Craig's Report - January 30, 2007

Hard Times

Although it is something of a oxymoron in my lexicon, the best description for today�s conditions would probably be good hard packed skiing. Although most groomed and mogul runs had a construction grade of firmness, they were generally only a little stubborn about yielding to a determined edge. Some bump runs are getting a little toothy in appearance, but even those were manageable without too much slipping and for those who like high speed carves on the groomed, conditions were perfect.

Off piste slopes that avoided the melting sun of last week had conditions ranging from firm, but pretty grippy moguls to stiff chopped crud that looked more sinister than it was. Although not exactly ideal, the chunks were not all that hard or frozen firmly in place and the overall ride wasn�t all that bad.

I have been avoiding those refrozen South facing slopes for several days, but decided I should at least check them out again and so headed over to Cornice Chute. Sure enough there was little to recommend there as your choice was frozen chopped crud on the sides or a slick smooth center that, while still holding an edge reasonably, promised the possibility of a fast slide into the waiting trees if you were to fall.

It continues to be rather chilly with morning temperatures in the -20 C range and despite the sun, it was still lingering below -10 C when I finally crept out in the afternoon. At 16:40 it is -9 C at the house with a clear sky.

Clear but cold - Lizard Bowl and Bear.

Sunnyside from near the top of Ballet.

A dedication to reportage and bad judgement had me make a lonely journey to Red Tree. It wasn�t nearly as bad as it looks as the stiff snow wasn�t immovable, but it would be hard to recommend the trek.

The Panty Tree is again in full bloom. The boarder isn�t taking massive air, but rather riding the sedate Elk Chair.

An unintended skiless descent on the slick surface above these Cornice Chute trees would not be good.