The Chutes Report: March
Well, like Covid 19, this season's weather had resulted in some forced adjustments to many people's skiing habits. Lines much longer than normal, parking lots full of Cali plates and a meager snowpack have provided some challenges to our skiing enjoyment. The Chutes have also experienced some interesting conditions due to numerous slides, a cavalcade of blasting following storm cycles and a critical lack of a base that has stayed in place. Together, these conditions have resulted in less than excellent coverage in many of the chutes. The 2" to 5" March cold pow dumps have only really added to this by just barely covering the rocks and stumps that remain just under or poking out of the snow surface. I skied all named chutes in March and found a lot of hazards just waiting for the "wrong turn" to give me a free stone grind and to possibly send me on an airborne tomahawking mission.
Contrasting this were some chute runs which were on snow and coverage about as good as it gets with no one on the run above or below you... so how do you do find the great ones and avoid the lousy ones you ask? I honestly don't know other than to get in there and cautiously check each out and finding the ones you feel yield the least hazard and the most fun. I do have a few I avoid like Captivator as the coverage there in spots sucks but if one is careful you could also work your way down and enjoy a run in there as well avoiding the bad spots. In terms of the best I would have to say 0-Niner has yielded big smiles whenever I have been able to bust into it up high across the rocky ridge. Once in, the coverage is excellent and lends itself to full speed fun without worry of rocks or stumps.
So, bottom line, be careful and know you are throwing the dice when you go through the gate. Just like we always do in there. Regardless of all the hazards, like you, I am glad they are open and its left up to us to decide whether to partake. Thanks Mt. Rose Patrol & Mgmt for allowing us to see how our wings are working by opening those gates... cause it really does feel like flying sometimes... right?