Archive for February, 2016



It looked like there was going to be clearing today, but the clouds just intensified and hung on the peak, making the visibility quite variable.  Out in Mineral Basin, there were glimpses of Sunshine here and there, but overall the light was flat and details were at a premium.  On the front of the hill, visibility was not much better on the top of the hill, but did improve as you got down lower.  Staying with the trees gave some reference points and reflected a bit of light on the slope.  The groomers were consistent and smooth, and you could trust the line to be good to go.  That went a long way in making the laps fast and fun, even if it was a guessing game.  I stopped in to the Summit on Hidden Peak for a quick break and just had to get this shot of the curved wood work that lives up on the second level.  There are so many details in the wood work in this building, and I just love getting a close look at the fit and finish here.  DSC03409Cold temps. kept all the frozen lines from softening, but there was just a light trace of snow that seemed to improve the traction.  On lower Who Done It, the Grooming job had not solidified and offered a deep granular quality that made me slow down and dig deep into each turn to extract every erg of goodness.  Tomorrow, look for partly cloudy skies, continued cold temps. for the morning session, and excellent lines on the Groomed runs.  The High North aspects are still offering naturally smooth lines after days of being worked and buffed by the traffic.  I will be looking there for a bit more focused turns.   The snow is great overall and excellent lines are easy to find all over the hill with just a bit of looking.  IBBY!!



After some days of freeze thaw weather, the pack has really begun to firm up just since Friday.  It was a bit chilly this morning, with a stout North wind blowing, making the wind chill fall into single digits.  I was very glad I dressed for cold as that wind on the Baldy Chair was persistent.  White Diamonds had been given a fresh till as well as lower Silver Dipper, making that combination a rip roaring fun ride, though it was a bit crispy for the morning session.  On the front of the hill, great Grooming had been performed, with the Anderson’s Hill – Lower Primrose Path combination offering dry chalky lines that were perfectly consistent top to bottom.  Lower Chips Face and Lower Lower were freshly tilled and were well worth several visits to get that lower mountain steep that those pitches feature.  Here is a shot of White Diamonds on the first run of the day.   This might seem like a reused shot, but it is a fresh view from today’s fun.DSC03606While the Sun was high in the sky and the day warmed up slightly as the day wore on, there was a distinct chill in the air that kept the thaw from affecting the pack too much.  Tomorrow, look for a front to move through during the morning hours and moving out by 1:00PM. when clearing should leave the day Sunny once again.  Look for the smooth lines from today to be offering the consistency you will need when the visibility goes South.  Be aware of those due South aspect that will be very tough sledding after they freeze up overnight, and there is little chance of softening during the day.  Look for those High North lines to still be offering the best natural consistency.  Even with a lot of traffic, it seems some of those High North lines are actually smoothing out with the traffic and have dry dust covering the pack.  Regulator will be very firm in the AM. and should be avoided early on. Dress for morning weather.  Stay Frosty!!



A surprisingly clear morning greeted the First Tram after some overnight clouds moved off.  Once again, the Groomers were offering some ground pounding fun on the untracked corduroy. Having Mineral Basin brightly lit was a treat.  Off trail is still holding up with cold dry chalk that is very easy to work on the High North aspects, and is resisting the build up of interference patterns.  Here is a shot of  perfectly placed corduroy in the morning Sun.  This looks almost stroboscopic if you look at it too long!DSC03563Clouds moved in around Noon as the Cold Front moved through, which threw a curve to the bright sunny day.  Tomorrow, look for the usual Groomers to be the place to dial it up and dial it in.  Following the Sun is beginning to be the key these days later in the Winter, so paying attention to that will pay big dividends.  I will be on the hill dark and early.  See you there for the First Boat.  Speed Safely!!



There was bright Sun and smooth sliding to kick of the morning session.  Mineral Basin was offering big winch groomed lines that were steep smooth and good to go.  The South facing Groomers and off trail lines were quite crispy to start, but by Noon they were softening with the warming temps. and direct Sun.  On the Front of the Hill, the High North aspects were still holding the cold dry chalk, but the heavily traveled lines are now seeing the interference patterns building more widely.   The Crew stopped for the Forklift Debrief and found Kayla and Natalie trying out the optical fashions from the Lost and Found box.  They look quite studios as they style these lenses!!DSC03605The quality of the snow remained high all day long, even though the temps. were creeping up, and I found cold dry lines at 3:00PM on the High North aspects.  Tomorrow, look for  the weather to begin to change as a small storm moves into the Front.  You can expect extensive Grooming to be the best of the day.  That big smooth feel is really addicting when you dial in each section and string them all together.  It may not be quiet as warm as today, so dress accordingly.   I will be taking the day off tomorrow, to catch up on the Galactic Hubbub.  IBBY!!!



For the first time of the season Pipeline and the Twins opened up for touring.  Pipeline has been looking Phat of late, and with all the new snow, it has been standing as a tantalizing wish.  Today the wishes were filled.  Here is a recent shot of that pitch a bit later in the day.  From the looks of the turns, it offered very nice conditions that seemed quite consistent top to bottom.  DSC03586On the hill, White Diamonds and Lower Silver Dipper were offering ground pounding fun top to bottom, as that marginal heat from the Sun has not yet penetrated into the pack, so the dry chalky feel was on point and ready for serious high edge angle turns.  Lewis and Clark was offering the goods as well, with vacant carpets of Hydro Velvet that were delightful.  Another surprise Grooming treatment was the long awaited preparation of Hoopie’s Crotch, or as on the Map,  Last Chance.  Here is a shot of Neil getting the goods on the first till of the season. DSC03604That is one line that lets you point them and go, go, go!!!   The day warmed up around noon, but the North aspects were still holding the cold and remained deep Winter dry and chalky.  Those due South faces still are problematic, so use discretion when heading there with any steam.  Tomorrow, look for another day of fun on the hill as all the usual great Buffed lines will be offering the goods.   The hill remains in great shape with only selected aspects that need to be considered for the Sun damage.  All other aspects are holding up well and will be good all day long.  See you for the morning fun, which I think may be a touch warmer than today.    See The Line, Be The Line!!



Another beautiful morning dawned with cold temps. a light breeze, and perfectly prepared carpets of Hydro Velvet.  Mineral Basin was calling with bright Sun,  and a freshly prepared White Diamonds that was just right to kick of the morning stoke.  High North aspects are still holding the cold smooth lines, but the most heavily visited lines are redeveloping the interference patterns in the guts.  Soft snow is still easy to find thanks to the continued colder temps. that have been preserving the quality.  Here is a shot of a very vibrant Sun Dog that was circling DSC03602the Sun.  This is a harbinger of things to come in the next few days as the weather begins to change once again.  On the front of the hill, great lines were once again buffed, with the Anderson’s Hill –  Lower Primrose Path offering the most amazing dry chalky quality top to bottom.  I love to be able to trust a full edge set without the least worry of a glassy spot to interrupt the high edge angle.  Here is a shot I took from the top of the Baldy Chair that shows how deluxe the back of the hill looks in the morning Sunshine.  DSC03599Tomorrow, look for another Sunshine bonanza, with cold opening temps., lots of great ultra buffed lines, and great skiing on all sides of the hill.  Still be on the watch for those due South aspects that still have not mellowed quite yet.  Lots of soft snow is still out on the fringes and is worth a bit of exploration.  Overall, the hill is still fairly smooth after that last wind event smoothed things out, but there is some low amplitude rumble rising up as traffic pushes out from the obvious lines.  I will be dressing for a cold morning, and I am glad I dressed up for today’s chill.   Dial it up and Dial it in!!!



It was a perfect morning for shredding the Groomers that had been prepared for today’s festivities.  The Sun was out in force, with clear blue skies that made every view a technicolor postcard image.  The last of yesterday’s accumulation was available for the early risers, and I got a nice wind deposited line down Silver Dipper that kept me on my toes with the underlying rumble, which was a bit hard to guess with  the fresh covering.  Over on the Lewis and Clark lap, Ski Patrol Gully had been opened and there were great lines of freshness on top of the wind packed aspects there.  Here is a shot of my turns on the upper section.  There was plenty of room to choose from, with the more Northwest aspects offering superior underlying smooth.  DSC03590On the second pitch, I got this rare action shot of Jake getting some of the deeper pockets that were piled up there by the wind.  We just had to make numerous laps out there before it was DSC03594discovered and consumed.  On the front of the hill, beautiful lines were still available on the High North lines, with even the Middle Cirque still offering smooth dry dust that had yet to be affected by the Sun.  Excellent grooming had been prepared on those usual big drops that just dialed up the stoke for the top to bottom pace.  Light traffic made the vertical easy to get.  Even though the Sun was up, those morning temps. and cooler afternoon temps. kept the quality high and fun all day long.  Tomorrow, look for another beautiful day of ground pounding ripping all over the hill.  The fresh groomers will be fast and consistent, and those Sun drenched lines in Mineral Basin will be calling for the morning session.  The hill is in great shape, and no matter where you go, with the exception of those due South aspects, will be fun and memorable.  See you there for the shredfest in the AM.  Don’t Forget To SIZZLE!!



A fresh installment of some medium density product covered the hill, with continued flurries that lasted all day long.  Visibility was very variable from time to time as clouds moved over the hill.  I went to check out Lewis and Clark, which was offering untouched fresh lines that were best on the Groomed lines.  Off trail was sporting some crunch that made the ride less than smooth and consistent.  On the front of the Hill, big smooth prepared lines were a real treat with such nice cushion over the corduroy.   High North aspects were offering still smooth lines, but there was some residual static from yesterday that kept you dealing with the variations.  As the day progressed, a tiles and piles consistency began to develop on the groomed runs and a round deliberate approach went a long way toward smoothing out the transitions.  Here is a shot of the Subaru that is parked on the Plaza with a happy smile drawn in the fresh accumulation.  DSC03588Tomorrow, look for additional accumulation to have fallen overnight, which will add another layer of cushion on the dance floor.  We will have to see how the weather shakes out, but I will be dressing for cold and will be looking for those smooth lines to be the place to lay down some big arcing lines.  There are still lots of good aspects to check out, but be wary of those due South exposures that have not received quite enough cover to mitigate the gnar.   See you there for those morning explorations to the far reaches in search of the goods.  Straight Ahead!!



This morning was custom made for hard driving fun, with beautifully prepared Hyrdro Velvet carpets on all sided of the hill.  The Sun was shining after a high cloud deck moved off just as First Tram hit the dock.  Mineral Basin was first on the Morning Crew’s agenda, where White Diamonds had been buffed out super wide, with super steep, dry, chalky lines that flowed right down into Lower Silver Dipper.  What an amazing series of terrain changes in just that 1100′ of vertical.  Lewis and Clark was also offering some nice lines that felt silky smooth top to bottom.  On the front of the hill, Lower Chips and Lower Lower were an insanely buffed combo that made you turn on such a steep section.  Here is a shot of Lower Lower with the Sun on it.  DSC03584That citizen at the bottom slid quite a long way after getting a bit excessive with the approach and got caught by the increasing pitch.  Doh!!  All the High North aspects were offering great off trail wind buff that just called you back for seconds and thirds to take advantage of the rare conditions that are happening now.  Cooler temps. kept the snow from getting too manky, and even at 3:00PM Regulator was still holding the cold dry corduroy it had been sporting all day.  Here is a shot of the Twins with the morning light setting the mood.  Pipeline is looking PHAT!!DSC03582Tomorrow, look for storm energy to be moving in for the day, delivering a small amount of accumulation.  The hill is in great shape, so additional product will be icing on the cake.  Visibility may be an issue, so stick with the trees for the best visibility, however, the Groomers can be trusted for smooth when you are in doubt with marginal references.  Dress for cold and look for some wind lines to be making for some special quality gems. DSC03578 The  Snow Goddess Harmonia is leaving tomorrow for Alaska where she will be bringing her  anchoring energies to the Chugash.  Her focus here has held the balance for us during these last 5 years, and I know her presence there will grace everyone who comes within her Auric Field.  Safe Travels, we will all miss you; Speed Safely.  See you for the morning freshness.  IBBY!!




A few lazy clouds move up over the hill this morning, but the Sun burned them off as they rose up.  Awesome Groomers were offering ground pounding fun with all the snow that worked back into the mat.  Traffic was rather light after all the pressure for the freshies has subsided, but there was still some freshness waiting in the wings for those with their ear to the rail.  The Sun did begin to work those direct aspects, as it will with the higher Sun angle this late, so be sure to take those aspects into consideration.  Here is a shot of the spires on Toad Hill that are spell binding to me. DSC03576The hill is still sporting smooth lines overall after all the wind and new product retouched all the rumble for the most part.  Take advantage of those lines that usually have static and get them while they still hold the big mountain smooth.  Tomorrow, look for another great day on the hill.  Extensive Grooming will be a highlight of the morning before the Sun begins to work the direct aspects.   The High North will still be holding the cold, so hit those dry chalky lines that are waiting for a bit of exploration.  I found some great lines yesterday and I am sure they will be happening all day.  There are so many variations that it is hard to get to them all in one day. DSC03539 Here is a shot of my friend Burke, who has been really getting some great lines with his inimitable sense of whimsy.  He knows were the magic lives and finds it everyday.  I will be back up on the hill tomorrow after my day of regrouping.  See you dark and early.  Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!