If you were in town last night then i’m sure you had the same fear that I did. As the rain poured down, I couldn’t help but start to worry about the dreaded “Rain Crust”. If you’ve never experienced it before, it is a hidden ice layer in the new snow from the moment it got cold enough to start snowing. It rarely ever happens, and thankfully today was not one of those days. Despite the mere 2″ on the powder cam, the snow was deep and plentiful everywhere else on the mountain.

Creamy snow in Closet
Creamy snow in Closet

The first thing you will notice out there is how creamy the snow is. It’s a perfect day for snowboarding since it is firm enough to carve in and soft enough to feel powdery. Because the storm came in so heavy with strong winds, a few of the lifts were slow to get started this morning. This means that if you still aren’t up on the mountain, there should be plenty of leftovers from the morning. Closet was riding really well with only a few tracks on a lot of the open areas at 9:30. Try to stay towards the left side of Closet on the ridge line for the least tracked up area.

Great Lower Mountain Lines
Great lower mountain lines

Because of the lift slowdown I didn’t try anything on Pony or Storm Peak this morning but I would bet that the trees on the riders right side of Pioneer Ridge will have plenty of wind deposited snow. You could also give the Triangle 3 area under Bar-U-E a try. Instead of staying up top I tried out some lower mountain runs and was pleasantly surprised. Given that I had more snow on my porch than there was on the powder cam, this should have been obvious. The trees next to concentration and even the open part of the run were still nice and soft as I was leaving around 10.  If you are willing to look around there are a ton of fresh tracks on the lower mountain from Weasel all the way around to lower valley view.

Deep turns near Thunderhead
Deep turns near Thunderhead

Sometimes the reports can be deceiving and you just have to trust that you will have fun out there and find the powder wherever there may be. Whatever you do, don’t bring your skinny skis today. The bigger the better to plow through the heavy snow and crud on the main runs. Unfortunately my first riding buddy this morning didn’t get the memo and brought these:

The wrong choice
The wrong choice

At least he got a good leg workout.
Dan Tullos, snowboarder

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