It has been cloudy and even occasionally rainy for the last couple of days, which didn't really motivate me to get out on the slopes. It was still cloudy today, but there was no rain and the sun did peak out occasionally.
The hill is getting ready for tomorrow's Powder, Peddle, Paddle race and I was struck by how much snow they were having to chip off of the patio in front of the day lodge. In some years one has to wade about at the bottom of the ski portion amid the mud and puddles in the ski rack area, but this year there is solid snow pack everywhere and not a bare spot to be seen.
Construction is already well underway in the Highline subdivision and as you
can see some of the houses are going to be very close to the lift. In addition
to new houses, it now sounds like there will be three new hotels operating on
the hill next year. Ah, another quiet summer of nature on the mountain. :-(
There was a wide range of weather and ski conditions on the hill today. The snow everywhere on the lower mountain was soft and at times the sun shone through for pure spring conditions. Up top the sun didn't often make an appearance and it was often winter like with wind and fairly heavy snowfalls.
When I stopped to take this picture (the sun was always hiding if I was in a place to take a shot) my plan had been to head over to Red Tree. I was sort of hoping that the thin new layer of snow would magically make for decent conditions over there, but I soon discovered that no one had even bothered to traverse over yet. What's more the crusty lumpy conditions beyond Blueberry weren't really encouraging, so I ended up going down Blueberry anyway. It was pleasant in a cruising sort of way as were Wallaby and lower North Ridge which both soft had corn.
As I rode up the Boom chair I could detect no evidence of anyone recently skiing Boomerang. Near the top though a couple of folks jumped in, but they didn't seem to enjoy it much. Despite this I decided to give Cedar Ridge a try and found it to be better than I expected. This probably says more about my expectations than the fine skiing. There was a little bit of soft stuff settled among the somewhat crunchy moguls and this definitely helped to smooth things out. Down near the bottom even the older snow was softer and even corn like where others had skied. It was interesting and challenging skiing, but I didn't find myself panting to give it another go.
Sunnyside and the Concussion Chutes were similar. Concussion Chute probably
had deeper snow in places, but also uglier crunchies. The lower angle stuff
in Currie would probably have been better. The top of White Pass was very white
indeed with lots of snow falling and a wind far too cold for my spring garb.
Most of the lower runs I skied had nice smooth corn, but below the top of Deer on my run out from Currie I found the snow quite sticky and grabby. It was actually snowing at that point, so perhaps the new snow was causing this. My wife said it also snowed for a while at the house, which conjures up some interesting possibilities for the peddle part of tomorrow's race. Fortunately none of it stayed on the ground.
At 3:40 P.M. it is 5 C at the house with a mainly cloudy sky.
(Click on any picture for a larger version)
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