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Pants required

Allyn Harvey

Dipsy Doodle to No. 6 to Ruthie’s’ to No. 8 to Tourtelotte Park to Gretl’s to No. 3 to Walsh’s to No. 7 to Dipsy Doodle to No. 6 to Silver Queen to Slalom Hill to work.Springlike conditions continued Monday, the third day running. The sun was coming down if full force throughout the day. It was warm enough to ski in a turtleneck and fleece vest. Long underwear was optional. (Pants weren’t.)Dipsy was groomed overnight but was heavily skied all morning long. The surface temperature and Dipsy’s north aspect kept the snow soft, a little chalky, still grippy despite the heavy usage.Ruthie’s was in great shape top to bottom. Skiing from extreme-skier’s-right to extreme-skier’s-left across the top of Ruthie’s offered a near-perfect groomed experience. The moguls on the skier’s left of lower Ruthie’s were surprisingly tame and easy to maneuver.Tourtelotte Park was predictably moderate, as was Gretl’s. But the snow was soft and kind, despite some nasty-looking bumps.Walsh’s was skiing like it’s skied all season, which is great. Messing around on the fringes, left or right, wasn’t required. Straight down the gut. Big, round moguls. Soft, pliant snow.Dipsy Doodle was still in great shape at 11.A quick ride up No. 6 with one burning question: Last Dollar or Silver Queen? Four hours of sun, or not a single ray? It was clear even from the top of Last Dollar that late-morning conditions would have been variable – mushy in some spots, soft in others. So Silver Queen it was.Ahh, the Queen. There aren’t many, make that “any,” runs quite like Silver Queen. The top is black-diamond flat and usually full of moguls; the middle is extremely steep, with several lines worth exploiting; and the bottom is blue square all the way, with one of the funnest mogul fields in the entire resort.Slalom Hill to work was predictably anticlimactic. End of story.Avalanche reportAvalanche danger for the Roaring Fork Valley is moderate at and above treeline. Below treeline, danger is low.Because of the nature of the snowpack, one test pit might not show you what conditions exist even 50 feet away. Terrain selection and safe travel techniques can be your best tools for safety. Steep, wind-loaded slopes are one area to watch out for; the most active areas for triggered and natural avalanches in the last week have been the NE through E and SE aspects.Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit http://www.rfavalanche.org.


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