4-02-12 by dave

After all those days of spring type temps, this morning felt like a day in January, with a cold North wind that was working the new accumulation, depositing it in the guts and South facing aspects.  Extensive grooming had been prepared for the faithful who showed up for the festivities, offering alternatives on all areas of the hill.  The North facing aspects were getting worked by the wind, making some of the filled in areas a mix of stripped off sections interspersed with deeper areas of somewhat grabby freshness.  The underlying crust was fully in play, making the off trail very challenging with crustitudinous variability wall to wall.  A much slower cadence was required to negotiate the sections that threatened an immediate slam dunk if you got the least bit cocky with it.   After 1:00PM there was some softening of the firmness as the Sun worked the direct aspects, but the temps remained quite cold preserving the quality as the day progressed.  Tomorrow, look for more grooming that will make the morning session a lot more fun.  The off trail crust is still resident, and real caution should still be taken to avoid a knee tweak, or a full on body slam on the hard pan which has zero give.  Ouch!!!.  I drove around all day off trail to test the severity of the different shots, finding very little to recommend, with the exception of the low angle shots that seemed to cushion the crunch a bit better than the steeper shots.  Tomorrow should be a bit warmer, so the snow quality will go South quickly, making awareness of aspect most important.  Still, much fun is to be had, so get there early for the morning smooth, as there is usually many choices to keep the interest going  until softening occurs.  Here is a shot of a pitching lip of one of the hollow snow sections that were breaking on that one reef.   Nice!!!  IBBY!!


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