Just when you think the season is going down the tubes, Mother Nature tends to surprise you. After last weekend’s storm and the snow over the last few days, it’s like we have a whole new mountain. Gone are the icy bumps and brown spots. In their place are piles of powder and untouched lines. If you need any proof that winter is back in the Boat, just look at the frigid 4 degree (F) temps at the top of the mountain.
Four inches isn’t always enough to call it a powder day, but it was today. Sure, you can still feel a little crust underneath, but it was buttery smooth out there this morning. I started the day with a few first tracks runs down Rolex before the crowds came. It’s not every day that it is smooth and soft enough over there to ride it with a lot of speed, so I couldn’t resist. If that wasn’t good enough, the trees on the sundown side of the mountain caught a lot of windblown snow yesterday and last night, so they are much deeper than you would expect.
The glades in the trees between 1 O’clock and 2 O’clock (1:30 trees) were excellent, so if you can make turns in tighter trees, that would be a good place to start. The snow is a bit heavy but makes for great conditions on low-angle terrain. The runs over by Sunshine lift were soft this morning and springy, so it was easy to get a good, flowy ride through the trees.
Finally, the conditions up top on East Face where the best so far. You can really feel how much snow we got over the weekend on these double blacks. Since most of the runs up there face north, it only takes a little bit of snow to refresh them. Instead of moguls, you just get push piles to jump off. The rocks on East Face are good to go, as well, but be careful on the landings because it might be good, but it’s not what I would call hero snow out there.
The final bonus today is there is barely anyone up there. The weekend crowds haven’t arrived, and 4 inches wasn’t enough for the locals to call in sick. So if you are lucky enough to have the day off or were smart enough to plan a mid-week vacation, you are in for a fun day in the mountains.
Dan Tullos, snowboarder