The last official day of winter (on the calendar) offered signs of prime spring skiing conditions to come. The past Wednesday was one of those sneaky “benign” powder days, with 3-4 in. reported. As I huffed and puffed my way across the fabled boot track, I wondered how the snow conditions would be leading into Spring. Deep thoughts. Breathe.
I took a moment at the peak to kick back, take in the view and soak up the warmth, as the mid-morning sun warmed my mug. There weren’t many folks around. No rush. Oh, do you like my new Rush A. T. boots by Scarpa? I know. You were checking out the Maroon Bells off in the distance; not the stinkin’ boots!
The newly fallen fluff was nice and light and just enough to cover up the scratchy crust underneath. G3 was skiing great, with just enough coverage for flight & soft landings in the bumps.
There was just enough snow to feel the float and shoot a little rooster tail off your boards; a fun mini-pow day. Thanks Winter! You were most exceptional; well above average. We’ll miss you, but Spring may be even better!
How would Spring skiing be in the days to come? Only one way to find out!
Heading up the Exhibition lift this morning; shortly after Aspen Highlands opened, I noted soft groomers galore and stashes of of new powder off to the sides of the main runs. It was a snowy, blowy day yesterday & there may not have been too many folks exploring the exposed Highland Bowl. 5-6 inches of new snow was reported in the past 24 hrs. Time to do some re-con.
I love the 9:00-10:00 hour as it’s usually peaceful & serene; even on this powdery Sunday. Apparently a lot of locals have moved on to other spring activities like road biking or mountain biking in the desert. Personally, I’ll take the sweet spring skiing days while we got ’em. When in Rome baby! Those who got the bowl today were like the cat who got the mouse. Meow! Speaking of cats, there was no noisy bowlcat running this early in the morning either; ahhhh. Catch it at 10:30 each day, if you need a short lift to the Main Gate.
Watching this skier rip down Full Curl from HIghland Peak was more than enough to get my juices flowing as I made my way across the knife edge. Big sweeping turns indicated a nice new layer of the white stuff. That will be me in minutes!
I was perhaps the 8th skier to drop from the peak & headed to G8, which I had scoped out on my half hour trek. So, there were a few other tracks on it. I wasn’t complaining! A half a foot of gorgeous powder had covered the remnants of the freeze/thaw cycle over the previous days. I enjoyed fabulous freshies all the way down the pitch. This guy (above) was comin’ in hot behind me & so was his buddy, who may have been racing in the Battle of the Bowls. They slashed the face in a handful of turns!
Slash, boom, bam! This boarder slashes the stash and flashes a smile! It’s amazing how 6 inches of fresh snow can change one’s attitude; completely! The aerobic dues are paid on the hike. The adrenalin reward is almost always there on the ride down. It’s quite a fair system if you think about it! Are you in?
Keep this one under your helmet. The lower Gs; G1-G4 usually get less traffic in general. They are often a fantastic call for your 2nd or 3rd lap when the rest of the bowl is getting hammered. Here I am, looking up upper G2 at about noon today. It was deeper; 6-8 in. in spots and flat enough to fly through. It was fun enough to laugh out loud!
Today was a small, but stellar powder day, on the first official Sunday of Spring. More snow is in the forecast for later this week. Deja vu; wooo hooooooo!