March 08, 2007

Snow!

When I went to get the bus from Cowboy Village to the Jackson Hole base area at Teton Village this morning it was raining... At first it looked like wet snow, but as I stepped out of the cabin it was clear that it was just 'thick' rain...

The weather report showed that we'd had some snow, a whole 3cm, and the base area showed signs of a slight dusting. Not enough to make a difference and, unfortunately, it was overcast and cold so the existing snow that would have thawed nicely yesterday and frozen last night was likely to be a mess of icy lumps and bumps on anything that hadn't been groomed.

There were six of us today. One of the guys from yesterday was having a lesson and there were two new guys, both snowboarders. Having never led any snowboarders around the resort, but realising that it could require different skills, it seemed like the day would be "interesting".

We did a run down under Apres Vous and it became clear that the 3cm of snow was on top of mostly frozen grooming or mostly frozen lumpy crap. The skiing was OK as long as you adjusted accordingly and some of the guys following could and some couldn't. The snow higher up seemed better so we dropped down to the Gondola and headed for the top.

We took a bumps and gully route from the Gondola to Thunder to see what the snow off piste was like up higher. The answer was "variable". There was some nice depths of wind deposited snow but the underlying stuff was hard... Interesting skiing. When we got to Thunder we saw that Sublette and East Ridge were now closed due to wind. We took a run down Grand and it was pretty good if you skied it hard and didn't mind getting thrown around a bit. Looking up at the Laramie Bowl it looked better and less skied. We took the path back to Thunder and tried again.

Laramie Bowl was quite nice; still a mix of textures but the day was warming a bit and the snow was getting better. I decided to try Lower Sublette Ridge, it was OK, no worse than the snow higher up and since the sky had cleared a bit and there had been some sun there were some nice bits to be found. When we got to the Union Pass chair it was snowing slightly. We took the Gondola back to the top and had some coffee.

By the time the coffee was done it was snowing well and Sublette and East Ridge were now open. We headed over there, via Grand, and went to the top. It was windy and there was, er, a visibility problem... Had the vis been OK then we could probably have picked out the soft snow and skied in troughs of reasonably good powder all the way down. As it was we couldn't see diddly and that meant that you'd get a couple of nice turns as you stayed in the troughs and then hit a large, hard, lump of frozen stuff... Rinse, repeat. It was better near the bottom as the vis improved... Down Rendezvous Trail and all the way to the bottom via South Pass Traverse and Gros Ventre. Time for lunch.

After lunch the snow had stopped, we took the Gondola and then the Casper Traverse into Woosley Woods. Nice snow in the trees and I discovered that snowboarders prefer slightly different routes through the trees to skiers... Down to Casper and twice through the Moran Woods and it was time to call it a day.

We could do with either more snow and cold temperatures or warm temperatures and clear skies... I'm not especially bothered as tomorrow is my last day here and the fact that it's become a springlike is providing a nice end to my season... It feels like time to stop...


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Posted by Len at March 8, 2007 08:12 PM | Categories: Season 2 - Ski Days , Ski Club of GB Rep
Comments

But it's not _quite_ the end of the season - is it? ;-)

Posted by: Phil at March 9, 2007 11:16 AM

No, not quite. A few weeks and I'll be all fired up for the La Grave trip...

Posted by: Len at March 9, 2007 07:33 PM
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