Craig's Report - March 23, 2005

Half Good

That would be the top half of course, which despite being well trodden, could still offer up the occasional powder stash and an abundance of soft pack, albeit with a pinch or two of ice. Even the bottom half was in a much better state of dismal than before the last round of snow, but dismal nonetheless. As a whine connoisseur, I find even a great run loses something when it ends in brown snow and pebbles. Still we should be thankful for what we have, for there is still quite good skiing available, while other resorts like Red and Kimberley are now closed.

The best skiing was predictably the stuff farthest from the beaten track. Everywhere I went, the moguls tops were were pretty soft, but in busier spots, the back sides and troughs would often be hard and slick. A bit of wind scouring was also at work in places. The lower groomed runs that had snow, generally had lots of grip and cruised nicely, but there wasn't a big selection to choose from.

Navigation continued to be key to navigating the bottom. The best way down from the Haul Back would now appear to be Cedar Trail all the way to Lower Kodiak, which was in quite good shape and perfect for high speed carving until you approached the Boomerang chair, where it was wise to dump speed early in deference the pebbles embedded in the snow near the coral. Lower North ridge (below Cedar Trail) was manageable until the final turn to the chair, which was pretty grim. I saw reference today to middle North Ridge, which is the short section between the top of Haul Back and Cedar Trail and has been big trouble all season and is now closed. It is nice to have a term for it.

Lizard Trail continues to be by far the best route to the bottom and it even served for my only run off of the new side, which was by way of Sky Dive and the summer mountain bike trail.

Additional snow is being forecast and it was gray and cool out, with a strong wind that certainly felt winter like. At 18:00, it is -4 C at the house, but the clouds look to be breaking up somewhat. :-(

Looking across Currie Bowl from the trail below Polar Peak. The top of the White Pass chair is at the upper right.

Another cross the bowl shot, this time in Lizard. The Lower Saddle is at the upper right, Lone Fir is upper center and the top of Easter Bowl is center left.

Nice powder shots were still available, although admittedly this one was in Fish bowl and a wee bit on the far side of the boundary rope.

The lower part of Boom Ridge certainly didn't look inviting to me, but there didn't seem to be a shortage of folks who thought otherwise.

Cedar Bowl from Cedar Ridge with Cruiser in the middle. The moguls up here were soft and friendly, but farther down patches of ice started to appear between them.

Looking up the Boomerang run. I came in near the bottom by way of Bear Chutes, but at least down here and even though it isn't obvious from the picture, there were significant patches of ice to contend with.

Meadow is kind of white again, but not really ready for visitors.

Puff from the White Pass chair. I didn't ski it today, but Liftline was wind burnished and surprisingly icy in spots, while still having some very nice soft turns off to the side.

The view down Sky Dive. Above the split with Decline there was the usual mutant moguls with surprise obstacles thrown in for interest, but from here down to the mountain bike trail was quite pleasant. Perhaps one could have gone farther without performing too much horticulture, but I had my doubts and bailed out to Freeway and then China Might, which incidentally wasn't too bad even at the end of the day.

Dipsey with the Bear's Den at the top. Although somewhat icy, this slope, which has been a trouble spot in much better years, is in surprisingly good shape. Clearly a big beneficiary of the snow making added a couple of years ago.