Craig's Report - December 26, 2004

Ho, Ho, Ho! Santa Brought Snow

While the Griz, our resident snow god, may be going through a shiftless spell, good old Saint Nick dropped off a Christmas treat of 25+ cm of powdery Joyeux Noel. The new snow depth seemed pretty consistent right down to the bottom and it has effected a wonderful transformation on the hill. The best bits were of course the powder runs, but being able to now easily navigate the bottom of the hill may be a bigger benefit.

The avalanche board was almost pure red through most of the morning, so most easily accessible powder was burned up pretty quickly. Still for those willing to do a little hunting, soft turns were still available when I left in the early afternoon. True, these often alternated with hard spots as the loose new snow was scraped off of the underlying crust, but even then the skiing was pretty fine.

If you happened to catch an opening, as we did on Cedar Ridge around noon, then silky untracked turns were yours, as long as you didn't let the howling herd right behind you distract you. I went straight in from the top of Boomerang and had a very sweet run, but as I approached the gully I decided to traverse over to get the steeps over towards King Fir. Not only did this mean a traverse through a waterfall of the powder crazed, by the time I got there, probably less than a minute after the sign drop, the slope was already well tracked from the folks who dropped in from lower on North Ridge. There was even the odd icy section.

Apart from the opening frenzies and some congestion on the few open intermediate runs, there were surprisingly few folks on the slopes given that it was Boxing Day. We pretty much skied right on most of the lifts.

At 16:15 it is -7 C and partially cloudy at the house.

Bernie enjoys some Christmas treats.

The base area is feeling much better now. :-)

The Bear ant farm.

A little alder flossing in Bear Chutes anyone?

Cedar Ridge just shortly after opening.

The glades between Puff and Heartland.

Knot Chutes.

Shakey's Acres from the top of White Pass.

Heartland in the center and Knot Chutes in the background in a shot taken from the top of Milky Way.