The Jay Cloud was in full effect and we hit the road good and early for first chair on Saturday morning. We scored first tracks on deliverance and found face-shots aplenty throughout the rest of the day. With a few inches of refresher, Sunday was in nearly as good condition as Saturday with well over a foot of fresh over the entire weekend following roughly four feet during the previous week. For day two we hit Big Jay, then made a slightly ill informed attempt at Gilpin, across the street from The Dip. The results…well see for yourself!
This past weekend, Rob, Ziehl and I made our way back up north on our perpetual quest for soft turns and steep lines. Our first stop was Smuggs which might have been decent were it not for the bullet proof crust that had been whipped up by the wind and mixed precip… After throwing in the towel at the resort, sidecountry, and backcountry, we refueled and set our sights on Jay in hopes that it’s higher latitudes and prevailing weather patterns would… well, prevail. We rolled in around 10 AM, mustered as much enthusiasm as we could, geared up and hit the Bonaventure Quad. From the lift we got a good look at the scratchy conditions: exposed water bars, rocks, dirt… As we got up the mountain things got better – there was certainly plenty of decent skiing to be done at higher elevations but all of it would be firm: a good day for all-mountain skis.
If you live in a place with perpetually very hard snow you should think about moving to a nicer climate, but not to Utah, please.” -Bruce Tremper, in Staying Alive
In spite of the rain in NE this past week, Rob, Sweeney and I were determined to find some decent skiing. We were at Smuggs on Saturday, where it was definitely a day to focus on the touring rather than the skiing. We bootpacked a mile or so in the area, where the rain crust made any potential runs look a little sketchy. I tested the diagonal carry of my REI Double Diamond pack, which I found works well for getting the skis on the pack quickly, but for excursions of any length I much prefer the A-frame carry. The diagonal straps allow the skis to hang a little too far off behind the pack.