Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Well, the end to our streak of perfect snow conditions ended Saturday morning. After nearly six weeks of unbelievable skiing and riding, we finally had a two-day thaw followed by cold temperatures and some ferocious winds out of the North.
Fortunately, we only had some light rain showers very early Friday morning, followed by a breezy and then sunny day. This helped dry out the snow since temperatures hit 50 degrees. It did not get below freezing until after midnight, so we were not able to start grooming until then.
We knew that our skilled groomers would do a great job of getting the mountain skiable, but we were worried that the winds might prevent any lift from opening the next day. Much to our pleasant surprise, we got most lifts up and running and by mid-morning had finished our grooming plan and had our terrain open. Because the winds were howling out of the north, Lincoln Peak skied better than Mt. Ellen on both Saturday and Sunday but by Monday the groomed slopes were better. And yesterday (Tuesday) sliding on groomed trails like Rim Run, Elbow, Cliffs, Walt's, Cruiser, and North Star at ME was very pleasant. The moguls for the most part remained firm, but where the sun was hitting and people were skiing you could find some decent mogul runs as well. And there was even packed powder to be found in spots.
Today is a fabulous sunny blue-sky day. The temperatures down low have risen into the 20s and the wind is light. While it is still a bit firm in spots, several nights of hard grooming have made a real difference. Today I particularly enjoyed Birch, Sunrise, Sleeper and Snowball into Racer's Edge. Tonight we will be grooming Stein's. With the warmer temperatures predicted tomorrow, that would be my pick of the day on both Thursday and Friday. Snow is in the forecast for Friday and with warmer temperatures we are likely to get some heavier and more moist snow which would be perfect to bond with the snow and will fill-in the moguls. If the snow comes in as expected, I think we will see Castlerock and the woods in great shape for the weekend.
We had a very successful Presidents' weekend despite the winds and cold and this week is going well, too. There are still a number of fun events for families before Presidents' week ends this Sunday.
And then next week, March arrives. March is my favorite month and historically the second snowiest month of the year. So with longer days, warmer temperatures, a great base and likely snow, I believe that we are in for a terrific spring this year.
See you on the mountain.