Craig's Report - April 01, 2007
A Little Bit of Winter
After a week of seemingly summer like conditions, this morning found everything painted white with a thin coat of snow and at eight this morning, it was still snowing heavily. Around the house, this would end up being largely melted away during the day, but up top they were reporting a 16 cm late season treat. That still wasn�t enough to get our sorry butts on the hill until midday, but once again we needn�t have worried that those early birds wouldn�t have left anything for us. To our delight Cedar Bowl and our beloved Snake Ridge opened just as we were taking our first ride up. We never made it to the new side.
The snow at the top was absolutely delightful and while it got thinner and denser as you descended, you could make smooth sweet turns right to the bottom of the KC Chutes. In contrast the snow on more travelled lower hill runs was decidedly funky. I couldn�t help thinking that while one could ski just about anywhere on Snake with confidence, the part of the lap down the beginner Elk run to the Bear Chair was rather unnerving in the grabby, sticky snow.
The warm conditions also appear to have created some grooming problems. Wallaby was closed yesterday and appeared to have been the site of some sort of cat fight. It remained closed today and Lower North Ridge was signed as �Not Recommended�, with lots of snow debris and mud patches on the middle and left sides. Fortunately you could still make it down the right side, although the ability to keep to a narrow line to the extreme right would have been helpful. Also there was a lone cat track right down the middle of Bear that had left lots of large snow lumps, but the patrol were able to mark this pretty effectively with bamboo.
By the end of the day the extreme stickiness on the lower runs made the large slow signs around the base redundant, for unless you had some form of warp drive assist, you were lucky just to make it down without skating or poling. I think it would have been a pretty ugly day for a beginner, but for those of us only using the lower runs to get ourselves to the next set of delicious freshies, it was very good day indeed.
At 16:50 it is 3 C at the house, with a mainly overcast sky.