Jenny and I made our inaugural ski trip up Downing Mountain today after finishing up some details at the lodge. With a foot of settled snow in the parking lot we were sure the coverage would be adequate for the risk of hitting a few rocks and maybe tweaking a joint.
We lucked out with last week's storm which produced a foot of heavy snow at 5500', 2 feet at 6500' and up to three feet above on the upper mountain. While we did scrape a few rocks and tree tops, the surface conditions were super fun and fast. With ski penetration only about six inches it was easy to stay on top of the snowpack and the final 2,500 foot run back to the lodge was in good shape for so early. The snowpack had firmed up quite a bit over the weekend and we noticed only a few localized settlements and when venturing into the edge of the bowl at 7,700', I noticed no instability on this short 30 degree test slope. There was quite a warm up today and at lower elevations, anything facing a bit south had moisture in it and will be crusted by now. Hoping for another good storm to finish off this week's probably will probably not do any good, but WOW! were we grateful to get out and ski such good snow so early in the season.