January 06, 2001

Location, Location, Location

That old real estate saw listing the three most important things about a piece of property, applied to the quality of skiing today. There was no significant additional snow since yesterday's wet offering, but the temperature had dropped and things had frozen. This meant some bullet proof ugly groomed runs this morning on much of the mountain. The snow right at the top of Bear wasn't too bad, but a descent into Cedar would soon encounter crust which would go from mild to pretty much supporting you as you descended. Lower down the off trail stuff consisted of frozen lumps and was best avoided. The first couple of hundred feet off of Bear also had some nice groomed conditions, but below that boiler plate ruled.

Generally the grooming crews had done a pretty decent job in what must have been difficult conditions, but small death cookies were common in places and Wallaby had ruts and lumps that constituted some of the worst grooming I have seen in a while.

It was by no means all bad however, for the spot to be today (or at least this morning) was up on White Pass. This had escaped the wetness of yesterday and the snow was of high quality and hazards were easily avoided, if you chose your runs carefully. The soft moguls were friendly and not surprisingly, the White Pass chair was the busiest we saw, although it still didn't have significant line ups. As an added treat Currie was open and seemed very nice down to Trespass Trail (we avoided sampling Currie Powder though). Unfortunately the exit out Gilmar's was less than pleasant as it was back in the ice and rock zone.

We left just after lunch, and some of those hard groomers were softening a bit. Still for a fine experience today, White Pass was the key.

I have noticed recently that the ski hill reports are a tad schizophrenic. The 4:00 AM report this morning claimed excellent skiing and riding on groomed throughout the ski hill. This was just plain fiction and bad fiction at that as most of the groomed runs were rather awful. The 8:50 report called the conditions variable throughout, which was certainly true and perhaps even understated as it did not suggest the really very good skiing available up on White Pass. I noticed the same thing yesterday when the early report was fresh powder when it was in fact raining on much of the mountain, but the later report just said fresh snow.

At 15:30 it is clear and hovering around freezing at the house.

It was another pretty day. This is Polar Peak from upper Currie.

The low winter sun sends spiky shadows across a very firm Bear.

Not everything was pretty though, for instance the grooming on Wallaby.

The nice snow off of White Pass meant it was popular on an otherwise not very busy day. This is the mogul field below the Knot Chutes.

Looking down Shakey's Acres.

My 13 year old navigates the weeds on upper Highline, which despite appearances from below was actually very nice.

A run later though he found himself missing some vital equipment on the chute beside 123 in Currie. The stuff out of frame to the left is normally a favorite haunt of mine, but it had slid earlier and still looked pretty rough.