Monday, December 6, 2010

opening weekend,

well, ski season officially began this weekend, if you go by actual openings at resorts. but not only did the Big Mountain open its lifts, but Stillwater Nordic, the golf course and Round Meadow are all groomed and ready for action. it is as good an early december as we have seen in well over a decade.

the ice layer that formed tuesday afternoon and wed. am has blended in for the most part with the continual snowfalls thru friday. not that this means the backcountry is safe forever, as that layer is still existant in many places. but the skiing barely suffered. Saturday was a "hard" opening on the Big, as it was completely open except for Hellroaring Basin, which did not even seem to be getting much poaching, as the skies were clear up above 6000 feet. (and on the east side, skies were just plain clear).
although crowded, it was just a fun day. skiing almost with impunity so early in the year, not worried about hidden rocks and stumps is a treat. not that this is completely true, but with moderate caution it was easy to escape the hazards.

skate skiing at Stillwater is in good shape, with about 90% of their trails open, including all the way out on the road, some 8km each way. another six inches and they will be in full mode, with total coverage, and should be in really great shape for the holidays, which were missed last year.

i took a look at round meadow, and it has been rolled, but not groomed, so bring classic style, and call the USFS for updates. but they have enough coverage and i would imagine a full grooming sometime this week.

i also believe the golf course is up and running. Ron at Glacier Cyclery now owns the Outback Ski Shack, so call there for an update, or look online for Glacier Nordic.

some friends went to the east side to ski one of the more popular mountains on morias pass, but i cannot say the name due to issues from this subject last winter. i could not attend but reports were blue ski, great coverage and boot to knee deep pow. report are also in from areas of the swan, and they too are great. might even be time to take a look into the middle fork, as rumors are of solid coverage.

it was just a great weekend, with parties (great job brad and GCAC on the slide show, hope you found an outlet for the remaining beer) the stube in full action, great college football. it is just a fun time of year. lets eat, pray and love for the continuation of the snowfall.

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