After taking a week off from riding due to a foot injury, I didn’t really know what to expect when I got on the gondola this morning. No matter how good or bad a ski season is overall, there is always a dry spell or two and we’ve had a lot of sunny skies since the big snows in January. Fortunately for us, there are two things working in our favor that have kept the mountain in good shape. The weather has mostly been very cold and the sun is still really low in the sky. Since the sunny skies haven’t really been able to melt the upper layers of snow during the day, the snow has stayed pretty soft.

I started my day with some runs on the Storm Peak side of the mountain and was impressed with the conditions. Since runs like Buddy’s Run and Storm Peak Face are north facing, they stay in shadows the longest and were free of any ice. There was still plenty of corduroy left on Buddy’s when I got there and it was easy to make deep carves across the face. Coming down Storm face to Rainbow will be a good move today since its mostly in the sun and visibility is good.

The conditions on the Sundown side of the mountain were a bit more variable, but still very fun to ride on. Since these are all south facing, they see a bit more sun and will soften up a bunch in the afternoon. High Noon and 2 O’clock were a bit hard this morning and had a few icy spots to avoid. However, I have heard that in the afternoon the main runs and bump runs in this area are getting softer and easier to ride.

While we haven’t much snow lately, there is reason for optimism. A storm should move into the valley sometime tomorrow and drop around 8″ on the mountain. The initial forecast shows some intense bands of snow arriving in the morning and early afternoon. If enough snow falls right away, the afternoon could be pretty powdery tomorrow. Thursday morning will probably be the best conditions since the storm should stick around all night. So get up and enjoy some sunny conditions before the storm moves in!