March 14, 2000
The way it is supposed to be!
That was my wife's assessment of the conditions after a superb afternoon of stirring boot high to knee deep powder. There was no hint of snow last night, but the storm apparently arrived in the wee hours of the morning and had already deposited ankle deep in the driveway as the kids headed out to the bus at eight AM. We didn't get out until just before lunch, but that turned out to be just fine, for it was one of those days where it is snowing so hard that tracks are quickly filled in and the day just keeps getting better. By the time we got back home the very heavy wet snow in the driveway was up to the tops of my Sorels.
On most of the hill though, the snow quality was just about perfect given the previous conditions. It was a bit on the heavy side which meant it effectively blocked that old ice crust, but was still well within the powder zone except for perhaps the bottom couple of hundred vertical metres. Elsewhere it stirred about most agreeably in depths ranging from boot high to, at times, over my knees. Perhaps if we were coming off of a month long fluff orgy I might have been more critical, but as it is, the stuff was manna from heaven.
As you would expect, much of the hill was closed by the end of the day, including much of Cedar Bowl and pretty much all of Lizard and of course Currie. Timber and Siberia bowls were completely open though. At one point while I was waiting for Chris at the end of the gully that drains Shakey's Acres, I heard the loud ominous rumbling of an avalanche coming off of the cliffs above us. I couldn't see any farther than the Falling Star ridge, but the audio was straight out of Hollywood. Timber is blessed with a large natural catch basin on the upper side of Falling Star, so I didn't feel particularly threatened, but it was still pretty impressive to see a large powder cloud suddenly loom above Falling Star before starting to drift gently down with the rest of the falling snow. It must have been a bit spooky for anyone on Falling Star itself at that moment.
The limited area wasn't a problem today, for the crowds were light - never more than a chair or two wait - and there were soft turns just about everywhere. For me though, the run of the day though was probably the last one, which was down through the Morning Glory trees off of the Siberia Ridge. There were lots of folks hiking up, but they didn't seem to go where I went and I was blessed with acres of untracked very nice snow. It was a pretty decent way to end the day. :-)
The only negative came at the bottom of the hill where the snow was very sticky and packed down into a lumpy texture that made skiing at any speed like cruising the baja in a Yugo. It probably was a lousy day to be a beginner.
At six thirty it is still snowing, although not as vigorously as while ago.
It is -1 C at the house.