4-06-11 by dave

Danger Zone

As much as I have been trying to stave off Spring’s arrival, it is April and  I guess there is no stopping time.  Yesterday’s warmth was absorbed by even the High North exposures, which froze overnight, and were covered by 5” of medium density Essence.  To say that the conditions were challenging typifies the struggle waged by everyone who showed up for today’s freshness.   Slow and steady was the key to surviving the bullet proof crust, which was not cushioned to any great extent by the new snow.  It was a blue bird day, with a crispness to the air that whispered Winter, but the crust screamed late May.  The only place that held any solace was far out under the Sunday Cliffs, where the mountain smooth offered more consistency than anywhere else I tried.  The Groomers had been worked before the snow started, so they were fully covered, and became a bit more tricky as they got skied out.  I must admit to making a hasty retreat to the Forklift chair to contemplate any further assaults on the hill, or should I say assaults on my knees.  Of course it is spring now, so one has to expect this type of challenge.  The week has quite a bit of snow in the forecast, so all is not lost, and we will be easily pushed over the 600” mark.  Tomorrow, look for the Groomers to be much improved after the fresh has been tilled into the mat, but the off trail will still be problematic at best.  The snow is not expected to begin until late in the day, so the  visibility may be flat as well.  Here is a shot I took of the lower Gad chutes festooned with basket ball size death balls.  The balls were frozen solid and frozen to the surface, so hitting one of these would be very bad. Also note that the balls in the distance are every bit as big as the ones in the foreground.  You can see the very tentative track that was placed through this morass, indicating the difficulty factor.  When these get covered they will certainly be a hazard, so keep this little treat in mind before you charge this line when it gets deep.  A word to the wise!!!  Peace Out!

3 Responses to “SPRING CHALLENGE”

  1. MB hate/love says:

    Bah, sunday cliffs! Sunday Cliffs? Really, Bookends was by far the best snow on the hill. Low angle, slightly wind affected and skiing great. Sunday Cliffs Schunday Cliffs…

  2. dave says:

    Well, well, well, by the URL it is apparent that someone has issues with the Basin. I had to pass up the Bookends as they were toast by the time I drove by, and no doubt they were smooth and tasty, but I went to the boundary line and got some wind stacked extra Essence. It was just my observation.

  3. 3D says:

    During a ride up on Little Cloud chair, a friend and I had a tounge-in-cheek discussion of, among other things, what descriptive poetry you might make of this day’s conditions, which we also found to be a “challenge” at best. (I concur that the northerly aspect of Mineral Basin was the only civilized off-piste of the day.)

    Anyway, 10-15 minutes later, upon seeing you go from the top of Regulator down through Gad Valley, we couldn’t help being amused at hearing your more concise verbal assesment in person. B-)

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