By Greg Whittaker
Mountain to Sound Outfitters
The end of 2016 ushered in the biggest skier numbers since the winter of 2012-2013, the holiday season was a great time to get up into the mountains with friends and family. Hopefully you made it up to ride the fresh snow and weren’t some of the folks who got turned around at the ski areas. Last week, several times, the ski areas literally sold out. It really wasn’t a matter of selling out the mountain, but a matter of limited parking up at Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain. If you were one of the unlucky ones who didn’t get to ski due to a lack of parking, don’t give up, we shouldn’t see the parking fill up again until next holiday season.
The snow itself has been top notch. Early on, we had a warming trend that consolidated the snowpack and was followed by several good storms which provided powder lovers some epic off piste conditions. Literally, if you were in the right place at the right time, you may have had the best run in years with untracked fresh snow. I for one felt like I was dropped off by a helicopter at least twice while skiing Chair 6 at Crystal Mountain. Mission Ridge ski area outside of Wenatchee received a record 39 inches in 24 hours for a powder lovers new year celebration.
A strongish ridge of high pressure is now upon us, so the snow is staying firm and cold without becoming icy. Be sure to bundle up, and get exposed skin covered up (especially for the young ones). If you are skiing multiple days in a row, dry out all gear between your riding. Any moisture that is caught in your gear will form a layer of ice when you take it on the hill, which could lead to being miserable when a little planning could avoid the discomfort.