Cold, Sunny and Fast
It was hard to get out of bed this morning when I saw that the thermometer outside said -17 degrees F. But then I remember that the snowmaking crews were outside handling water hoses all night in that weather. So getting up to the mountain to enjoy the fruits of their labor all of a sudden seemed much easier. It may be cold up there today, but the skies are blue and the runs are nice and fast.
Now that Spur Run is open, it’s easy to get over to the Sundown lift, so I decided to head there to catch some of the first rays of sun on the mountain. Both Sundown and Sunshine are running today so you have a lot of options on this side of the mountain. I started with a run down High Noon to West Side and was impressed with the snow quality. Sub-zero temps can have an interesting effect on the snowpack. Not only does it create bad layers for avalanches but it can also create a surface layer that is really slow and grabby. I was pleasantly surprised this morning when the groomers were soft and perfect for carving turns.
The high temperature at the summit today is only going to be 6 degrees, but as the sun starts to hit the northern slopes it should feel a bit warmer. It’s best to stay on the south side of the mountain in the early morning, but by around 11 am the runs served by Storm Peak Lift will soften up a bit. Now that most of that area is open you have a lot of options from Storm Face and Buddies all the way over to Flying Z.
If you want to have a little time between runs to warm up, then gondola laps are your best option today. The conditions on Heavenly Daze this morning were a little slower than up high, but still nice and smooth. Ted’s Ridge is open too if you want something a little more challenging, but watch out for rocks and branches since this one usually takes a little longer to fill in.
The next storm isn’t going to move into the valley until around the 24th, but the skies should be sunny the next few days and the temps will be a bit higher. Cruising around on the groomers is probably your best bet for the next few days, but there should be some nice powder leftovers if you venture into the trees. The snow in Twilight usually stays soft for a while after the storm, so you might be able to find some untouched lines.
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