When I woke up this morning, it would have been hard to tell how perfect the conditions on the mountain would be. With a thick layer of fog hiding the mountains from view, I had to wait until my gondola ride to get a glimpse of the picture-perfect conditions up top. The snow from the last storm combined with the crystal-clear air and bright sunshine made for a beautiful ride up and even better ride down the mountain. With the fog still veiling the valley from view and first light hitting the Flat Tops off in the distance, it felt more like a postcard than real life.
On top of the amazing views and beautiful lighting, it also turned out to be pretty good up there. Even though most of the snow over the last few days fell while the mountain was open, there was still some leftovers in the trees, and the groomers were in perfect shape. In fact, the first run I took from High Noon down One O’Clock might have been the best groomed run I’ve had all year. The corduroy was nice and soft, and the runs were even enough to take huge turns the whole way down. Since there was almost no one there, there was untouched terrain almost all morning.
After a few runs down High Noon and Rolex, we decided to head over to Sunshine Peak and try out some of the trees. The last storm came in very warm and dropped a nice, creamy layer of snow that bonded really well with the snowpack below. Even though most of it was skied out, we found a few little pockets of powder that made the trip worthwhile. I wouldn’t expect to find too much powder today, but it might be worth a look in some of the less traveled tree runs. I would suggest trying the trees on Typhoon and Chuckwagon first.
Because of the warm temps, your best move today will be staying on the top of the mountain where the snow stayed colder and the storm hit harder. I think there will be plenty of great lines left over up in the Chutes and on East Face for some bluebird turns. Even though we didn’t get any snow overnight, a day like today is the next best thing. So with blue skies all around and plenty of snow, you might as well soak up the views and enjoy a perfect Colorado day.
Dan Tullos, snowboarder