Back on the Wall with another foot |

Back on the Wall with another foot

Catherine Lutz

What a difference a foot of snow makes.Last weekend, the Hanging Valley Headwall was a minefield of barely hidden sharp rocks and other things that make your skis go ouch. The snow up top was scrapy and hard, while down below some piles of the soft stuff could be found.That all changed with the last round of snow. And that’ll make a world of difference for the competitors in the Powerade Colorado Freeride Series today at Snowmass.Because of low visibility, last week’s freeride event was postponed until today, which may have been a blessing in disguise. The entrance to the narrow, long West Two Ramp is soft and cushiony, as are the landings of two little boulder hops below it.Hucksters will be happy to know that the Double looks fairly well covered, as forgiving as a double drop of about 40 feet can look. And anyone who wants to venture into the cliffs by Two Trees will find a soft landing below – far below. On the skier’s left side of the venue, Hourglass still looks pretty gnarly – this chute that seems to be the width of a pin was taken by several competitors last year – although someone on Friday did have the guts to ski it.Today’s competition, in which men and women, skiers and snowboarders showcase their extreme skiing ability, should offer plenty of big air and amazing feats of athleticism – a pretty good show all around. And after watching these people huck their stuff, try it yourself – most of the venue is open to the skiing public.It’s amazing how much confidence a foot of fresh can restore.

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