Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD
Big difference between a couple of groomers on the WROD and a full blown, whole mountain opening day at a place like Highlands. You know it's going to be a long non stop run down to the Deep T, when Kim Riechelm jumps on the lift and starts telling you how much she skied in Portillo that summer.
Well, You do have a few weeks at the other Aspen resorts before Highlands opens. I doubt the Highlands opening is the first day on snow of the year for most Aspen skiers. Also, how often is Temerity open the first weekend in December? I can't imagine that is a regular occurrence.
Growing up on the front range, I've become accustomed to having a gradual start to the season, where the only things available are WROD, then some limited ungroomed blue and black terrain, then eventually everything else, which gives the muscles and the technique ample time to get back in shape.
Wolf Creek just screws all that to hell, as they rarely open with snow conditions that allow for grooming (snow to thin to actually move snow, and instead the groomer runs with the plow up and the rack down to "Pack" more than "groom").
Last year opening day was an exercise in constantly dodging timber, rocks, flowing streams, etc. with no consistent surface groom to work out the kinks. As no more snow fell for a month, the place became totally unskiable aside from the bunny hill and I did not go. Then 60 inches fell in one storm cycle the week before Christmas, making my second day on snow skiing waist and chest deep snow, 100% open mountain, on top of no base. My legs were just destroyed after that weekend.
I really like getting first crack in the country at lift served ungroomed and off-piste terrain, but the flipside is no groomed stuff- you have to ski the lumpier stuff and work out the kinks on that terrain.