February 03, 2000

Some of the prettiest crud on earth

The headline on the official report this morning read "The Hill's Looking Good" and indeed it was. Crystal clear skies and lots of sunshine made for lovely vistas just about everywhere you looked. Of course the subtitle "Excellent on Groomed Runs" did leave one wondering about the ungroomed stuff.

Everything except the Face Lift was now open and finding uncut snow was not hard, but cutting it up yourself was a little trickier as it generally had that stiff consistency that makes me think of skiing on styrofoam. If you were smooth and careful, you could extract some fairly nice turns, but this snow was a harsh mistress that would cheerfully punish sloppy technique. Where the crud was chopped it was even tougher for mere mortals to maintain a smooth dignified line, but it wasn't in the crawl back to the groomed as soon as possible stuff either. That was reserved for stuff low on the mountain, such as the bottom of Decline where a thin rain crust and modest slope ratcheted up the difficulty an extra notch or two. (I find crud and crust easier on steeper stuff).

Of course most sane folks were simply staying on the groomed runs, which if not necessarily excellent, certainly were pretty good. Puff was the only well beaten mogul run I tried and it was pretty decent as well, at least for Puff.

At ten past nine this evening it is -5 C and clear.

Griz Peak, with Lizard Bowl on the left and Bear on the right.

What I guess must be the upper part of the Highline run in Timber Bowl.

Looking over one's shoulder at Timber Bowl from the White Pass chair. Mammoth Head is in the background.

Polar Peak from the top of White Pass. The traverse to the Concussion Chutes is just visible at the extreme right.

In the Concussion Chutes, probably somewhere around Cornice Chute.