Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Endless Winter

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2011 at 7:56 AM

It might be May on the calendar, but it's still winter in the high country. I made another trip up to Snowbowl on April 30 and found well over a foot of fresh snow at the top. This time, an early morning departure proved to be wise. I was skinning up Paradise though six to eight inches of fresh pow by 8:30, following a set of tracks laid by a couple of even more eager skiers.

Snow had been falling for over 24 hours, and continued through the morning. The weather was pretty cold, but windless, making for a comfortable climb.

But by the time I reached the top, heavy fog enveloped the mountain, making for extremely poor visibility. My descent of Far East and Angel Face was like skiing by braille. It was impossible to read the surface of the snow, and on my own I felt reluctant to ski the trees. No matter, it was deep and soft all over the mountain.

By the time I got back to the bottom at 11:30 (skiing all the way across the parking lot to the gate), I figure I saw close to 20 vehicles. I wouldn't be surprised if over 100 people made the outing that day. I doubt any were disappointed. The amount of snow up there is stunning, more than I've ever seen before. It should be skiable all the way to the lodge for at least a few weeks more, with plenty of snow on the mountain to sustain die-hards well into June.

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