Heinz's Report - December 12, 2003


The resort opened up the new side (how long do we keep calling this the new side?) this morning and I headed up to check out the conditions.

We had quite a cold week and it was still quite blustery as I headed up Timber Chair into the strong wind blowing down from Lost Boys� Pass. The snow at the top of the mountain was very nice � about boot deep � and soft. I was surprised how quickly Timber Bowl had been skied out. The crowds still aren�t that huge and it was only 9:30 by this time and already there were many tracks all over the face? Perhaps these areas had been skied earlier this month before the official opening?

Heartland and Puff, although skied out by now, were still nice and soft and a pleasant start for the season. These can get quite hard and bumpy during the regular season. I dropped into Currie for my first run and went down the top of 1-2-3 and into Down Right. Nice fresh tracks in the trees at the top, but it got quite crusty as you hit the rain line from last weekend - just as you turned the corner at the top of Gilmar�s trail. Unlike the old side (what else can I call it?), there were no frozen bumps from traffic underneath � just a light crust that was easy to break through. However, on the left side of Gilmar�s trail, where there must have been some traffic last weekend before the big freeze, the going was much bumpier and trickier. Back on the groomed run-out was much safer!

I headed back up and over to Concussion where the snow was very good and soft until you got into the rain line at the bottom where you connect to Gilmar�s. A third time up and over to Morning Glory where we had the best run of the day. Lot�s of fresh tracks available, snow easily over the boots, maybe in some places, even up to the knees. We hit the rain line when you broke out of the trees just above Falling Star. But here there hadn�t been any traffic and the crust was easily broken and soft easy turns were to be had underneath � once you got over the uneasy feeling of breaking the crust.

A last time up and over to the top of Easter off the high traverse off Currie. This wasn�t such a good call. First, we had to break ground on the traverse and find the right line to drop into Easter. And the patrol was still working on parts of it and it was a bit sketchy over the cliff. The drop into Easter wasn�t as good as I had hoped. The snow was quite deep, well over the knees, but there were good sized frozen bumps underneath and the rain line appeared to be quite high up in the bowl. As we dropped further down into Easter we ran into many more frozen bumps underneath the fresh snow and we had to be very careful! As we came out into Lizard Bowl we saw why the new side had been skied out so fast this morning. The old side had been literally abandoned. There was nobody anywhere! And the skiing was actually quite nice. About 3 to 4 cm of nice light fluff on excellent groomed runs. I even had some fresh, albeit thin, tracks on Dipsy and Holo Hike at noon!

For some strange reason, the ski patrol has taken down the closure signs (the slider boards showing what runs are open/closed) at the bottom of the lifts. They are now at the top of the Elk and Bear, but there are now NONE on the new side. Not only is this a reduction in service and information to the skiing public, but it could actually be a bit dangerous. There are a number of spots on the mountain where you have to commit to a route down. If you don�t know it is going to be closed, you may find yourself trapped out on a ridge with the only option to hike back up. Not an improvement in service in my humble opinion!

At 3 pm it�s minus 4 Celsius outside and snowing lightly as it has been all day. We are supposed to get some snow tomorrow and then some further precip early next week. Looking good for the holidays�.

Heinz - heinzr@far.redtree.com

First ride of the season up White Pass.

The snow-clad trees in Currie.

Bernie on Concussion.

Morning Glory. Oh what a glory!

Bernie in Morning Glory. Now this is like it!

The top of Easter Bowl

The abandoned old side today. Perhaps a good place to have been this morning?