5-21-11 by dave

After this week of high density snow and rain at the bottom of the hill, and with reports of high volatility up high, I though today would be a serious challenge.  The faithful turned out with high energy, and they were not disappointed, after having to forgo yesterday.  Today offered various consistency, depending on the exposure and the elevation.  The high North felt like an Alaskan Cream Pie, with supportable dense grouple, that was cold and dry.  The middle Third of the hill felt like Sierra Cheese Cake, where the feel was distinctly thicker, but still let you smooze the turns without  punching through the supportable layer.  If you insisted on sticking the turns, you were going through, and the ride was less consistent.  The lower third of the hill was very thick and required a deliberate technical approach to stay focused in the fall line.  Mineral Basin offered some very variable lines, but overall it was fun and supportable.  This was a very nice surprise overall, but as the pack got tracked out, the difficulty factor increased markedly.  Even though there was a good turn out, the traffic was light enough to enable you to move to the far reaches, where untracked lines could still be found until 11:00AM.  The morning heated up, and the snow really began to absorb the heat, thickening and saturating the pack, making the conditions go South quickly.  Tomorrow, look for Road to Provo and Powder Paradise to open, but I think the quality will be dubious at best after the Sun worked the product.  The Groomers will be providing  the best ride.  The coverage is still increasing, with the YTD hitting 755”, so you do not need to worry about melted off reefs, and the entrances are still looking good.  If you happen to drop the Upper Cirque, be aware that the Cool Whip Traverse has been cut in from the Peruvian Chair, so you will be hitting that little piece of interference, be aware.  See you there early.  Ciao!!

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