Originally Posted by Maineac
Would you mind filling out why the unguided season was a mess. Will look at the pass when it comes out and the unguided time is one of the pieces that entices me.
Because it was a crummy snow season down here. The unguided season runs ~ 3 weekends in late December/Jan and another 3 in April. The window is small.
The early unguided days can be really dicey. The 2013/2014 season, which was very good for early season snowfall, still saw lots of sketch and not forgiving stuff.
Example- Cabin is the most forgiving line on the back/East side. Most other lines require mandatory air or knowing EXACTLY where to take not-obvious alternate paths to avoid cliffing out- like aiming for 3 trees near the bottom of a 400 acre bowl.
With snow, Cabin runs for its full length just fine. December 2013, Cabin choked down to a 2' wide section, with blue ice in the gut, with bare rock on both sides, that ran for about 50' on a continuous 45*-ish slope. My avatar picture happens to be standing just above that, and the picture (as always) makes it look much more friendly than reality. Reality was that I was truly scared.
Again, December 2013 was an exceptionally good early season with tons of snow.
December 2014 was a pretty poor early season with little snow, I did hear that the very first day, when you could ski it unconsolidated and (hope) to float over the rocks was pretty decent for a lot of folks. I heard pretty foul things about every day past that.
April 2015 probably had enough coverage to make a go of things, but we hadn't had any snow in roughly the 6 weeks before unguided opened back up, and temps were very warm leading into unguided and then suddenly were not as warm and cloudy. So, we have 6 weeks of thaw freeze to set up boilerplate and coral, and then not enough to actually reliably unfreeze stuff when it came to being able to ski it on an unguided pass.
April unguided is usually an absolute ball, but this year it just seemed foul.