February 09, 2000

Snow Smorgasbord

I think you could find any kind of snow imaginable somewhere or the other on the hill today. I started my brief reconnaissance loop by heading up the Bear T-Bar. There had been signs warning folks not to venture from the groomed due to breaking crust, but the stuff heading into Cedar from the top looked pretty sweet, and so it was. It was a bit heavy, but boot high and very pleasant. It got heavier as you descended though and started to get crusty just above the gully. A smart person would have taken the groomed Cruiser cat track, so I headed right down the ungroomed lower steep section of Cedar Main. This started out as breaking crust, which part way down started to occasionally not break and then just became firm and lumpy, but still threw in the odd break just for fun. I made it down, but with a decided lack of grace. To make matters worse, while riding up the Boom Chair I got to witness a fellow absolutely scorch down the steep face of Boom Ridge. While he was clearly an alien using non-terrestrial physics, it was still depressing.

The top of Sunnyside was very nice, but the transition to breaking crud came just at the bottom of the steep section, so I skipped my normal routes down China Wall or Freeway and just cruised down the boiler plate of the lower groomers. As I did so, I wondered if boarders reverberating over this stuff might ever consider using hearing protection, for it seemed to me that without it they would soon end up with ears only fit for old eight tracks of Barry Manilow.

Given the good snow on top, it seemed like White Pass might be the spot to be and as I flew over the bottom of it on the Timber Express it became apparent this wasn't exactly a unique conclusion. The line extended well outside the coral, but I patiently joined the herd for what was probably only a little over five minute wait. The snow in the Puff trees had been quite good until just the last couple of turns below the bottom, so the wait promised to be worth while. Currie was closed, so all those folks were coming back down Timber and it was about as crowded as I have seen it. The snow was good though and once I managed to crawl off into the trees, I was treated to some delightful turns. The contrast to the crud of the last week was startling and reassured me that I really can turn, sometimes.

I really should have got back in line and gone up again, but using disdain of midweek line ups (something that is coming soon anyway with the school breaks) as an excuse I kept to my original plan and scraped my way down to the bottom.

At 2:30 PM it is 1 C and snowing (!).

This soft but heavy snow in Cedar Bowl was still pretty nice at this elevation.

Gee, I wonder which lift has the best snow? The bottom of White Pass.

I don't know if I have seen this many folks at the top of White Pass before.

Still I was able to find some relative quiet and very nice snow with my friends the trees.