12-29-09 by dave

I made the Jump back to the present after my week long sojourn 2 hours into the future.  It always blows me away that  you can make the transition as you sit in a seat and never move, ending up in a completely different TIME SPACE.  I felt a little wobbly as I stepped through the Gate, but that was nothing that a bit of rest would not cure.  I made first Tram Tuesday morning finding it not even close to full.  The visibility was OK with light snow falling, giving the groomers a bit of velvet.  It was great to be back, however, a week off left me a tad out of shape.  Took a drive out to Little Cloud to see how it was , as it had opened after I  left.  Mark Malu was smooth, though a touch tricky with the flat light and the early season terrain features in sharp relief.  No rocky sections to speak of on the main drag there and the  edge-ability was very good.  Over all the mountain has not changed too much, but the bumps are really becoming more wide spread off trail.  The Upper Cirque is now open from the top with extremely thin cover and forbidding entrances. Great Scott , from the top, is particularly perilous with no way to avoid the cheese grater.  Do not fall there!!!.  The Lower Cirque is also ultra bony getting in with a bit more accessibility in various locations.  The West facing shots off the traverse are still marginal  showing the hazards fairly readily.  Low and slow is how to take most any off trail section until conditions improve.  The lower mountain still had willows cluttering the open areas with some root goodies to make it interesting.  I actually skied a bump line on Harper’s just to check it out and I ran into a maze of features to avoid.  I brought it way down and picked my way through the bumps and snags.   A new slather of sauce is on tap overnight making the morning session promising.  It is supposed to continue through out the day so, it will get better as the day progresses.  I am surprised at the lack of pressure on the Tram,  however, the main runs were very crowded  requiring vigilance to the up hill danger.  I am looking up hill a lot as of late.  With new product, the faithful could make and appearance tomorrow which encourages an early start to make first Bucket.  I still am holding off on bringing new skis out, what with the currant base,  but the overall edge- ability is good letting me get away with tattered edges.  The off trail is bumpy and the traffic has exposed most of the hazards, so you can see it coming.  New snow will mask some of them, giving your memory a run for the money.  Tomorrow I will recon Gad 2 and check that out for you and report.   It is great to be back and I will be there dark and early in the morning ready to rumba. See you there!!

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