4-27-14 by dave

The faithful showed up in large numbers this morning to get this recent installment of the late season Essence.   It was very cold on the peak, with very high winds that made it seem like Winter all over again.  I had just gotten used to driving with the top down, and now I was all bundled up with Mid Winter gear.   The overnight accumulation had been driven by the wind into the low guts and hollows by the nuking winds, and the High North was offering the best feel.  Lower down on the hill the variations were a bit more extreme, with some very crusty conditions underneath the new snow. I stuck with the known smooth lines to avoid the frozen variations, but there were a lot of nice lines to choose from.  The Tram was backed up early, and the Peruvian Express was fired up to help with the demand.  Nice touch.  Mineral Basin was open as well, though Powder Paradise was closed, so there was plenty of terrain to keep the faithful busy.  High Baldy was opened, and there were some very encouraging reports coming back from that exposure.  Tomorrow, look for another front to move in overnight with snow during the day.  That will help keep the quality up, and add to the cushion we have been working on.  Still, expect those crusty spots to be in effect all over the hill.  The Groomers should be Winter smooth and dry, and the place to be if you are uncertain about the off trail.   Here is a shot of the expectant crowd gathering early for the festivities.  Nice to see the stoke still smoking hot.  IBBY!!DSC02066

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