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Rig for Silent Running…

There were more than a few powder seekers in this morning’s line up. And you could tell it had been awhile. Folks were amped for some face shots. The howling wind seemed to wane just as the chair begin to spin and the clouds and wind were pretty much gone an hour later revealing the pureness of Sierra blue above and the virgin white goodness below. Yes… it was a delightful day.

There is the unmistakable small hiss of light powder past ski tips… almost silent but not quite, that lets the rider know… things are right with the world. Four out of five turns today were like that when you were skiing in certain spots and then the heavenly feeling would be replaced but the harshness of an icy upside down bowl sized volkswagon hood of hardness… then back to the heavenly almost silent bliss again for another half dozen turns (kind of like the peaceful ride home with a few beers under your belt until the blue dice and bright lights appear in your rearview mirror.) Depended alot on where you were too. Some runs were near perfection on a smooth base with good snow underfoot 90% of the time and then…. like fingernails on a blackboard, the ice would remind you that this cold snow wasn’t quite enough to cover all the “firmness” on Mt. Rose just yet. There were a few spots where coverage was excellent with no wind effect and skiing was great. All in all, today was magnificent because we received more than just a couple of inches for a change! It appears there are a couple more storms to come… but I am not counting those chickens, even as eggs at the present. Anything at this point would certainly help our conditions which are still meager inches above the dirt line. Let us have a moment of silence for all the P-tex lost today…

Sven

Prognostication Has Occurred

As weather buffs up and down the Sierra’s, both professional and powder-breathers like myself, pour over the weather forecast models looking with excitement at the next potential snow maker on the horizon for Thursday… we like to think something is going happen, this morning the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch and tomorrow it may morph into a Winter Storm Warning. I say “we like to think” because Ma Nature has a mind of her own, case in point: the last “underperforming” storm that was forecast to drop 18″-24″ but left us with 4″ of rain instead and with about as much new snow at the end of the storm as a teaser. Although this next storm is forecast to be much colder with snow possibly on the valley floors Friday morning… I am having a tough time buying in… like a high school cheer leader burned by too many quarterback promises… I am reserving judgment this time. I can concede it will probably snow, but I will be happy if we get even half of what is forecast to fall.

I do agree however 100% with the great forecaster pictured below, who, pontificating from the NOAA South Peak Weather Station on Slide Mountain said once, “This sun is a problem, and acting in accordance with immutable natural laws, does indeed, melt the snow.” I think we can all agree that this season has proven this man correct… repeatedly. Heres hoping we get some snow and that some of the rocks, logs and snags get covered up a little more… my bases can’t take much more abuse!

Sven

Employee of the Week: Greg Grosso

Bruces was graded a straight up A+ first thing this morning and it was so good I just lapped it for awhile. It was nice to get off the Silver and Bonanza train for awhile to tell you the truth. Kudos to the groomers and Rose for grooming another run for us to play on!

Greg Grosso is the Rose Employee of the Week by listening to us old timers for a change and moving the ticket checkers up toward the second third of the “holiday maze” and breaking the rope at that point so that empty stalls may be reshuffled so that each chair is full. Brilliant breaking the rope lines there and allowing cross-overs. Also nice to have the ticket checkers stand up where skiers actually stop naturally. That way everyone gets checked and skiers aren’t stopping what seems like 150 miles from the load board which is tough with kids in tow, kicking a snowboard along or just old and grumpy guys and gals like a few of us.

I have to say there are average employees who do what they are trained to do… and then there are a small percentage of employees who keep trying to improve things, make them better, work out the kinks and who are dedicated to keep improving the guest experience and their safety. Greg is definitely in this second category. Give Greg a hug or high five when you see him… he deserves it!

Sven

Good Snow, Beers, Brauts and Om-Pah Pah. Life is good.

Many skiers and riders had a great time this Saturday as Rose put on one of the their great annual events, the German Beer Garden at the Slide Lodge. Hard to go wrong here as the brauts were hot with about 7 kinds of mustard, a nice selection of German Beers and of course the German Costumes and the Gruber Family Band.

Second to that was the incredibly great job the groomers did last night in “fixing” the mountain. What had been fairly mediocre skiing yesterday on Fresh Groomed Gravel* in places was magically transformed into rockless fast flying groomers by Dave Hahl and his crew. Where they got all the fresh snow from is anybodies guess, but get it they did and virtually all the gravel was gone revealing perfect cord on many runs. Without much fresh snow it has been a real gift to have so many runs groomed so often. Today on the Slide Side these runs included Silver, Bonanza and Bruces while on the Rose side all the Face runs were groomed plus Ramsey’s, Aidas, Jetta, Lakeview, Carson and ATW. Working with very little natural snow and conditions too warm to make anymore, Rose has done an amazing job after every wind event to cover the blown in gravel. Kudos also go out to patrol who was on shovel patrol this morning removing the occasional rocky mess or orphan rock on the groomers. Hats off to Rose ¬†for keeping the slopes white instead of white with black dots.

Off-piste, you just have to be careful and expect the occasional rock or log… I would call it early season skiing in January… but look around Tahoe, you think its bad here, at least we CAN ski off-piste, you can’t say that at some of the other places where dirt, rock and logs await the ski bases if you leave the white stripes painted down the groomers. Another nice day awaits tomorrow. Ski you there.

Sven

  • The phrase “Fresh Groomed Gravel” is copyrighted to Turnin Tim. Special Thank you to Tim for the use of the term.

Slide Side Closed Glacial Ice the Culprit

This would be a day to clean out the garage, change the oil in your car, catch up on those texts and pay some bills. Not a day to ski. Between the wind and ice (Firm Conditions in ski area lexicon)it is a great day to get some other stuff done… the rest of the week is forecast to be warm and fairly mellow starting tomorrow. I don’t often advise against skiing but I do today.

Sven

Its better than dirt…

OK. So we didn’t get our 18″ to 36″ forecast… there was a lot of groaning in the lift line this morning… so much so that I hiked out and did some side country and enjoyed the clouds playing tag in the sky. It was still a beautiful day out there despite the fact that we actually lost snowpack due to all the rain yesterday… maybe thats what they meant… we would lose 16 to 36 centimeters of snow due to all the rain. In that case, they might have been pretty close down low on the mountain. Here is a pic of things late yesterday at the Stafford Reservoir in front of the Slide Lodge…

It was better than that today as the pond was smaller, still, you could still see yellow dirt marks percolating up through the pack and the Pondo snow stake was back down to the 1 foot mark. However… with all that being said, Rose still has the best skiing around Tahoe with about 5″ of freshies to play in up top and a couple down low.

We can groan all we want, but the fact is… its better than dirt. I took the liberty of taking a very slow photographic tour of the mountain on my first run and just marveled at the natural beauty all around me in the trees, the snow, the sky and the always effervescent Mountain Chickadee’s who seem to rally in bad weather to remind us all that its just good to be alive and moving through the world with boards on our feet.

So no, I didn’t stay long, but I did stay long enough to remind myself that no matter how persnickety Ma Nature wants to get, we can can still have fun on whatever she gives us. And I thank the heavens that I don’t live a mile from Mudstar. I can’t imagine how bad it must be down there.

Sven