Craig's Report - April 1, 1998

Dead Bear Day

I should say right up front that spring skiing just doesn't seem to be my thing,  I don't know if it is just that I am not fond of the normal spring conditions or that I am mentally already in summer mode.  In any event dedicated spring skiers should pretty much ignore me.

Still it was a gorgeous sunny morning and despite all the other things I wanted to get done I slipped up the hill for a couple of runs.  The first bad news was that the Bear T-Bar had died.  Apparently seriously died with a gearbox aliment and it is not expected to be resurrected until Friday or Saturday.  :-(

A feature of having a big mountain directly in front of you is that you never see the weather coming.  It just sort of pops over  the ridge and is here.  This is exactly what happened as I made my way up the Boom chair.  In the space of less than a chair ride the blue sky, sun drenched conditions were replaced with sullen grays and a leaden sky.  This shot on Sunny Side illustrates that its name had suddenly become inappropriate.

At least the south facing slopes were soft and slushy.  Many people complain about spring slush, but I certainly far prefer it to the crispy alternatives, at least off trail.  I tried a run down Cedar Ridge and was greeted with a mix of hard slick patches and semi frozen ruts and snow/ice balls.  It probably got softer farther down, but I bailed out to Cruiser instead.

The lower runs were of course very soft and somewhat sticky.  A few places had that saturated gray slush look, but so far they seem to be holding up pretty well despite the warm temperatures.  China Wall and Freeway had some small bare spots in the normal places, but that is normal for them in the spring.

At twenty to two it is 9 C at the house under a cloudy sky, although a few blue spots have now reappeared.

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