Hard and slabby
Skiers and snowboarders at Aspen Highlands yesterday found exceptionally challenging, wind-slabbed terrain throughout Highland Bowl.The ski patrol at Highlands delayed opening access to the bowl for about an hour while it set off bombs, dug pits and did other control work. A night of heavy winds radically altered the conditions, first loading the B-zones and G-zones with copious snow and then hardening it all into an impervious slab.On the Hill’s foray, (or folly) began in Before, which was skiing beautifully last weekend. Instead of soft fluff going in to and coming out of every turn, it was like skiing on Astroturf. It kind of made you feel like you were in one of those pictures of Japanese skiers shredding the gnarl on artificial slopes in some giant building on the outskirts of Tokyo. Scooting over to B2 didn’t help at all. About two-thirds of the way down, On the Hill cut over to G6 at the edge of the North Woods and had no better result. Hard and slabby all around. Testament to the wind could be found on the other side of the mountain as well. Deception, which had been skiing beautifully for a month, was just as ugly as the bowl. The best runs of yesterday were in sheltered areas that had no exposure to the wind but some exposure to the sun. Mushroom was soft and easy from top to bottom. On Aspen Mountain, On the Hill sources reported that the chutes off Trainor Ridge were also in great shape. The clear and simple of it all is that we need snow. Yes, we’ve had more than most of the resorts in this part of the state, including the much-despised Vail. But we live and ski in Aspen – we expect more and we deserve more. Mother Nature owes it to us, just because we’re us. Word in the jet stream has it that warm temps will soon start falling, along with a flake or two. Damn straight.
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