Let’s face it — warm temps are never good for riding. But they are good for being comfortable on the mountain and creating beautiful weather. While the conditions aren’t perfect for early morning riding this time of year, watching the day break from the mountain is always worth it. I was treated to some spectacular light coming through the clouds this morning, and it only got better as I went higher. There was a strong inversion this morning that created a sea of clouds that seemed to stretch all the way to Utah.
Enough about clouds. You probably want to know about what’s on the ground, not what’s in the sky. If you are going up this morning, you should head straight to the top. Aside from being pretty, that’s where the best conditions are. We got a dusting overnight, so if you can find a smooth spot that hasn’t been touched, it will be a bit softer up there. On top of that, it has been colder at the top of the mountain, so the snow hasn’t been affected by the warm temps down low. I took runs down Storm Peak Face and Buddy’s Run this morning, and except for a few ruts, they were both in good condition. Be careful though, there are some little divots in the runs, so keep your speed in check.
On to the bad news. The temps stayed well above freezing last night below the gondola. Even with all the skill and experience that our grooming team brings to the table, there was no way to create perfectly even runs. The snow cats used for grooming are massive machines, and because the snow was so slushy, you can see their tread marks on the runs. I think as the day goes on, things will get better. Until then, I would stay at the top of the mountain or in the parks.
It’s springtime in the Rockies, and with the season winding down, I will take what I can get. When life gives you lemons, work on your form and ride slushy bumps all afternoon.
Dan Tullos, snowboarder