In a normal year, today would have been dust on crust, would have been a day for sleeping in, would have been skipped by those who called into the snow report and heard 0 at 5am, would have been, perhaps, even laughable.  But it's not a normal year. With a 20" base, dustings on the report for all of December except two days, and no snow on the forecast for another week, today's 5 inches were a blessing.

Sadly, this was day two overall for me. And it's January 7th, I know. I'd normally be ashamed to say that, but with the lack of snow (grass and bushes still showing, no tree runs open, not enough base to groom the Clocks) the general dangers on the slopes, and the crowds from the last 2-3 weeks, I'm not ashamed. We were practically sunbathing. 

So today was a day for motivation (thanks Craig for forgetting your phone at home)!  I checked out the grooming report at the top of the Gondy, and having listened to the locals this past week, I knew where that new "renovator" had been as well and stuck to those....

First tracks down Buddy's was downright buttery, I'm not lying, as was Rainbow.  I even did a second lap, Buddy's-Cyclone this time, but not as reliable underneath- mind you, it IS still dust on crust, after all, it's just sad that's what we're getting excited about.  Because this was only my second day on the hill, I had a little Zero Waste work to do, popping in to Four Points and Rendezvous to take pictures of bins and signage, get ideas from the staff, and give props to the hard-working F&B crew who make the mountain's Zero Waste Initiative possible.  So that said, I found more butter left side of High Noon (not bad towards the bottom for sure) and Fawn, glorious Fawn, which was actually quite nice at the bottom - nice of course meaning a reliable grabby base with about 5" of softer powder on top (not the champagne, which for today, was better for coverage). Even Lower High Noon's middle line was safe, with powder piles and that same reliable (not icy/slip-and-slidey) base.  From what people have  been saying - and that's all I have to go on - it's been east coast skiing, and I remember that ice not fondly. So to have some carve is nice.  That stuff's gonna groom up nicely if I may say so.

From there I took Elkhead up and laughed (or cried) the whole way.  I mean, there really isn't ANY snow under Elkhead.  And when you see a few lines through that, you have to wonder, "who the hell ventured in there?"   On the way down.... Although most of the top of the Daze was nice - even at 10:30am (found it as usual on the left side, in and out of those willow branches, and that's just laughable) - but since I can say it now, the death chunks at the bottom were ferocious. Duck-bowling sized.   And although the top of Vogue was treacherous, the bottom might have had more snow than the top of Buddy's. 

Pray for us - so we can see you In The Deep!! The 7th Annual All Mountain Adaptive Ski Camp starts tomorrow, and those boys and girls deserve some snow (not that we all don't)! 

Posted by Andy Kennedy Saturday, January 7, 2012 0 comments

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