Craig's Report - December 20, 2004

Making Do With More Of The Same

I had big hopes for the snow forecast for this past weekend, but alas it again arrived yesterday mainly as rain. It did cool off overnight and this morning found about a half a centimeter of snow in my driveway and a reported 3 cm up top. Unfortunately that is more like camouflage than the much needed cover for the lower slopes. Sure enough the things were decidedly firm, but not nearly as bad as all the talk of ice - even a liftie warned me about it - had led me to believe.

Perhaps I am just getting used to it, but it seemed there was enough left over loose stuff up top combined with ice that would at least express a mild interest in a well managed edge (Aye, there's the rub), that it was possible to get down without straining too many sphincter muscles. Granted it did occur to me that ear plugs might have made for a more peaceful ride, but for the most part I found the runs quite tolerable. Indeed since all the steeper runs had ice closures, the the stiff bits at least injected a little interest into the otherwise snoozy groomers.

While I may be coming to an accommodation with moderately icy stuff, I still hate dodging the rocks and dirt that continues lurk almost everywhere below the Bear's Den. I may be obsessive about this for I have seen lots of folks blithely skiing through stuff that to me looks more appropriate for a dirt bike. I had been avoiding the new side for this reason, but heard from a friend that they had made it across the mountain bike trail to Lizard and the relative safety of Dipsy/Lizard. This has the disadvantage of being uphill much of the way, but does provide a bypass to the horrors of Meadow.

Like the old side, coverage on the upper new side seemed good and while I encountered some of the iciest sections over there, I also found the odd section of soft snow blown into Currie. After a clattery day these shallow soft spots were tiny pools of bliss that pointed out how little snow it would take to make a huge difference. Given that the hill averages almost 40 cm of snow per week in a normal season, it would seem like salvation can't be that far away, even if the forecasts aren't terribly encouraging.

At 17:40 it is 0 C at the house and partly cloudy.

Currie Bowl from the top of 123.

The upper part of Dipsy required some navigation and some rock dodging on the cat track, but was probably better than this picture makes it look.

Where Bow (left) and Arrow (right) meet.

China Might had degraded significantly. It is still manageable on the right, but not pleasant.

I thought Cruiser wasn't too bad, although I heard an opinion to the contrary.

Snake Ridge still has lots of alders, but Snake Main actually doesn't look bad for this time of year.

What greets arrivals from the Haul Back at lower North Ridge. Once again this looks worse than it proved to actually be.

Boomerang's coverage looks good and I hear it was soft and nice in the warm wet conditions of yesterday. Now hard, it was closed today.

The no man's land above the Timber Chair continues to be a major obstacle.

Looking down the lower half of Sky Dive. That snow is actually quite soft to a depth of a couple of centimeters.