Fire + Ice = Slush

At dawn a layer or inviting looking fresh blanketed everything in view from the window in South Lake Tahoe, but it soon turned soggy at Lake level, but up at the top of Heavenly around 8 to 10 inches had fallen with more coming down through the day.

^Top of Sky Express during a brighter spell on Monday.

^Looking out from the top of the Sky Express.

Snowed on the upper mountain all day, but turned to rain lower down. Snow stayed good high up, started good at most levels, but lower elevations the fresh snow turned to sloppy glue like sludge with the rain. That heavy potentially knee wrenching stuff you get when a reasonable depth of fresh thaws or gets rained on for the first time.

^The impressive newly opened Tamarack Lodge at the Top of the Gondola, opened during this season.

An excursion into the trees near the Powderbowl Express at the close of play wasn’t the best choice of the day, though marginally less endangering to one’s wellbeing then skiers left of the Gunbarrel Chair! Perhaps it was an afternoon for staying high up and retreating gracefully down the Gondola…

Standing in the rain outside California Lodge this afternoon I got a text telling me gleefully that CairnGorm Mountain was the snowiest resort in the world today.

Not a bluebird Sunday…

Having been spoilt by perfect weather and fantastic cover and surface conditions for so early in the season on Friday it was a bit more Scottish on Sunday at CairnGorm Mountain for my 3rd day of the season , with the wind ratcheting up during the day. However the visibility was often better than it was on Saturday by all accounts with some brighter spells. Drifting of what loose snow there was meant every changing stashes and surface conditions.

Top to middle riding on offer, that’s just a shade less than 1300ft of vertical from the top of the Ptarmigan Tow, pretty good for early Dec and having a base on the mid-mountain. While we did have top to Daylodge skiing on the first day open in Dec 08 after the maintainence shutdown, it was quite short lived with most of the early Dec days in the past few seasons restricted to the Ptarmigan Tow.