometer at our house reported -36 C yesterday morning.  Amazingly enough people still went skiing and even reported having a good time, but not this puppy.

This morning brought ankle deep snow in the driveway and a relatively balmy -19C at the house as I set off to check things out.  I linked up with my neighbor Jim, seen here stirring the very light powder on Bear, and thus ended up skiing somewhat different runs than normal and getting a bit different perspective on the conditions.  Jim and I have different tastes in skiing.  I like skiing the weeds and Jim likes skiing, well where normal people ski.  Since Jim is a ski instructor and undoubtedly much better skier than I am, this probably says something unfortunate about my mental health.

Our first run was down Cruiser which had a virgin blanket of boot deep fluff.   This was very light and offered little resistance or cushioning from what was underneath.  Both of us found this quite pleasant as long as you stayed on the part that was groomed underneath and out of the long rooster tail of the other skier.  We also agreed that getting off of the groomed area into old bumps under the new snow was not a good thing.  For instance Sunnyside was certainly skiable, but not really friendly and there was a noticeable lack of traffic on the Boomerang runs.

Jim and I did disagree somewhat on the tree skiing.  The conditions under the snow were certainly unpredictable, with some nice deep powder turns mixed in with hard lumps and bumps under the inviting looking surface.  While not ideal I rather liked it in my less than graceful, 'gee I missed that one too' style, but Jim just found it plain unpleasant.  It kind of makes you question the wisdom of taking ski reports by some yahoo with a web page too seriously.

jan05981.JPG (25248 bytes)I had a suspicion that the skiing might be pretty good in areas which had not seen too much previous traffic, so when took my leave of Jim and headed down I decided to check out the lower part of Easter bowl (at left).  This was indeed pretty sweet, with the odd face shot and only slightly heavier snow underneath as long as you stayed away from the areas that had been well skied.  I probably should have been more ambitious and climbed up to the top.  Freeway on the other hand was a bit of a dog's breakfast of powder, scraped icy sections, twigs and big mutated bumps.  Kind of fun for the challenge, but hardly relaxing.

Everything appeared to be open this morning, but they closed the Face Lift midmorning.   The heavy snow of this morning has stopped and while the sun tries to poke out everyone and a while, it is still quite overcast and they are forecasting more snow.   At 2:30 PM it is an almost ideal -13 C.

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