Mother Nature can be a sharing lady. The light snow that has fallen over the region the last couple of days has dramatically improved ski conditions on the mountain. While the low overcast that dominated the morning sky made picture taking problematic, that same low overcast has steadily dropped light snow across the area. Snow we appreciate!
Today I arrived at the resort at the Crack O' 11. I was determined today to get in a few runs. After all, what is the point if living at a ski resort if you don't go out and ski? Mary had commitments this morning, so I found myself in solitude at the Vale parking lot donning my gear for an hours excursion around the resort. Think of it as my morning jog.
|Upper Wildfire - beautiful, small, soft bumps!|
Click to enlarge..
I debated which direction to turn when I skied down lower Great Northern (ie Vale) to the Rams Head Base Lodge. I wanted some steepness today, so I decided to head up the Snowshed Quad then over to Superstar.
My first real run, not counting my traverses, was through the Stash. By 11:15, the skier and boarder traffic through the Stash had transformed it from its usual 9:00 AM groomed to perfection condition to some beautiful soft bumps. Not big bumps by any stretch of the imagination, just little snow piles which gave the Stash some welcomed character beyond the artificial features created in the park to satisfy other clientele.
Exiting the Stash, I went down the Viper Pit to lower Sky Burst, the scene of last weeks Dew Tour. Lower Sky Burst featured some huge swales, the remnants of the Dew Tour Snow Cross event, interspersed with some marblely artifacts left over from the groomers trying to tame said swales. The texture, interspersed with the new snow we received, was ok. I would guess a few more grooming cycles will eliminate the golf balls and allow the trail to bump up naturally.
|Lower Superstar and the Umbrella Bars|
Click to enlarge..
A quick loop up the Sky Peak Quad (the Bear Mountain Quad was not operating), and I headed towards Wild Fire. Upper Wild Fire was covered in some really nice soft snow bumps. Small in height (probably under a foot), they were a delight to ski. A very welcomed change from the "Super G" conditions we have been skiing on the mountain this year. Lower Wild Fire featured more of the same, although skier and rider traffic, as one would expect, did create a few slick spots down to the hard pack on the steeper sections.
Sky Burst to Dream Maker to Cruise Control was the next run on my short tour of the mountain. Upper Sky Burst was a speed run to the Dream Maker cutoff, featuring hard pack scraped off by earlier skier and rider traffic. Middle Dream Maker and Cruise Control were nicely soft and full of character. Well worth the steep entrance off of Sky Burst. Upon entering Dream Maker, I did turn to look at the condition of Upper Dream Maker. One lonely skier had taken the trail earlier in the day; their progress marked by a solitary double ski line down the trail. Upper Dream Maker did not look quite ready for the casual skier and rider, as there were still many exposed rocks on skiers right at the maximum pitch point of the head wall. But one more snow storm should take care of that.
After a boost on the Sky Ship, I decided to try my luck on Sky Lark. The resort has made a massive amount of snow on Sky Lark, most of it stockpiled in huge snow whales randomly on the trail. Major soft bumps were developing in the newly made snow. Not the soft bumps I had seen on Wild Fire, but the huge bumps carved by skier after skier taking the same line over a surface covered in a dozen or more feet of snow. It will be interesting to watch how the resort grooms Sky Burst in the next couple of days.
I finished up with a run down Superstar. Unlike Sky Lark, the resort has not made snow recently on Superstar, letting Mother Nature do the job in its stead. Upper Superstar was similar to Upper Wildfire, with some soft bumps, although because Upper Superstar is more of a cruiser that Upper Wildfire, the bumps were much more broadly spaced. Lower Superstar had a nice snow cover on it that had not yet been scraped off by early morning traffic. I was able to pretty much carve from side to side down Lower Superstar. Having reached the bottom, being quite pleased with my progress, and being out on the mountain for a little more than an hour, I decided that heading home versus taking "one more run" was the better part of valor.
Not bad for a morning jog!
Let it snow!!!