Hitting the slopes early in the morning while many are still asleep is one of my favorite things to do. And today was no different. The first few runs of the day were as pristine as you’d like to imagine.
Seeing as how tomorrow is the shortest day of the year, I wasn’t sure how quickly the sun would begin to soften things up. Luckily, the overnight cloud cover kept the mountain snow in top shape. My first few runs of the day were in the Tomahawk area of the mountain. Now if you haven’t skied Tomahawk lately, I want to point out that the gentle rollers go a long way in making you feel like a kid again. The roller coaster effect you get on this trail would make even the Grinch crack a smile.
From here I decided to make the hike and check out how things were holding up on East Face (locally known as “Gate D”). I would say that last week’s dump of fluff seems to have found a home in this area. The pitch was super cushy and inviting. There were a few times I felt my pole plant sink about 12 inches deep. Not great for my balance but a positive sign of how bottomless the snow continues to be.
As I made my way down, I saw that the groomed trail back to the resort led me to just below Pony Express. So I skated my way over and elected to take a run down Diamond Hitch. The coverage was deep but just a tad wind-blown. What this really meant is that I had to put just a bit more pressure on my downhill ski and tilt my weight a little toward my tails. Once I found my rhythm I rather enjoyed having an area of the resort mostly to myself. For those looking to escape a little congestion and be more free on your sticks, I suggest venturing over this way.
And one final note I would make here is that the groomed trails continue to be incredibly well maintained. No matter how much I tend to seek out the untracked powder stashes our mountain has the capacity to hide, I still find the buzz saw feeling of cutting the corduroy a real thrill.
So happy skiing & riding. Stay safe and have fun.
Dave Wittlinger, Alpine skier