Craig's Report - March 17, 2005
There is a Griz After All!
Almost 40 cm of new powder and bright sunshine! What more could you ask for? Well perhaps a tad of base to put it on would be nice, but this really isn't the season to quibble.
My apathy towards skiing had settled so firmly by this morning, that I greeted the news of the new snow with some disdain. Despite being up early enough to make the opening, not a common event, and despite knowing the hill was reporting 37 cm new up top as compared to the 10 cm or so of sludge in my driveway, I didn't get around to ambling up until about noon. It didn't matter for I managed to stumble into the opening of upper Cedar Bowl and a couple of deep powder runs does wonders to get the fires stirred up again.
By the afternoon, that warm spring sun was making its presence felt on the South facing slopes, but it was still winter and the snow was light on anything in the shade, providing lots of that excellent thigh deep swooshing we have been missing. On some steeper slopes, Bear Chutes comes to mind, the ice under the new snow was all too evident, but in most places it was just a mild distraction.
It might have been a tough day for those unaware of the previous patterns of where the snow and pointy bits lived. In many places one could see tracks ending in unsightly brown divots where those newly arrived or who perhaps chemically deleted their short term memories, were unwisely tempted by that smooth white carpet. I heard a rumor that the repair shop did a good business today.
Even knowing what to specifically avoid, skiing off piste had its own excitement as the snow snakes were apparently having a convention. Twice I had a ski unceremoniously sheared off my boot as some hidden skulker rudely broke my powder meditation. However the only really uncontrolled crash occurred when I smacked a hidden stump. Amazingly my skis stayed with me despite the ensuing chaos, but it did take me ten minutes or so to find one of my beloved antique cheapie poles though.
Even the reduced amounts of snow that fell on the lower slopes made a huge difference. It was a temporary bandage though, not a cure. Runs that were bare before did not get enough to make them serviceable. The Cedar Trail bypass of the part of North Ridge below the top of the Haul Back and the Falling Star/Timber Trail exit were decent, although already showing signs of hurt by the end of the day. Either a really big dump or a daily dose of smaller amounts is going to be needed to keep anything on the lower hill, other than perhaps lower Lizard Trail, usable. The good news is that the forecasts are optimistic about more snow in the next few days.
Speaking of which, at 18:00 it has just started to snow lightly and the porch thermometer is reporting 1 C.