We’ve got problems
February 2, 2004
Flat light is exactly the problem skiers and snowboarders faced Saturday.
It was darn near impossible to see what was coming in terms of moguls, dips and crud. Anyone who wanted to keep their teeth had no choice but to slow down.
But that wasn’t the only visibility problem skiers faced. In fact, low-slung clouds made it impossible to see more than a few dozen feet down the hill. For much of the day, the chair or gondola in front wasn’t visible.
Nevermind that the clouds brought snow. They were a problem because it was impossible to see what that other guy on skis or snowboard was up to. For all you know, he might be flying down the hill without a care in the world about his teeth or yours.
The problem Sunday was the lack of snow. Snowmass got a miserly 4 inches of new snow from Saturday’s storm. Even Buttermilk did better with 5 inches of the fresh stuff. But Ajax measured in with just 6 inches from the storm.
Highlands beat them all, with 10 inches of powder. But that didn’t stop one local from complaining Sunday about his run down White Kitchen (second run from the top of Highland Bowl). Sure, he conceded, it was sunny and beautiful; and he recognized out loud that he was indeed on top of the world in one of the world’s most beautiful places. But, darn it, the snow in White Kitchen was all set up.
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On Friday, Ozone and White Kitchen were skiing extremely well as long as you stayed ridgeside. The center of Ozone was skied out, but the sides were all fluff.
Even so, it’s hard not to think about all the problems we have. Of all the problems to have in the world, flat light, zero visibility, lower-than-expected snowfall and crusty snow in Highland Bowl no doubt rank near the top of the list.