This is going to be a shorter trip report, because I don’t want to rehash whats already been said on SkiSoutheast too much, which is THE CONDITIONS ARE GREAT. Get out there folks, because the conditions and trail openings are looking better than they have all season, and are only going to get better from here.
I got to Winterplace yesterday morning right as they opened, and I am not exaggerating when I say that at first I was the only person on the slopes besides the ski patrol. It took at least 30-45 minutes for my to see anybody else riding the lifts, and I got the chance to make numerous first runs down various trails. If you take a look at the pictures that accompany this trip report, you will notice that there are few, if any, people on the lifts. That was pretty much how it was all day there, with maybe 50 people at the most out on the slopes. This is why I recommend that you get out there during the middle of the week, if possible. The crowds are nonexistent, and you will be guaranteed to get some first tracks if you show up right when they open.
The snow today saw plenty of variation, so my most brutally honest snow report would be Groomed/Sticky/Manmade Packed Powder/Granular/Death Ice. I saw all of those conditions throughout the day, and I feel like to need to define a new snow condition: Sticky. I’m giving that definition to the deep off-color snow that accumulates under snowmakers, because when you hit it your skis absolutely stick in the snow. This stuff is the equivalent of snow glue, and if you don’t see it coming it can throw you for a loop. It was honestly kind of challenging to ski at some point, especially with the snow guns on. When you are bombing down a run, cannot see because of the snowmakers, and you hit the Sticky stuff….well…lets just say that any semblance of proper skiing technique that I had went out the window. This wasn’t a major problem on a lot of the trails, but Cascade in particular was a sticky mess, so watch out.
Overall (even with the Sticky) it was a really good day of skiing, and it was very nice not having to play dodge-person with the beginners on the slopes. Just FYI the snowguns were on all day, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they leave them on at least until the weekend. The Winterplace website says that there will be more trails open by the weekend, so here are my predictions: Plunge, Nose Dive, and Snowbowl will all be open by the weekend, and maybe a couple more of the secondary trails. Get out there and ski, because the conditions are only getting better!
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