Craig's Report - December 21, 2005

Broken Promises

Oh, it looked so promising yesterday. A few centimeters of new snow had fallen and the frigid temperatures had moderated, but were still nippy enough to keep the snow pack durable. True, it was a bit ominous that it was quite a bit warmer at the top of the mountain and for a while a goggle blotting ice fog threatened to spoil the fun, but that soon turned to yet more snow that suggested today would be great. Even the little that had already fallen was making for some delightful skiing.

The first sign of trouble came when I headed into town late last night to pick up my daughter. To my surprise there was a freezing rain falling, despite the -6 C temperature. This was a bit disappointing, but surely it meant snow farther up. By morning the temperature was approaching zero and the snow around the house had an impressive rain crust. Unfortunately it would turn out that this crust extended all the way up the mountain.

Still the off piste skiing was pretty good, for the crust was generally thin and easily breakable and with a little extra effort, some fine turns were available. Of more concern is the softening of the thin base on some of the groomed runs, which have been standing up remarkably well in the cold temperatures. Ominous brown skid marks are now starting to appear in the normal trouble spots and while most of them are still fine to ski, more attention has to be paid to possible hazards.

Of particular concern in our travels today, was the lower section of Currie Bowl. I had been down the extreme skiers right of this yesterday and it had been fine, but today found my daughter and I maneuvering in the ungroomed fringes in an attempt to find a clear path down. I have yet to be bold enough to try the newly bull dozed stuff on the skiers left of the gully, but from what I could see and knowing what it looked like before the snow came, I have little hope it would be better. Bailing out on Trespass Trail might be the best option at this point.

At 17:00 it is 0 C at the house and raining. :-(

It was quite foggy at the top of the mountain and these ghostly, iced rocks and trees above 1,2,3, capture a bit of the other worldly feeling up there.

The Might Moose beginner area. Most of the main lower runs were still in quite good condition, although sometimes a bit icy in places.

Looking across Lizard and up into the fog on Arrow. The skiing here was definitely crusty, but quite manageable.

The area below the Bear�s Den has been a trouble spot in years past, but with improved snowmaking it now stands up well.

Looking across the KC chutes and up into Snake Main.

I found Linda�s run surprisingly pleasant, despite putting on a bit of an acrobatics display for my 14 year old daughter�s amusement.

On Sunnyside.

In the trees beside Puff. It seemed to me that the crust might have been a bit stronger here and made a kind of strange hollow sound when poked with a pole.

Lower Barracuda had nice soft moguls and sticky, but smooth spring like snow. It also had enough little surprises hidden away, to keep it from being the carefree blast it might have been.

On Gilmar Trail in lower Currie. In my memory, it seemed much worse than it looks here.