“Deep Coverage at 8260”
That was the top line on the Rose site today…
Just couldn’t help but chuckle. OK, marketing hype notwithstanding… I gotta comment. Although Rose and Mammoth have the best coverage in the Sierra to be sure… describing it as “deep” sure routes one onto the Hyperbole Express… and in the fast lane with the top down, naked, Elton John glasses and an empty sixer on the floorboard no less.
Skiing does remain pretty good on the Rose side and in places, on the Slide side, but, there are a lot of exposed rocks on the slide side as well as gravel on some of the groomers. It is buyer beware on the Slide side, esp. off-piste and riders are encouraged to take a cautious first run and scope things out before letting off the brakes and cruising… or you may end up cruising for a bruising as I witnessed on Golds a few days ago. Its not that its unskiable or anything, surely there are lots of great turns to be had on both sides of the mountain, but everyone is encouraged to approach your first time down for the day cautiously to become aware of the rocky or gravelly spots. Yes, as Turnin Tim noted, there was some “Freshly Groomed Gravel” in spots this morning. Please don’t blame the groomers… there is just not much snow in places. Looking optimistically, perhaps it is “deep coverage” in comparison to MudStar, Rocky Meadows or Straw Valley… there is some hope on the way with the Wed night storm… and I am cautiously optimistic we will get some snow out of it. How much you ask? Nobody, and I mean nobody, knows the answer to that question.
In other news, central Europe is having the exact opposite problem. Switzerland in particular had two meters of snow in a single 24 hour period where Zermatt in the Matterhorn area was hit hardest. With 13,000 tourists in Zermatt and the road and trains shut down, some guests were helicoptered out and back down valley to the working train station and highways. Up on the mountain itself, the Kumme Chairlift Load station which happened to be the oldest still operating detachable chairlift in Switzerland installed in 1982, was obliterated after one of the largest storms last week. As lifties dug down looking for the two story building… they realized at some point that the station, lift towers and everything else has been completely swept away by a large avalanche (see pics below). No wreckage was visible at this time except for the limp haul line up the hill and the remaining towers out of the main slide path. There are spots in the Alps where five meters of snow have already fallen this season… well, now we know where all the snow has gone! Might want to look into those flight deals soon!
Pictured here in the Kumme lift load station before the storm…
Here it is post avalanche, as you can see, there is very little left intact
Here is the Kumme lift uphill from the Slide with limp haul lines sadly dangling