Craig's Report - December 19, 2006

Wind Blown

After some nippy days, a temperature approaching zero with little wind promised some pleasant skiing conditions as I headed from the house in the early afternoon. However it would not be long until I would be standing in the middle of Lizard Bowl being chilled and battered by blustery gusts and contemplating a crusty wind slab that clearly had evil intentions towards my well being. Although five days without snow and a weekend of stash seekers has had its effect, it was the wind that was the dominant force today.

Fortunately it wasn�t all bad, for warned off my initial plans for Snake Ridge by my experience in Lizard, I sought the lee side shelter Cedar Ridge and sure enough found enough sugar like wind sift to provide some nice, although not altogether consistent turning. Even better was upper Linda�s run, which like parts of Boom Ridge and most of Boomerang had been wind groomed almost perfectly flat with a grippy top layer that would cascade about you as you made your descent. Even Sunnyside, which was bearing the brunt of the wind blasts, was smooth and secure feeling, while 1,2,3 was a mixed bag that got better as you descended.

Even the groomed conditions, at least on the upper part of the mountain, were subject to the whims of the wind. Most was quite good, but where well scoured it could be firm to the point of, if not actually icy, at least rather noisy. The lower groomed runs were all in fine condition and coverage was excellent top to bottom.

At 16:30 it is -3 C at the house, with just the odd cloud.

Looking pretty much right up the Timber Lift line from the base, with the sun shining off of a well covered Meadow.

On Power Trip. The little dark bits are just bits of wind blown tree droppings that were common, but harmless.

Standing on the knob on Cascade, looking down toward Dancer and Freeway with Easter Bowl to the right. My trip down through the wind slab was far from a thing of beauty.

A view of the Saddles from the same spot.

I am not sure when I might last have seen the main part of upper Linda�s run packed, but so smooth.

Looking across the last part of 1,2,3 towards the Anaconda Glades.