The Beginning of the Final Winter Storm?

Maybe the last truly winter storm hit us last night. I laughed to myself as I woke up to what could have been the perfect Christmas morning. On April 3rd! Everyone is tired of it, and frankly I’m starting to look forward for some 60’s and sun that’s on the forecast for the end of the week. But it was enjoyable moped ride to campus as I mused over the cold temperatures and snow fall so late, and so consistent this year. We haven’t had a true warm up yet.

When we were driving up to ski we were talking about how Sundance closed with the deepest base they’ve ever had. I almost think it would be helpful if people shifted their mindset about ski season so that we don’t have resorts closing with so much snow. Maybe ski resorts should open in January and close in May? The reality is that good skiing doesn’t start until January anyways, but in October people are already so anxious to ski so the resorts open in November with low base depths. But then by the time April rolls around, when they have the deepest depths of the year, people are tired of skiing.

It seems like it would make more sense from a snow perspective if we shifted the season a couple of months.

But I don’t ski in the resort so it doesn’t really matter to me, just some thoughts as I’ve been paying attention toe the snowpack over the past several years.

Our plan initially today was to ski some south facing lines near Bob’s Nob above Aspen Grove, but when we got to the parking lot we changed our mind. We rolled in just a few minutes before noon and there was only two other cars in the parking lot. It was the Mediocre Amateurs who are two excellent skiers and backcountry adventurers. We talked to them for a couple of minutes and ended up changing our mind to go ski theater in the pines. That way we wouldn’t have to brake trail, and we figured the North facing would have better snow because we thought it would be soft under the 8-10 inches we had already received.

We were wrong.

Even on the North facing slopes there was a hard crust under the 10ish inches of snow which made for some variable skiing. Some parts were still really fun, but others were rough. John crashed early on and so we opted to go somewhere a bit more low angle.

We skinned up into the primrose cirque area and did a couple of laps on a south facing area that we’ve never skied before. Each lap was better than the first.

Speaking of each lap being better than the first, that has been a consistent pattern this winter. It seems that as the day goes on we get better at skiing the snow, and we find better and better lines with the current conditions. The backcountry is always changing, and there are never any guarantees, so often it takes a little bit of discovery to find the best terrain for the day.

So by our fourth lap it was actually really fun! Even though when we started it was mediocre.

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