Craig's Report - December 09, 2006

Off to a Good Start

It wasn�t one of those wallow in the pow opening days, but in many ways it may have been even better in terms of getting the season off to a good start. Coverage was at least as good if not better than I was hoping for. The groomed runs were generally very good to excellent, but the off piste stuff was variable and ranged from an impenetrable wind crust to nice powder, often on the same run and in no discernible pattern. At no point though were you likely to sink more than boot deep, so the snow pack is truly a solid foundation for the storms to come.

Despite the wide range of crust conditions, the actual skiing wasn�t as difficult as one would think, perhaps because you didn�t break through all that far and because the reward of some nice powder turns was always imminent. For instance the first few turns we took in a little chute off of Linda�s run were in pretty brutal breaking crust, but then a few meters away we came across a sustained run of very nice ankle to boot deep powder right out in the open. Similarly, significant parts of Sunnyside were rock hard, although easy to hold an edge on, but other parts had breaking crust and a few spots still had some powder. My daughter and I found the good to far outweigh the bad and spent most of the morning off piste, but that was probably a minority position. We weren�t able to stay much past noon due to commitments Tara had, but even by then it appeared that the crust in more trafficked areas was being ground into some nice soft pack and I suspect it will be largely history very shortly.

The weather this morning was about perfect, with sun, no wind and temperatures in the minus single digits celsius. Coming up to quarter to three this afternoon, it is -2 C down here at the house and it has become overcast with some promise of flurries.


The off loading area for the Bear chair, with the gun tower, upper Lizard Bowl and the Face Lift in the background.

A veritable smorgasbord of snow conditions was available on Sunnyside, here seen from the middle of Lizard Bowl.

Parts of Cedar Ridge are still ruled by the alder crowd, but most of it was pretty clear.

Sunlight illuminates Snake Main.

On the rope line of Red Tree, with the standard mix of crust and powder. The spot where this was taken was kind of chunky, but generally good turns outnumbered bad by a significant margin in our trip down.

Arrgh! Opening day blues at the Boomerang Chair, which was stopped for a while this morning. Eventually we and many others opted for the big skate out. I heard it was running again later though.

The last minute frenzy apparently paid off and Lost Boy�s was indeed in operation for the opening.

I tried to get a picture of the menu, but knew the reflections would be a killer. Still you might be able to make out some things. Due to our time constraints our sole purchase was a cookie for my daughter. My daughter seemed to think the $3.15 for what was apparently a high quality cookie was not out of line, but my recent cookie buying experience was insufficient to form a valid opinion.

Upper Currie Bowl with the Top of White Pass and part of 1, 2, 3 in the background.

I don�t even know what this run is called, but it is the one cut a couple of summers ago between Currie Powder and Concussion Chute.

Looking across the Concussion Chute gully towards Tom�s run. We took this route partly to scope out the coverage situation on the Currie Chutes. From here it looked good, but from another angle farther down it was clear that some care would be needed.

Looking back at the Currie Chutes, with lower Barracuda in the center of the image.