Craig's Report - February 01, 2006

A Pretty Fine Mix

I encountered conditions today that ranged from excellent to ho-hum, but the emphasis was definitely on the smiley side of things. Courtesy of a reported 7 centimeters of snow overnight and a bunch more this morning, the hill has made a great recovery from Monday�s rain and subsequent freeze up. At low elevations off piste, there is still a crust and in some places unfriendly lumps under the new snow and near the bottom the groomed snow seemed funky and grabby, but this was overwhelmed by all the good stuff farther up.

It was a bit hard to predict just what you would find on any given pitch. Exposed slopes were often somewhat wind packed and stiff, while more protected areas might yield soft sugary snow or even good quality powder. Moguls I encountered were soft and friendly and Puff in particular treated me well. Even Freeway was pretty decent, although crunchies and crust were certainly in evidence. Lower Currie on the skier�s left of the gully was less friendly with lots of hard stuff and breaking crust under an insufficient dressing of new. There was a smooth, but challenging light breaking crust on lower Red Tree, but the boot deep sugar up top made it more than worth while.

The snow pretty much stopped in the early afternoon and at 16:45 it is an unfortunate 3 C at the house, with just the odd bit of blue in the sky.

Early afternoon at the Fish rope, with trackless boot deep sugar that was sweet indeed.

When I first got off of the Elk chair, I thought it might be busier than it had been because there seemed to be swarms of skiers on Bear (shown here) and in Lizard. However these seemed to be localized packs attached to ski lessons or ski hosts, for in the nether regions the snow was relatively lightly trammelled and chair rides were lonely affairs.

On the hump on Cascade looking down towards Dancer and Easter Bowl. The snow here was quite wind packed and developed a light crust farther down.

Looking straight down Lizard from the same spot. The Bear�s Den is about in the middle of the picture. China Wall had some pretty firm sections, but enough new snow to keep things from getting tense.

Looking back up at Lizard Bowl, with China Wall on the right and the Freeway Gully, which was also not bad, on the left.

This treed section of the Currie Chutes seems much more gladed these days. Good, but somewhat wind packed snow.

Looking up from somewhere above Lower Barracuda.

The lower part of Currie is filled in nicely, but due to the frozen crunchies under the new snow, the run down from here down was not one of the more pleasant ones today.