Sunday, November 20, 2011

Three Days - One Zone

For the last three days we've skied the same zone, each day skiing within a couple hundred yards of our tracks from the day before. Its been amazing how much the weather conditions and snow have changed in the last couple days.

Mineral Point
Maroon Peak
Back at the trailhead: classic CB; no snow
Looking at the forecast Friday night and Saturday morning I figured Saturday would be a day where it would be snowing as we skinned and skied, but there wouldn't really be much accumulation. As I left the house there was an inch of snow, and when I pulled into the trailhead it was snowing lightly with maybe two inches on the ground. As we sledded the five miles up the access road the snow got deeper and deeper, as we started the skin there were five inches of snow on the ground. The snow continued as we skinned up, and by the time we reached the top the north facing aspects must have had 10 inches of snow. Dropping in I was blown away how deep it was: we were skiing legitimate waist deep blower.

Today we woke up to warm weather and cloudy skies. From the trailhead it was apparent today wasn't going to be as perfect as yesterday as one of us quickly realized he had forgotten his beacon at home. Eventually we  were at the start of the skin, but due to the warm weather and new snow several of us were quickly carrying "80 pounds of snow" on the bottom of our skins. However, eventually we all made it to the top and were greeted with 1500 vertical feet of creamy pow. 

Its been amazing how much its changed in the last three days. Friday we were skiing surface facets. Saturday we were skiing waist deep under stormy skies. And today felt like spring: even with partly cloudy skies, the snow had already consolidated into heavy creamy pow  .

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