"Come up and ski with me son. There's snow in the driveway and it's still coming down!"
"No Dad, the sun is out here in Davis, it's warm and I'm going sailing."
Discouraged, I puttered around the cabin and wasted time on this site. Trekchick made some disparaging comment about Squaw loyalists and her Mt Rose picture motivated me to go have a look at the conditions. Plus I could defer the laundry.
Squaw Creek and Red Dog were as sketchy as I imagined with only 3". But they opened this one cutoff on Red Dog that was really sweet. Hm mm. Again? But I need to do the laundry.
Wait the Funitel is spinning! Just Gold Coast? And I have to ride the Funitel down? But you've just opened? OK, I'm game.
Now there are no GNAR points on Gold Coast but the snow was good and the coverage acceptable (for my rock skis) so I truly enjoyed three laps there. The line, the cold and the laundry drove me back down. I don't know which was more entertaining, the PBR loving snowboarders on the way up or the Makers Mark flasks of the yuppie skiers on the way down.
I'm in a pretty good mood by the time I get off the Funitel. I see the shuttle bus and think "I'll show Trekchick I'm not a snob and take a lap at Alpine". I miss the bus. But I hate walking so I wait for the next one and cruise over to Alpine. Nice bus - still has the new car smell.
The line at Roundhouse is outrageous. There had better be some KT opening bell powder up there for this wait - or I will be hardened as a Squaw snob.The dad on the chair told me to go to Alpine Bowl chair for the good stuff. The reckless kid starts to badger his dad to take them there. "Yeah what's wrong with you as a dad? Take them there!" Actually I said "your dad will take you there soon." How PC. Anyhow I headed off to the Alpine Bowl double chair - hey that kid made me want to see what was so cool there. Obviously something was very cool judging by the people there. Not quite as bad as Granite when it's the only thing open but worse than Olympic Lady ever gets (pardon the heresy but Olympic Lady is the best lift at Squaw - no wait, best anywhere!). I stand in line realizing that the person who I was going up with just ducked out of line. I'm figuring I can yell "single" and slime my way forward a few rows when some guy skis up and yells in my ear "SINGLE!". OK "over here". But that girl who just left was way cuter than you. We pass the time discussing wrestling as a sport for kids. (Note that I offered my kid a season pass, a fistful of Southwest tickets and tuition for the freestyle team if he would quit wrestling and ski instead. A knee, a shoulder, bouts of ringworm and a CIF title shows how that went.). As we rode up the chair the wind got stronger and colder. He probably thought he had convinced me but all I my mouth could say was "MMMM". He did have a nice bright green jacket - the only thing visible in the whiteout - so when we got off the chair I said "I'll follow you if that's OK. MMMM".
Two scratchy icy turns later we are at this sweet glade of widely spaced trees. Nice powder (not deep but fun snow) and seemingly untracked. It spits us out at some cliffs. "I'll show you you mamby pamby wrestling hater". But jump one little rock a doable fallaway and a runout in seemingly untracked soft powder and we are racing back to the lift.
"I'm going to ditch my wife who I'm supposed to meet and use guiding you as my excuse to rip this fantastic snow." Actually it was "Wanna ski another?" but I'm married too so I can translate. We ripped that sweet snow together until the lifts closed. And I barely made the last bus back to Squaw.
The Squaw and Alpine merger is the greatest thing! Alpine opens up a huge new playground for the passholoders. There are GNAR worthy lines "no I'm not crossing that closed sign. This is the first great day on my pass - I'm not ready to put it at risk, yet." The snow can be better than Squaw and there is a huge amount of terrain open. The buses work. Maybe too well at getting traffic to Alpine (darn crowds). On the bus ride back I talked to a buddy who had scouted the Squaw/Alpine interconnect. "Will I have to walk?" elicited a scowl - "eventually there will be a chair but you will avoid this bus with a little walk until then. Wimp.". The future looks even brighter.
I skated home expecting to see a foot of snow in the yard. Nope, about 3 inches total. What a great day on just 3 inches of snow.
Laundry is beeping - I gotta go.