Rose Rules

Opening the mountain top to bottom is one thing… opening Zephyr on the same day as NW… pretty rare. Not in the last quarter century anyway. The wet frosting covered all evils and left us some ankle high pow on the North sides where the wind hadn’t whisked it away… other exposures offered some wind effect with 4 to 5 inches of soft pow on top. The normal rocks and logs on Zephyr were not to be seen (or felt). Bases came away as clean as when they arrived. No p-tex scars, base gouges, torn edges… nothing.

Just wanted to touch on some Avy info. If you look up high in the Hourglass or in the chutes you will see some fractures and run-out. This wet storm did land on some TG snow in spots that may stay unstable for awhile so ski with due diligence, dig your pits, do your analysis before you get into trouble. Hourglass went and buried 3 skiers who were rescued this week. Don’t let early season snow lull you into ditching your BC avy protocol… the fracture that buried the skiers was over two feet in height. Thats a lot of deposition, especially in terrain traps.

Back to the Resort Report:

With little wind and warmish temps there was nothing not to like. All was perfection with all winter friends at this November Pow-A-Thon. Almost everything was open and skiing was awesome. And when all was said and done and I was sipping a drink on the deck and enjoying the afternoon sun on my early season tired-ass legs… a warm glow, like good whiskey, rose up in me. God it was good to spend the day skiing with my powder tribe and gazing at the soon to be open chutes. Today was a good day to live. And to live deeply.


First Turns of the Season

Ski conditions were much better than I imagined today on the first Sky Lap of the year with the dogs. Breakable crust has solidified and kept me on top with about 3 or 4 inches of lighter snow on top to play on and cushion the turns. This test ski bodes well for tomorrow. Conditions may be much better at Rose than I originally predicted.

There is just something about the first true wild snow turns of the year that make me smile… even hours later and I think we will all be enjoying that sensation tomorrow. It doesn’t really matter even how quality the snow is… its the fact that we are giddy with excitement once more and feel more like a ten year old rather than “old and feeble”. Skiing makes you young. Makes you smile. Makes you love being alive. The early winter slant of light, the incredible quiet of winter woods with snow still hanging in mute testimony to the storms fury… and then one moment, one momentous lightning strike of insight of just how sweet it is to be alive and in this place at this point in time. It is, for lack of a better word… perfect.

The mountain will be open top to bottom with Zephyr opening with NW at 9 for the season allowing a lot of elbow room for those of us that make it up. Oh yeah, the season is here. Ski you up there soon!


Lots ‘o Snow (kind of)

For all of you crying about missing out on the over 3 feet of new snow at Rose…. let me help you feel better. Put the idea of “powder” out of your head and think more old oatmeal congealed or wet cement… this stuff was super sticky and heavy and only in the last few hours of the storm did it chill out enough to be even considered fresh snow. This was the kind of snow you get in Maine on the coast with high humidity and near freezing temps mixed with occasional rain… this stuff could stick upside your eves in the wind (and did).

Is that bad? No, this is exactly what we want as a base to stick to and cover up all the rocks and logs we will be skiing over later. This firm base should also help with avalanche conditions out into the future precluding a collapsable unstable lower layer in the snowpack near the ground level. This type of wet dump is the best thing we can have at the beginning of the season. At 7600 feet we received about 4 inches of rain and about 10″ of cement in the form of snow. There is a light coat of pow on top we got this morn that will be a thicker blanket at Rose.

The really good news is we should be off the Wiz for the rest of the year. NW “should” spin tomorrow or be ready for a hell of a line!

This storm was super good news and bodes well for this first part of the season!


This was the view for a majority of the storm at 7640 feet.

If you think its bad here…

Came over the summit yesterday and the Western Crest at Donner doesn’t have any more snow than we do. Just a few inches. The forecasts have been off pretty well with these first storms of the season both with amounts and snow level, systems have been coming in warmer and drier than forecast… hope this isn’t a pattern we continue. Looks like we have a much better shot for some higher elevation snow 7500+ on Wednesday and Thursday but… as always we will just to wait and see. This system does appear to have a better subtropical moisture tap but a lot can happen between now and then. Things do look a little better at this point. Here is a shot of Donner looking South from 80 and as you can see… just not a lot happening for skiers over on the West side as well.

Its difficult at times to be patient for Ma Nature to do her thang, but be patient we must as she almost always comes through in the end.


White Stripe for $59

Haven’t heard much from me as there hasn’t been much to report on. Still just one narrow stripe down The Wiz. Hard to believe folks will pay $59 for that… but apparently… they are. As an old guy who remembers lift tix for $14 for a whole mountain… well, I guess like everything else we just pay more for less, all around.

On the plus side, the bar stools are 100% open in the Timber’s Bar and are offering Beginner to Double Diamond drinking opportunities (and after a half dozen runs down The Wiz, you’ll probably need a drink or three).

Snowmaking has been spotty with the high humidity and warmish temps but they are blowing snow when they can. Looking at a few pics from the last few years, early snow is pretty sparse so far. We can only hope this is a pattern that deepens. Anyway, have fun out there whatever you end up doing. An hour or so on Friday was nice catching up with our ski brethren. After that it was time to go.



Yeah, it was only one narrow stripe. Yeah, you say it was “only” The Wizard. Yeah, and you say “it was t-shirt weather and the snow was melting fast”. All true. But, and this is a BIG BUT… you should have seen the smiles and the stoke of everyone able to fly down the mountain for the first time in many months. Rose employees made a Big Deal out of it with Wonder Woman holding the Welcome Banner as First Chair folks crashed through. Sure, you could say it “wasn’t worth it” and “I’ll wait till its open to the top, but I’ll tell you, we had as much fun as we’ve had in months today. Thanks Rose for being the first to open in the West!

Sure, mid-season we would all scoff at taking a spin on the Wiz, but today, man there were just a lot of big smiles and a good attitude of gratitude that the lift was spinning at all.


The usual suspects from Project Discovery just down the road and a few others… (from L to R) Andy from Squawallywood, Sven, Jim Croley, Nai’a Selby, Mark Fisher and “The Stranger”…