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Kinda unbelievable day!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I didn’t press glass based on this morning’s 8” report since only 2” of that fell overnight. I had about 2” of snow on my deck this morning and it was snowing. Satellite loop showed an enhancement over our area, and I was optimistic Steamboat Magic would yield some good snow between the 5am report time and 9am. Well, on that first run, I measured THIRTEEN INCHES in the favored areas of Shadows. The snow was very light and fluffy, probably around 4%, which unfortunately meant you could feel the hard surface underneath.

But the snow was falling steadily at around 3/4”/hour for most of then time I was up there, and the runs kept getting better. Not only was the snow deeper, but it was skied-in a little bit which removed the former hard surface from the bottom of the turn. Shadows, Closet, Twilight and the trees around Rolex all skied great. Most of my skiing is usually a couple of hours in the afternoon, so I tired enough around 1:30pm to call it a day. But my last run was up Morningside to a short hike to the top of Mt. Werner to access the East Face.

At the top is a snow stake that read 63”, which is really a 57” base since the ruler starts at 6”! Probably close to 18” of snow near the top with some areas measuring 2 feet! Complete over-the-head immersion once the pitch steepened. Another short sidestep up to the Second Pitch which also hid some more over-the-head turns.

Still snowing lightly down here this afternoon, but I expect persistent snow on the hill through the night. We could be looking at a number around 2 feet in the morning report!

Good skiing becoming progressively better

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Well, another great afternoon of skiing! Friday afternoon was good as well, with about 6” of fresh snow in the favored areas of the hill, and about another 3” was added by this afternoon in the Priest Creek drainage. The upper half of Shadows skied soft and flowy, but the lower half had some crunchies underneath from the warm spell a few days ago. Skiing the northwest aspects minimized the crunchiness to some extent, but even the shaded areas of Lower Shadows was difficult skiing in the sparsely tracked snow.

The 3 O’Clock trees to the skier’s right of the trail was sparsely skied and in great condition. Be careful above Duster as there are still rocks sticking through in the southern aspects, and they are easily avoided by traversing left back to the open trail.

The Sundown lifline was tons of fun as well. Still sparsely skied, but soft and bouncy rhythmic turns were easy to execute in the forgiving snow. Same for Kuus’s Cruise underneath the old Priest Creek chair. It was snowing as the lifts closed down for the afternoon, so be sure to check the ski report in the morning for the likely powder day tomorrow.

A stellar day for skiing

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Today was seasonably warm and sunny, with warmer temperatures on the hill than in the valley due to our cold mornings created by temperature inversions. The snow is still great! Usual first run down Closets into Shadows had soft snow that was a bit set up. Same for Lower Shadows below Duster in the northwest aspects, but found the best skiing in aspects tilted more to the south as the sun warmed the snow nicely.

The Sundown liftline and Kuus Cruise underneath the old Priest Creek double chair skied well, but again, the best skiing was in the sun softened snow of 3 O’Clock. Up the Elkhead lift and to Ted’s Ridge, which I also found to be a bit stiff as it got colder at lower elevations. A quick ride up Thunderhead brought me to the top of Heavenly Daze overlooking the South Valley and the setting sun, and the right side of the trail was in remarkably good condition. The lower mountain has good skiing as well, though the snow was colder and harder than the warmer higher elevations.

Delightful afternoon of skiing

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Temperatures rose into the mid-20s at all elevations of the hill this afternoon in stark contrast to the -15F just three days ago! Combined with blue-bird skies, you couldn’t ask for more pleasant weather. Sundown lift opened today, along with Sunshine and South Peak and the rest of the terrain on the south side of the hill.

My interest was in Lower Shadows as that opened for the first time this season as well. It would have been nice if that could have been opened even a day earlier as the snow has become increasingly heavy as the temperatures rise. Still, large swaths of untracked powder were available at the end of the day, probably because the denser snow required strong turns executed with conviction. Definitely easier skiing for those inclined to ignore the untracked and ski where others have ‘groomed’ the terrain.

Great soft skiing on the Sundown lifline as well as Kruus Cruise, though you had to be careful just above Duster as rocks were poking through the snow. Ted’s Ridge on the lower mountain is starting to ski well, though the snow surface was still a bit uneven as it has not been groomed yet. But the groomed snow on Heavenly Daze is skiing great in these warmer temperatures.

Great skiing in Closet / Shadows and not so great on Concentration

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A beautiful sunny day and much warmer temperatures in the low teens made for a delightful afternoon of skiing. The cold temperatures have kept the snow in fine shape and contributed to soft powdery skiing in the less skied areas. I did 3 runs in the Shadows and Closet area before finishing up with a cruiser down High Noon to Rolex. Still a bit thin for the evergreens on that side of the hill, but the left side of Rolex had great snow with minimal bumps.

Lower down Rolex I did venture into the aspen, and there were still short lines of untracked, though I had to cross many tracks to get those three or four linked powder turns. After riding Elkhead, I headed over to Oops to ski more cold northwest facing snow. While that was good, I had high hopes for Concentration which looked very recently opened, perhaps as recently as today. However, this snow was very stiff and made skiing both the untracked powder and the tracked snow difficult.

Up one more time and a final cruiser down Heavenly Daze and SeeYa with great views of the South Valley. I did notice that Ted’s Ridge was also recently opened, but I was trying to catch a bus and opted for the beeline down the hill.

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