February 17, 2002Craig's FAR Update 2002/2/17:
Spring So Soon?
It is a beautiful spring like afternoon, with bright sunshine and the porch thermometer claiming 14 C. Admittedly that is probably because it is in the sun, but it is still warm and lovely out there. I am not sure that is exactly the weather I want to see in mid February though.
It is spring like up on the mountain too, especially on those South facing slopes. I slipped out for a few quick lunch time runs and was pleasantly surprised by the short lift lines, especially when traveling single. I heard that it was of course busier earlier, but it didn't sound like it was a complete zoo or even all that bad.
The hoped for dusting of snow did not materialize last night and the snow is certainly feeling ever more used. Coverage remains very good and while I heard some lift line comments about morning crunchies and even ice, about the worst I ran into were a few bits of boiler plate. Almost everywhere though the bite was good and while usually firm packed, it was not hard to ski - at least assuming you don't mind bumps, lots of bumps; some tame bumps; some not so tame bumps.
Cedar Ridge was still quite nice and parts of Sunny Side were soft and spring like, but other parts were stiffening up a bit as the shade moved in. I found a similar but more severe situation on Currie Chutes. It was certainly skiable, but the ride was not exactly smooth and carefree. Out on Snake Main the snow was more chunky and crusty and again skiable, but not really pleasant. A trip down one of the gullies at the bottom was kind of neat due to the curtain of snow that ended sliding over and obscuring the surface as you headed down, but it was also clear that you would slide just as well as it did if you made a mistake.
I received a letter yesterday taking me to task for being too critical of conditions on the hill and directing my comments too much toward off piste skiing. I had hoped I had made my biases clear on my bias page (http://far.redtree.com/cgmbias.html), but in case there are others out there who have the same feeling I have posted my response at (http://far.redtree.com/feb2002letter.html to hopefully clarify my position. The bottom line is it is just my opinion and it only pertains to the kind of skiing I like.