Sun, skis, no crowds and windless blue skies with immaculately conceived groomers lead to speed and lots of it. If you like to go fast, these weekday mornings are for you. A liftee was saying he was in Renown yesterday visiting a friend in the hospital and heard there had been three skier and boarder related deaths in as many days in the Tahoe area due to uncontrolled slides. That doesn’t mean the mountains are unsafe, it means one should adjust to conditions since they won’t adjust to you!
So, words of warning… the off-piste (or even ungroomed named runs) deserve much respect under these conditions. That being said, skiers and riders need only be mindful of the sun and how it works its magic to find the softened satin corn that is forming late mornings on Southern aspects. Not being mindful of what had been freshly groomed or the sun can lead to some serious consequences.
Along these lines, another victim was careflighted off Mt. Rose this week, and he took a slider off Bruces of all places, a solid intermediate route (that hadn’t been groomed of course). In some ways, the groomers that haven’t been touched in the last 24 hours can be more dangerous than the off-piste due to extremely firm conditions of the age hardened snow on a couple day old groomers.
Be mindful of the changing conditions of all mountains, imbeciles you may encounter sliding out of control above you and the old Mt. Rose Ski Patrol bumper sticker I saw recently… “You can’t stop stupid”. This will go a long way to keeping a smile on your face and in one piece.