3-26-12 by dave


The Trailer was really rocking in the stiff pre frontal wind out ahead of the impulse that moved into the Front this morning.  It was 47 Degrees at the mouth of the Canyon as I drove up, but the rain turned to snow a short way up the road.  As I parked in the lot, there was some boisterous thunder and lightning going off with cascading graupel that was building up fast.  The Tram was only delayed 15 minutes as the static subsided and let us try out the offering on the hill.   Here is a shot of the burgeoning crowd waiting to get to the freshness.  3 to 4” of dense graupel cushioned the seriously frozen slush from yesterday, making the first runs very fun indeed, but the visibility was a serious challenge, with the wind driven snow reducing access to visual references to near Zero.  Regulator was a challenge with the wind stripping sections clean to the glaze, with sections of deposited accumulation to  turn on.  The glaze was very crispy, and did not respond to the edge at all.   The impulse moved through quickly, however, intermittent squalls and wind continued to freshen the dance floor, but it was not nearly as good as those first few runs in the un tracked.  Tomorrow, look for the off trail to still be a serious challenge, with frozen slush piles that will bounce you unmercifully.   I went out to Mark Malu to test my Zero Vis. skills, finding the milk bottle conditions a true test of my Radar Eye.  I survived it, but it threw my equilibrium for loop, sending me to the Forklift Chair for the quietude and ambiance that is always present in that special place.    Care should be taken in these conditions to avoid a late season injury.  We will probably get much better visibility, so I will have a better handle on the report for tomorrow.  Ciao!!

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