Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Big powder day made the season

Every winter, I hope there is one day on the slopes that will be stored in my ever-shortening, long-term memory.
This winter, one day stood out. On a Wednesday morning, I checked Snowy Range's conditions and was amazed/skeptical to see 24 inches of new snow reported. It hadn't snowed at all in town.

I thought, "Screw work." I could get caught up that evening.

So I rousted Dave out of bed, and we headed west to check it out.

Once we reached Centennial, there was some new snow. As we climbed higher, the snow depth increased. But near the Forest Service Visitors Center, only one lane of Highway 130 was plowed. The other lane held at least 20 inches of new stuff. I could almost reach out the Toyota window and touch the snow.

As we rounded the corner before Barber Lake Road, there was a snowplow stuck off the highway, with another snowplow trying to tow it out. That's not something you see everyday, but was another sign that an epic ski day lay ahead.

Once the plow was back on the road, the two of them ran uphill, clearing both lanes at once. We pulled into the ski area parking lot and were not disappointed.

Snowy Range had not groomed any of the runs, and there was actually too much new snow on some of the less-steep slopes. Even on the steeper black diamonds, we could barely gain enough speed. I found it easier and faster to ski in other people's tracks, where there was only about 18 inches of snow that sloughed back in.

A few other shredders made it out that day, but it wasn't hard to find great snow anywhere on the mountain. It was a day that will not be soon forgotten.