Craig's Report - January 06, 2008

A Mixed, but Mainly Good, Bag

I can't say I encountered any true powder on my brief, late afternoon excursion today, but that didn't prevent me from having lots of very fine turns. The rain did arrive as predicted a couple of days ago, but not in the quantities or elevation that was feared. Only the very bottom of the mountain experienced the liquid stuff and while wet snow has left a crispy residue farther up, everything above the altitude of the Bear's Den escaped completely. It is only due to wind that fairly dense snow has replaced powder at higher elevations, but this does not manifest itself as ugly wind slab, but rather stuff that ranges from what I heard aptly described as 'cardboard' to delightful wind sift. All that I found was quite delightful.

Only near the bottom of the hill were things sometimes a bit unfriendly. Off the groomed this could range from crust that didn't always support you, to icy, rough moguls or disconcerting chop. The only good news is that the transit through most of this was brief. The situation on the groomers was much better, with noisy snow to be sure, but not much that I found to be overly slick. Again all of this applies only to the lower reaches of the mountain and most of the skiing was very nice.

By the time of my afternoon foray, the holiday crowds had pretty much vanished and lift problems were now as likely to be a lonely ride as having a wait. I expect boring rides will be the rule in the coming week.

At 17:50 it is -1 C at the house and the sky is dark and starless.

The trees between Arrow and Bow, which may now bear the dubious name of Weasel.

Looking across Lizard Bowl towards the Saddles from the same spot.

Almost all of the hill was open following an after hours heli bombing run yesterday, but by the time I wandered out, Red Tree and the rest of Snake Ridge had seen lots of traffic. Being on a first name basis with most of the trees over here let me still find some uncut and very nice lines though.

Another shot from the same location.

Looking up Cornice Chute, which had grippy, sweet wind sift that was almost, with lots of rationalization, preferable to powder.

A remarkably similar picture to the last one, but this is on Morning Glory.

and down from the same place.