Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Snow Day!

If you're east of the Mississippi you've probably gotten pummeled by rain in the past few days, checking those basements for leaks, carrying an umbrella and rain gear every time you leave the house, and hoping that there's warmth and sunshine at the end of this rain cloud. But if you're living in the mountains, especially ski country, or perusing the resort snow reports as I now find myself doing daily (trying to give myself an excuse to hop a plane to the Wasatch or Rockies even though I just returned), then you're leaping for joy over a snow day.

I was crushed to see the snow we had prayed for last week to blanket the bare mountains fell now that I left. And not only did Colorado get hit, but Utah too. This season's snow isn't just reserved for Tahoe where a four-foot drop fell last week and completely blanked the Rockies. Alta's report at Ski Utah listed 22 new inches and Brighton listed 25. Sheesh. Now while those in Colorado will be quick to say that the snowfall is a light load this year, at least they got some white stuff to play in. Not epic proportions but enough to patch the holes that were starting to show by Friday afternoon. I'm just wishing I could play in it--check out the glades at Beaver Creek that were closed or hit the snowcat skiing area again and make some fresh tracks in what I'm hoping isn't mashed potatoes like I encountered. Yep, apparently mashed potatoes is a term for heavy powder--heavy, hard-to-ski-in powder that had me cursing my powder skis that were supposed to love the stuff and our guides flopping over on turns just like the guests (namely me).

Back to the snowfall...Beaver Creek is boasting 10 inches of powder today. I'm jealous! That also means that the glade skiing that I missed out on last week due to undesirable snow conditions--or the conclusion that myself, my husband and the head of the kids ski school decided upon--was most likely open. One way to find out: Check for the flag flying at the top of the Centennial lift, chair 6, that's black and flashing BC/EX. I'd sport a picture but I'm having some difficulties copying the link. The other way...for the Royal Elk Glade, head to the top of the Grouse Mountain lift and look right past the hut at the top. The sign and roping will be posted if it's closed (a familiar site for me) or be open for travelers. I can only imagine the pockets hiding in the glades...after a wind swept top crust, even I'd go skiing in the trees. As for getting to the Stone Creek Chutes, an area that used to be out of bounds but was recently rezoned to become a part of the resort's terrain, I followed Cindy our guide to get there and have no clue how we zig-zagged across the mountain to get there. It involves riding the Birds of Prey lift and traversing skier's left to more trees. Sounds sweet--and flickr pictures can prove it...I'm wallowing in others' glories captured on film in years past. But hey, keep the snow coming, Colorado can use it. Especially Blue Ox, my fave double black at Vail that was like a skating rink transplanted into a wind tunnel last Thursday. Photo grabbed from ctirpak at flickr. Posted by Kate

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