Craig's Report - January 27, 1998

Vertically Variable

jan07982.JPG (6135 bytes)It rained pretty hard last night, but the temperature was near freezing suggesting the possibility of snow up top. Still I find it difficult to get enthused about skiing when it is warm and soggy down at the base and this morning it was impossible to tell from the bottom where the rain line was since the hill just disappeared into thick cloud.  On the other hand my chair and keyboard seemed to be making moves to absorb me Borg style, so I headed out for a brief bit of exercise.

It was very foggy up top and this picture from Cedar Ridge does not really seem to do it justice.  Crossing a big run in the bowls you would lose sight of everything.   Just a vast ocean of white until eventually a fuzzy tree or two would appear on the horizon making you feel like a sailor making landfall after a long ocean voyage.

jan24982.JPG (23010 bytes)Compensating for this was rather nice snow.   It was less than ankle deep and certainly not fluffy, but even I could probably call it powder and it did ski rather well.  As you descended the fog cleared and by the time you got down to where this was taken on the knob in the middle of Cedar above the flats (anyone know what that is called?), visibility was quite good and the snow was still nice although definitely starting to get sticky.  A little further down the sticky snow grew a thin rain crust which added to the challenge.  Fortunately this layer was thin enough to be manageable although tricky, particularly on less steep slopes.


jan27983.JPG (25666 bytes)I had hoped this picture would present a good image of one of my favored lines down through the Bear Chutes.  I was amazed at how flat the terrain appears.  I think most folks who have skied here would agree it is definitely not flat, which goes to show that you just can't trust a picture, at least not one of mine.

Even this far down the snow wasn't bad, but just as you got into the trees it became quite a bit heavier and each turn unleashed a multitude of snowballs rolling down the hill.  I stopped above one tree and was startled by a great ruckus below me.  It seems I had almost buried some squirrel taking advantage of the warm weather and he was now one very unhappy rodent and told me so in terms I'm sure Chip n Dale never use.

Everything was open except for the Face Lift, but since the snow was best up top and fresh tracks in seemingly unlimited supply for the few folks who were up there early, I did not venture far.  By the time I got around to writing this in the late afternoon the skies had partially cleared and the sun was poking through on occasion.  You could even see the top of the hill.  Our thermometer is claiming 3 C and there is no wind.

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