12-18-16 by dave

The temps. were quite cold this morning, with -8 Degrees on the peak, but no wind.  The snow was very cold and the sliding devices were woefully slow even if you did have wax.  The wind had worked the hill over night and the Northeast aspects were a quite breakable and needed a light tough to stay close to the fall line.   I got this shot of the glowing Tram cables from the lower Cirque as I was waiting for the Sun to come up over the ridge. dsc04187 High Baldy opened as well, and I got the best turns of the season there with knee deep perfection that was right side up and floated the turns with ease.  There was little pressure for the opening as it was a bit later in the morning and not many were waiting for the drop.   Mineral Basin also opened for the first time of the season.  Here is a shot I took from the Summit staircase as I was waiting for the rope drop and it dropped just as I took this shot.  dsc04188There was quite a crowd waiting for the drop, but all of them had started the line by the time I got to the gate.  The consistency back there had been heavily compromised by the wind, with some serious variability wall to wall.  There were some very nice turns here and there, where a slight tilt in aspect kept the pack from crusting over.  The line built up rapidly and I bailed on that scene to let it get a bit more tracked out. dsc04189  Here is a great shot of my friend Steve, who was at the Gate for the drop.  He gave me the quick 411 on the conditions, so I took a line that was being over looked by the masses.  It is great to have the back open, as now the Morning Crew can do the Lewis and Clark loop that is so great when the lines are buffed.  Tomorrow, look for more cold air to be still hanging on, great Groomers to be off the charts chalky smooth and dry, and the entire mountain to be once again in play.   Welcome back to the Bird  ’16- “17!!  Ciao For Now!!

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