Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fresh Tracks? Oh yes.

While the overall amount of snow has not improved much since my last foray into the mountains back on the 11th - the quality is another matter entirely.

Earlier today I hiked to the top of the Alpine lift at Bridger. When I say "hiked", I mean I walked up on two booted feet. Which tells you a bit about the base situation on the hill - firm. However, spread atop all this firmness (24 inches, at least) was about 2"-4" of new, fairly decent snow. All of this snow starts about 500' above the base of the mountain.

This new snow, on top of a solid base made for some very nice turning. My only regret is that I didn't turn around and head up for another 45 minute hike - all which nets about five to ten minutes of actual downhill skiing.

Of course, early season earn-your-turns skiing is more about the whole experience, rather than simply "shredding the gnar." The hike up is a great workout. The mountain is empty and quiet. The risk of getting taken out by an out-of-control novice snowboarder wearing a Nascar jacket is low. Mountain facilities are limited to wooded areas for "freshening" and apres-ski burgers and beer are hard to come by. Although, sitting in a chair atop a motionless ski lift taking in the view is a great way to enjoy your power-bar and water.

Opening day is scheduled for the 12th. "Sick" day? Maybe.

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