2-17-11 by dave

The front moved through the valley at 7:00PM. last night, bringing with it super high winds, lightning, thunder, and the first installment we have seen in quite a stretch.  The mountain accumulated 11 to 12” of medium density product to greet the faithful, who showed up extra early in anticipation of a stellar day.  The higher density was a perfect cushion to cover the rastiness that we have been dealing with as of late. I was going for all the smooth shots that I have been logging to avoid the rumble, and take advantage of the consistent surface below.  Mineral Basin offered bright sunny visibility, an escape from the traffic pressure, and some very nice quality top to bottom.  The high West wind that blew overnight, piled up the goods in pockets and reduced the cover in other places, so a sharp eye was needed to see the subtle evidence of accumulation.  In my case, I chose well, by the looks of some tracks, others did not fair as well.   I was staying out ahead of the crowd by moving further afield to get the untracked that was being neglected by the feeding frenzy.  Sometimes it will buy you a lot if you play the remote card and leave the easy pickings to the hungry ones.  You can enjoy much more relaxed turns by playing the crowd, so keep that in mind as it can pay off in a big way.  Tomorrow, look for the groomers to provide some of the nicest turns of the morning, though the cold overcast day did not set the new snow up to any extent, keeping the crud good to go.  A huge tip of the hat to the Patrol and Lift crew for getting the hill going shortly after 8:30 AM  to the delight of the faithful, who were treated to the creamy essence well ahead of schedule.  Score!!!  This installment will go a long way in the healing  of the hill, and prepare the canvas for the next storm.   See you in the AM.   IBBY!!!

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