Craig's Report - January 31, 2004

Thin Crust or Deep Dish?

This morning's official ski report described the conditions as powder on crust. Even given that the official reports seem to be refreshingly candid these days, this did not sound promising. Nonetheless my twelve year old daughter and I headed out for what we thought might be a very quick reconnaissance. The official report was dead on, but we found the conditions to be more 'interesting' than horrible and that became the catch phrase of the day - 'well that was interesting' or 'that was WAY too interesting!'.

Up top the conditions were actually quite to my liking, with that sort of soft styrofoam snow that cuts quite nicely. Examples would be upper Currie bowl and Cedar Ridge (yes almost everything was open). Farther down the thick crust started breaking, leaving behind softball sized chunks that made for a rough ride and definitely required major concentration. Sunnyside would be a good example of these 'too interesting' conditions. On the plus side, I am pretty sure this stuff will break down into some nice skiing once enough sacrificial lambs beat upon it.

Farther down the crust became thin enough to slice through with relative impunity, despite the disconcerting ripping sound. Few folks were stupid enough to try Freeway on a day like this, but this kind of light crust made it quite pleasant, in an 'interesting' way.

The groomers were generally hard and fast, but in most places would hold all the edge you had the nerve and strength to apply. I must admit I am coming to actually kind of like that stuff, at least as a side dish.

All in all a much better day than I imagined it would be, albeit perhaps a bit of a tribute to reduced expectations.

Coming up on 5:30 PM, it is about -2 C with a mix of light cloud and clear skies.