November 26, 1999

Griz has a good day!

The manic-depressive swings in the weather suggest that the Griz must be off of his lithium again. This morning brought a heavy snowfall that certainly tipped things back into the realm of the good. From what I saw on a walk up to the Bear's Den, it appeared to me like the hill could open any time, at least once they get things groomed. This bodes well for the hopes of a December 3 start, but I don't think that is official yet and I don't know what the situation might be in the rougher terrain of Timber Bowl. Still folks with early season trips planned should be able to breath a little easier now.

There were lots of folks, mainly boarders, up at the Bear's Den and the Bear run was quite well tracked. From the whoops and exclamations I took it that conditions up top were excellent.

I have a feeling that these folks must have thought I was a little touched in the head to have walked up there without bringing a board or skis, but frankly I no longer chaff at the bit so much that a run down Elk or even Bear seems worth the hassle of carrying (or wearing) skis and boots up there. One fellow gently ridiculed me when he spotted my bear spray still strapped to my pack. Now I suppose I could have claimed that male grizzlies don't necessarily bed down until mid December, but I must admit it probably did look pretty silly and the odds of encountering a bear in ski central today were pretty minuscule. I guess I just haven't quite made the mental switch to winter yet. The bear spray was quietly stashed in a closet when I got home.

It started cooling down a bit this afternoon and at just a little past five it is now -4C and calm with a mix of clear skies and clouds.

A much happier sight than yesterday..

The lower runs now seem quite well covered. This is from just above the base of the Deer Chair.

Lizard Bowl from the Bear's Den

Bear was a fairly busy run.

The first airborne boarder shot of the season.

It probably wasn't that long ago that this many people milling around the Bear's Den would have been unusual on a week day, even when the lifts were running.