Nothing gets the day started like a nice long carve across a freshly groomed run. I guess chest-deep powder might be nicer, but beggars cant be choosers. Since we are stuck in the middle of a high-pressure system this week, it’s time to enjoy the view and appreciate all the hard work the grooming crew does every night.

Now that the Burgess Creek lift is running, there are two options down from the Gondola. For my first run this morning, I took a lap down Rudi’s to BC lift. During peak season, this run can be an afterthought since it is usually just a formality before you can get on one of the upper lifts. But this time of year before the upper mountain is open, I am reminded of just how fun this one is. Rudi’s is a great mix of steep, wide-open faces and high-speed rollers to play around on. (I noticed that Storm Peak was spinning, so hopefully that’s a sign of things to come.)

After a warm-up run, I took a run down an almost empty Heavenly Daze. Having the Daze all to yourself is one of the best reasons to get on the mountain early this time of year. The corduroy was fresh and there wasn’t a trace of ice to be found the whole way down. Now that both sides of the run are open, you can really set some long, deep carves from top to bottom.

As an added bonus to the great conditions on the Daze, there is a pocket park set up above Bashor Bowl with a few rails to play around on. There is a nice box to get you started and also a more difficult rail to try. The features are pretty easy, but they are really just a warm-up for the harder park down at the base. This one has an elevated rail and a kinked rail for the more advanced park riders.

While there may not be a lot open on the mountain right now, the conditions are still pretty great for this time of year. Instead of spreading the snowmaking all over the mountain, they have concentrated it on the main runs, and it has really paid off. I would rather have a few great runs this time of year than risk hitting rocks and having icy spots. Even though the forecast is dry for most of the week, there is a bright spot in our future. It looks like some snow is on the way this weekend and possibly a change in the weather system toward the end of the month that should kick start our season. So hold tight and enjoy those groomers.

Dan Tullos

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