Craig's Report - April 5, 1998

Two Weeks and Counting

It was hot and sunny all through the end of last week, but various things kept me off the hill.  I had planned to head up yesterday, but a major deluge changed my mind and apparently led to a very quiet day on the hill.  There weren't many folks here today either, but there was some fairly nice skiing despite the cloudy skies.  Of course like all spring skiing the conditions were highly dependent on location and timing.

Up top the off trail stuff was kind of difficult.  The feel was pretty much that of crust, although it was more like stiff squashable snow, with ruts and lumps mixed in.   It was flailable, but not exactly easy. As you descended the snow warmed up and became uniformly soft and I thought rather pleasant, if mushy.

The groomed runs ranged from somewhat firm to very soft depending on elevation and time.  I thought they were all enjoyable though.

Everything inside the boundaries was open and with just a couple of weeks until closing, I thought I better take every opportunity to get over to Snake.  This shot looking up Cedar Valley shows upper Snake with the traverse entrance at the lower right and some avalanche debris from upper Cedar Bowl at the left.

These uncontrolled cornices looming above Fish Bowl give an idea of where such debris can come from.

apr05983.JPG (20366 bytes)Not many folks had been over this way and there were only a couple of tracks marring the centimeter or so of new snow on the trail leading down to Red Tree.  This was nice cruising, but the first pitch below the groomed trail was pretty gruesome.  The softer lower part was really good though.

apr05984.JPG (18937 bytes)Both upper Cedar Ridge and even Sunnyside suffered from crispy crusties when I skied them, so you might think this lovely gray slope in upper Easter would have been a bit of a challenge too.  You would be right.

Fortunately steepness was your friend in this kind of crud and by the time I got down to where Easter Bowl flattens out a bit, the snow was a bit softer and easier, though still not easy, to navigate.

The lower part of Freeway was soft, slightly mushy, but a lot of fun.  Incline was very soft, but had been groomed and it was like skiing in whipped cream.  Very responsive and very nice if you like soft snow, but it was probably tough for beginners. Coverage is still good, even down low.

Overall it was fun skiing and certainly not lacking in variety. :-)

At ten to four it is 6 C at the house and still cloudy.

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