Craig's Report - December 14, 2005

Has the Griz gone Grinch?

This is the time of year one would hope that the Griz would be stocking the mountain with fluffy treats for the Holiday season, but he has been missing in action and the long range weather forecasts are fueling rumours he has gone over to the dark side. However given the accuracy of forecasts, that might actually be a good sign. In any event it is at least cold and now that I am sort of over mourning last week�s wind assassinated powder, the skiing seems pretty good.

True there are rocks and assorted hazards to watch for in various places and areas that aren�t groomed or well trammelled are still overly interesting. Otherwise the snow is generally firm, without being icy. Most groomed stuff is excellent, although something went rather wrong when they attempted to groom Down Right, which may not have had quite enough snow for underlying lumpiness. Even the often troubled old Lizard Trail pitch right below the Bear�s Den, which I think is now part of Bear Right, was in quite good shape.

Off piste, things varied from firm but grippy bumps where there had been lots of traffic, through rather rough chopped slab to full blown crud, with hard, soft, ruts, holes and the odd stump etc. all possible in the course of any one turn. You might even score the odd powder turn in that less travelled potpourri. Even the crud areas seem to be getting more manageable every day, although whether that is do to real improvement or forced familiarity leading to the reacquisition of crud legs, is hard to say. Either way I found myself actually enjoying it.

These are definitely early season conditions, but all in all still quite good. Still I keep hoping the Griz will soon come through with lots of powdery presents under that myriad of Christmas trees up there.

At 17:45 it is -11 C here at the house, under a mainly clear sky.

Milky Way has nice little moguls on the main way into the upper part and some low level crud farther down.

Most of the upper Timber Bowl runs are in quite good shape, but upper Highline looks a bit like an obstacle course.

Puff did not look at all promising from the top, but it turned out to have quite a nice line down and any hazards that presented themselves were easily avoided.

This is part of the �2� of 1,2,3. Taking a picture on �1� would have been pointless since visibility was low enough that you couldn�t even see the mogul you were teetering on.

This is looking up the newly cleared �3� of 1,2,3. This is now a large and lovely slope which promises to be great in powder and was even not bad in today�s mild crud.

Cedar Bowl from just behind the gun tower.

Slabby snow on Cedar Ridge. It was very hard to tell by looking whether the snow in here would be really hard or quite soft.

There are a lot of trees down on the hill. This one looked like some sort of behemoth�s skeleton blocking (not seriously) one of the common traverses on Cedar Ridge.

Clouds hanging on Griz Peak were pretty, but unproductive. This is taken from Bear Ridge, just below the top of the Boom chair.

Lots of clearing must have been done in the Bear Chutes, for there are now few alder infestations. This area does seem to have the largest concentration of downed trees though.