Another day of Grooming Perfection

White satin again this morning. Considering the thinness of the snowpack, groomers are continuing to do a great job in farming what they have and making some new to spread over the bare spots… or should I say Bear Spots John Talbot? He posted a pic of a black bear seen crossing the runout of Bullwhip a couple of days ago leading a whole meaning to the phrase… “Watch out for bare spots.”

Anyway, short mazes, fast reloads and no crowds, hard to go wrong here in early December… the runs on the Rose side look like mid-winter as long as you ski on-piste. Off-piste or bump runs… a little more on the rocky and firm side in spots. Places to avoid if you like your ski edges and bottoms are the usual suspects: Upper Ramseys, Silver Face and a few others. Although you might be tempted, bring some old boards for those runs or ski carefully. Speaking of Upper Ramsey, the patrol went one better than not grooming the lead in cat track and actually posted signs stating that the run is “Not Groomed” along with “Thin Cover” and ” Most Difficult”. This is a “Three Strikes and you’re Out” scenario, there is no way one can bitch about the condition of the run now unless you are a complete idiot, (and yes, these folks do come to ski areas… they are the same ones pulling the safety bar down without warning as you are leaning over adjusting your boot at Tower 4…). As one of my friends often says… “You can’t help the helpless” and I often subscribe to this philosophy, the three signs taken together are a pretty good warning to everyone, so, thanks Mountain Ops for solving a problem on the hill which will lead to less problems for visiting skiers who are not total idiots. Of course you could add one more sign with a circle and a line through it and an idiot in the middle… but that probably wouldn’t accomplish much… they are not known for their proclivity for reading signage.

Quite a few of us locals have noticed that areas that would normally be closed off due to lack of coverage have remained open longer than in other years and that you could pick your way down them with care. Bravo for that, wish we lived in a non-litigious society where we took individual responsibility for ourselves when we chose what to ski or not to ski like the European model of ski self-responsibility which in many countries includes a contribution to a nationwide rescue service. Just skied Shangdi-La last week and was stoked it was still open despite the fact that it was mostly rocks, logs and brush.

Employee of the Week: Lift Supervisor Joe on the Slide Side , personable, professional and friendly with a quick sense of humor… you couldn’t ask for a better supervisor. If you haven’t met Joe yet, better do it. He will make your ski day a better one, guaranteed! Run of the day… Bonanza was heavenly this morning at 8:30.

Keeping everyone happy skiing is not an easy task and I applaud the positive changes on the mountain we have seen so far, thanks for listening and keep up the good work.


Perfection in the Snow…

The 4″ of snow we received after all the rain has made all the difference in the world on the groomer quality. The Greenland Ice Sheets are gone and the groomers have been leaving us white satin in the mornings… incredible…. and with only a handful of skiers on the mountain it makes it all that much better. Greg’s (or Timmy’s as its known informally in the Prune juice Posse) took the cake yesterday for nicest groomer and that was handed off to Bullwhip today. Really nice high speed no one in your way groomers… something special for sure especially when the fog rises and you are shifting into high in full sun with good vis with perhaps some tunes cranking… how sweet it is sometimes!

Although my wife might debate this… I believe a couple times a year I do have a good idea… and one was to stop grooming the cat track to Upper Ramsey when the run itself isn’t groomed making a tourist trap of sorts which I mentioned in an earlier post… well, either through design or accident, the last two days I have observed the cat track remain ungroomed to match the Upper Ramsey Run… I am hoping this was by design and will become SOP. That way if we want to ski bumps we know where to find them and likewise a nice steep groomer or a shortcut to Upper Lakeview. Between this and the opening up of the junction of Upper Ramsey and KC Traverse… things on the mountain are being adjusted to make for an improved skiing experience for the general public. Kudos to Mt. Rose for listening!

The weather looks pretty quiet for the next couple of weeks as of now so here’s hoping you get out to enjoy some pre-holiday turns without the crowds. Coverage is great on the Rose side and they are pumping out snow when they can on both sides to improve current conditions.

Thanks Mountain Ops, we really do love all the work you put into the mountain!


Nothing is wasted…

Nice to get back to winter, cold temps, 4 to 6″ of new dense on the bottom light on top snow and all seemed right with the world this morning. A couple of my favorite ski partners finding fresh tracks mid-morning… Girl Power at work!


Happy Turkey Day

Skiing was springlike today with firm glazed surfaces in the morning and slush in the afternoon. Although the snow is melting fast, there is still great skiing to be found on the Rose side and some good pickings on the Slide Side as well. Silver was skiing great this morning although it was Russian Roulette with the uglies peaking up as well as some brush. Surface more than made up for it with corny goodness all the way down. If you don’t like rocks and brush with your meal then Bonanza was a better bet. I even managed to ski Shangri-La since it was still open… I love when things are left open although I know most folks would complain at the lack of coverage…. I think its a challenge and I like the “buyer beware” philosophy. Its not up to Rose to help choose your runs… its your responsibility. That being said, the run was VERY challenging and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you were testing the vulnerability of your p-tex and edges-lots of rocks and brush. But I did make it down with a smile.

Park is up and running for the park rats and looking good. Groomers and patrol have done a wonderful job opening up as much as they can and keeping it covered with not a lot of snow to pull from and extreme melting during the day. Thank you from all of us.

The Rose side is in much better shape with good coverage and spring conditions, firm in the morning with some corn late morning into late morning and occasional slush in the flats. Well, there you go. Skiing was fun and way better than dirt. Thats my “thanksgiving” philosophy. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


A Tale of Two Mountains…

The grooming crew and patrol have done a great job of patching the holes caused by the Great Warming we have been experiencing lately with Bonanza, Kit Carson and NW remaining largely dirt and rock free. But man oh man, the heat has dealt a blow to any off-piste runs and the BC. Be extremely careful when venturing out off the main groomed runs, especially if the run has been in the sun… the melting has been pretty intense. In the pic below you can see a perfectly great and skiable main bowl while right next to it is an uphill view of Shangdi-La showing some serious multiage. Caution is advised until we get some more snow and/or colder temps which should come in Sunday night perhaps.

On another note, my apologies to anyone of Japanese descent if my comment on my last post offended you, it was merely meant to point out that many of our Asian guests do end up the target of groomed runs that end in a field of bumps at which case they have to schlepp their equipment back up the groomed cat track at considerable risk to them and their family. I think this is probably due to the potential of a language barrier and their unfamiliarity with Mt. Rose. On the other hand, the grooming crew did go and flatten the monster bumps on Upper Ramsey and I did in fact witness some families enjoying that run yesterday without incident. The runout on Upper Ramsey is excellent too as patrol has widened the “Gate” at the bottom that funneled everyone into an area that was nicknamed Sciatica Ridge, this widening gives everyone the space to stay away from one another on their bottom turn and will result in less close calls in that area. Kudos to patrol for making this positive change.

In avalanche news, an usual situation for November for sure… we actually had the potential for some wet slides on South facing slopes due to the record setting heat so beware on that front, a small park is also being developed on Pondo which is awesome for the park rats! Might be open today.

In any case the skiing on the mountain remains excellent for late November and I count my lucky starts that the Slide Side is open in November at all. And speaking of gratitude… Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Sunday/Monday Report

The two days couldn’t have been more different. Sunday offered sun and perfect skiing, a nice repeat of Saturday although you had to go further to find freshies. Monday, just the opposite with pea soup fog and wet snow. Groomers were fun though as you would peel off about 4″ of snow on each turn. That is, if, and I mean a big IF you could see where you were going. You could edge about anywhere and the wet humid snow cut like you had the sharpest edges in the world. Unfortunately the groomers were having the same experience last night so some skid marks are making themselves known in spots. Tried Upper Ramsey for the first time this year, and as usual, it was a perfectly groomed cat track down to a blistering mogul field…. the season’s first Tourist Trap is here… just in time for the holidays!