11-19-12 by dave


It was clear in the valley as I drove up to the hill this morning, but the hill was shrouded in a big cloud.  The first few trams had variable visibility with light snow falling, though by 11:00 AM the Sun began to break out.  The small overnight accumulation had a super dense and luxurious feel reminiscent of smooth beach sand.   As the Cat crew continues to work the main lines, they become increasingly more consistent and smooth as many of the tricky variations average out .   The Cirque Traverse opened today offering some very nice untracked on both sides of the traverse.  There were still reefs lurking in the upper entrances all along  the drop in zone, but lower down the cover was plush.  The traverse itself was very good for the first few laps, but began to show signs of fatigue as rock outcroppings began to show up.   A low line offered the best escape from the snags and teeth, as well as a deliberate approach.  There was strong pressure from behind all along the traverse, so a continuous monitoring over your shoulder was mandatory as there were some folk in a hurry to get where they were going.  The off trail adjacent to the main runs is also solidifying quickly with this dense snow, but keep an eye out for telltale signs of reefage.  A little grass sticking up, or a suspicious high point will indicate a thin area.  There is no missing some of them as you hit a ledge in mid turn, but that is what P TEX is for.   Tomorrow look for no additional accumulation, the groomers to be very sweet and the new access to the Cirque Traverse still worth some exploration.  The Gad side will be a touch more variable, but reports from that side indicated  a consistent ride with interspersed hazards, but you know that going in.   See you in the AM for fun and excitement.  Here is a shot of  Route 5 Shot 1 from down the traverse a bit.  Nice turning.   IBBY!!   Stand by for photo.

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