Today was my first day back on a snowboard after a year and a half hiatus — I was pregnant with our second little boy last winter — and what a nice, powdery welcome back I received! It’s pretty crazy that three weeks ago I was mountain biking the new Pioneer trail up to Rainbow Saddle, and today, I was making some nice, soft turns on that same terrain. While it is still early season with four lifts open, including Four Points as of yesterday, there is some great terrain and surprisingly good snow higher up for anyone to enjoy.
Getting out the door this morning was certainly a bit hectic (for those of you with young kids, I’m sure you can relate), but once I stepped onto the gondola, all of my morning stress dissolved into the chilly, misty mountain air. There was an air of excitement in Gondola Square this morning with a 5 a.m. snow report of 9 1/2 inches in the past 24 hours, and there was even more excitement on the slopes. As I paused on Rudi’s Run to take a few photos, I could hear the “wohoos” and the “yeehaws” coming from runs like Twister, Hurricane and Rainbow (accessible by Four Points lift). I hugged the left side and found some really nice, soft and welcoming turns to legs that have not been on a snowboard in quite some time.
Most skiers and riders this morning convened at the Four Points lift line, which wasn’t too terribly long, with talk of powdery excitement and which runs were open and in the best condition. The ropes were dropped on Twister this morning, so I decided to check it out. First, I rode by Four Points Lodge, which is open daily with a limited menu — definitely a great place to warm up with some hot chocolate on a chilly day like today! On Twister, I found some really nice powder stashes mixed in with exposed foliage that wasn’t too bothersome, but do beware, there can still be unmarked obstacles during the early season. I noticed several skiers and riders dipping into the trees; while tempting based on the 5 a.m. report, I would certainly advise against that until we receive more substantial snowfall. Rocks and fallen trees may be covered by only a light layer of snow in some of our most coveted tree runs, so remember, patience is a virtue, and soon enough, we’ll all be bursting with joy as we charge through our favorite tree runs.
Heavenly Daze is the main avenue to lower mountain, although a quick detour onto Oops was a fun little surprise with a good amount of untracked powder. Although it was my first day back, I would imagine that today was one of the most exciting days this season has had, and it will only get better from here on out. Cold — and I mean very cold (I’m talking in the negative) temps are in the forecast — along with abundant snow predicted for the next 10 days. Get out there and enjoy what the mountain already has to offer, remember to respect terrain closures (Ski Patrol knows best) and most of all, have fun!
Erin Campbell, snowboarder