Those first turns were found on Galena Pass in some very good powder! I am usually hesitant to go ‘up north’ this early in the season but, as had been reported, on North East aspects we found almost 30 inches of great snow sitting on top of a supportable crust. Although it was still a little ‘boney’ and I would not recommend anything steep or too adventurous, the smooth terrain held knee deep powder that had us smiling ear to ear!
The other great part of the day was the community of skiers that was taking advantage of the conditions. Although there was plenty of room for everyone, it is great to see the growth of backcountry skiing. Particularly when, as I witnessed on Sunday, participants were aware of conditions and other users in the area. When going to the backcountry, be educated, prepared, check the Avalanche forecast and always go with a friend. Come into Sturtevants if you want more information on avalanche education or proper equipment.
On Baldy, the lifts will be running for the public on Thursday, and we are looking forward to the best opening in years. This is a result of a few small storms, cold temperatures for snow making, and some new technology in the form of 50 new, significantly more efficient snow guns. Certain to open on Thanksgiving Day include College top to bottom, Mid and Lower River Run, Canyon and Roundhouse. In addition, Ridge, Blue Grouse, Flying Squirrel and Warm Springs (top to bottom) all look very close. Currently, the lifts are spinning for junior ski teams from across the west who are participating in a private race camp put on by The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation and Sun Valley Company. They are ‘training’ on Upper and Lower College as well as lower River Run.
Finally, Nordic Skiers are thrilled with their start to the season as well! The North Valley Trails are in very good shape for this time of year with the majority of them up and running. The Harriman trail is groomed from the SNRA all the way up to Galena. Check out the BRCD’s website for an updated grooming report.