February 27, 2002

Craig's FAR Update 2002/2/27:
Better than expected!

I had not been out for a couple of days and wasn't sure what to expect up there today. With nippy temperatures continuing and only a dusting of new snow at the house, crunchy steeps leaving only groomer cruising seemed like a distinct possibility.

It turned out to be much better than that though. In part this was because things like Red Tree and Cedar Ridge had not seen as much traffic as I supposed and so weren't scraped off as badly as I feared. The icy bits were still there, but with careful route selection, you could manage to keep wide gentle turns mainly in the quiet stuff. Still even an occasional rasp does take a serious whack out of the joy of a run and certainly lowers the commitment level.

However the big factor in the conditions was the fast falling fluff, which was rapidly improving things even during my short outing. This quickly made the groomed runs nearly ideal and even Sunny Side could be managed with only an occasional crunch. China Wall was an uglier story though, with a mix of drifts and ice moguls, but even here I am sure it was a rapidly changing story.

There was some remarkably deep snow on the 1, 2, 3s, but visibility was almost nil and that combined with unexpected slick patches made for a tough ride. The bumps in lower Currie also suffered visibility problems and had a higher ice to fluff ratio, but still were quite skiable using the Braille technique.

At 3:30 it is -6 C at the house and snowing lightly. The hill is obscured and I imagine it is continuing to snow much harder up there.