Despite the limited visibility and wind, the fresh snowfall today was a real treat and felt like a nice dessert to go with the massive main course of snow we got in January. Tomorrow should be a real treat with sunny skies in the forecast and fresh new pow to play in.
Reported by Rene Jerez.
This morning at Palisades started off really cold. Temps in the parking lot when I arrived were in the mid-20s to low-30s, and today definitely was my coldest day of the season so far. I knew driving up that the forecast today was to call for snow showers, so I prepped my gear with that in mind and layered up. At the parking lot, it started off sunny, but you could see those juicy dark pow-filled snow clouds gingerly making their way across the sky towards the village!
I started my day with a quick ride down from the Funitel towards Gold Coast Express. The snow was a bit wind-struck, but I wasn’t at all worried about the snow showers scheduled to come in. In fact, while riding up on the chair, the first little snow sprinkles slowly trickled down from the sky. I hit some tree runs between Gold Coast Face and Mystery, and the snow there was a bit more wind protected. However, as mother nature started ramping up the snowfall, my visibility got a little bit worse. I had to be a bit slower and mellower in my snowboarding to account for any terrain changes. It was good to get more carving practice rather than just bombing down. After a few laps of that, I did some runs down the Emigrant chair.
Emigrant was swept pretty good by the wind with some crunch, and I caught my edge going down Emigrant Face. Thankfully though, with it being midweek, I had the whole run to myself. After successfully braking myself, combined with the limited visibility, I decided that I would have to take even slower on the steeper runs today. I did a few more laps down Emigrant, and thankfully these runs were fall-free and tons of fun. The wind was starting to pick up, so I thought it was perfect for hitting the blue cruisers I love in Shirley Lake.
As I’ve discovered this season, Shirley Lake was the place to be today on a windy and foggy day like today. The snow here was still in great shape, and there was little to no crunch to worry about and hard pack that felt great to carve on. The best runs I found today were down both the Standteiner and Atkinson’s trails, and I focused my laps in this area down those two runs. I hit some of the trees off to the side on some of these laps. I probably spent a good hour in the bowls before returning to break for lunch.
After an enjoyable lunch at the base, the snow started to pick up and transform from snow showers to full-out snow pukes. What made this snowfall especially remarkable was that it was a super dry and soft powder that reminded me of the snow you can find in Utah. This wasn’t like the wet & sticky snow we saw during the January storms. I got some great runs down Mountain Run & Sunnyside, shredding up freshly fallen pow. The visibility was getting a bit more severe, and I had to control my speed more than usual. Ski patrol was on top of their game as usual and started to put out more safety nets and markers to help guests get down safely. I did laps for the rest of the afternoon as I didn’t want to mess around with limited visibility. When I returned to the village, an excellent 1.5 to 2-inch coating of fresh pow was blanketing the parking lot!