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With temperatures forecast to hit the high 20s (Fahrenheit), there's an inversion today that makes the base area (still in the single digits) feel much colder than mid-mountain and the top--where it's already in the teens or higher. That means, by my standards, it's cold enough to remember you're having an adventure; warm enough to actually enjoy it.

[photo: the rarely groomed Three O'Clock run, off Sundown Express]

Last night the groomers prepared a hat-trick off the Sundown Express, laying down corduroy on One O'Clock, Two O'Clock, and the rarely-groomed Three O'Clock. This gives a nice array of cruiser runs for all levels from intermediate through advanced. Three O'Clock had steep corduroy down the middle with surprisingly edgeable and forgiving moguls on either side.

[photo: the Aspen groves between Three O'Clock and Twilight]

Though there hasn't been snow since a couple days ago, it's been so cold that there are still stashes of untracked snow that haven't hardened up at all. I peeled off the left side of Three O'Clock into those nicely-spaced trees adjacent to Twilight and found myself pushing around some of that four inches of powder that has fallen over the past seven days.

If you want even more freshies, try the chutes where there are certainly unmarked obstacles on the upper reaches, but the gentle slope and tight trees below (that take you back to Flying Z) are filled with deeper stuff.

[photo: plunging into secret (?) stashes below Christmas Tree Bowl]

Don't be scared off by cold temperatures in town and at the base: the mountain has warmed to optimal ski temperatures and snow conditions are great. Go make some turns and smiles. Cheers,

Greg I. Hamilton, skier, smiler, Straight Talker

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