Surprise, it snowed last night! OK, it’s not a full-on powder day up there, but the two inches that fell sometime this morning were a nice addition to the groomers. Now that the temps are getting warmer and the days are getting longer, the conditions in the morning are getting a bit firmer. A couple of inches of dense snow are exactly what the doctor ordered for some First Tracks groomers.

We might be in the homestretch of our season, but the temps at the top of the mountain felt like mid-winter today. I assumed it would be warmer, so I left the extra layers and face mask at home. The ride from the gondola down to Sundown made me regret my choice. Don’t let the chilly temps up top deter you from riding the upper mountain today, though. The best conditions are at the top of the mountain on the north-facing runs.

I spent most of my morning riding under Sunshine lift and on the groomers below Sundown. Since the snow came in pretty late, there is a mixture of runs that were groomed before and after the storm. So while Sunshine Lift Line was all fresh corduroy, Rolex was a few inches on top of the groomed run. The best plan today will be to explore the upper mountain and ride what looks good. I wouldn’t venture into the trees until it warms up. The fresh snow on top might look enticing, but the last thing you want is to find yourself 100 feet into a tree run with another 1,500 feet of dust on crust in front of you. Patience will be a virtue today.

I had a nice time riding the upper mountain this morning, but the lower mountain was a different story. The melt/freeze cycle is strongest down low, so it takes a while for the lower mountain runs to soften up. A few hours can make a big difference. Just because I was barely hanging on coming down the Daze at 10, doesn’t mean it won’t be good this afternoon. With nothing but sun in the forecast for the rest of the day, the afternoon should be perfect for spring skiing.

Dan Tullos

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