Originally Posted by kdskis2
Someone may have posted this question before and if so...my bad, but can you help me with the link to it? I tried searching and came up with nil except for some EXCELLENT advice from Bob Peters about the mountain and runs in general.
What I need is this: where to start and end on a Spring conditions day when the weather is warmer and the snow starts out icy and then warms up to soft and then refreezes again in the late afternoon for intermediate to advanced skiers. We are heading out there for a week on Mar. 18. Any and all help is much appreciated! Danke!
This is a really hard question to answer because it depends so much of how the day progresses.
I'll tell you how I would normally work the mountain, but this supposes a perfectly clear morning with temps in the 20's-rising-to-30's and very little wind. High clouds and wind can drastically affect how much warming occurs, as do - obviously - air temperatures.
I often like to start out on the far eastern/northern side of the mountain from the Apres Vous chair. St. John's run and Saratoga Bowl get the sun earliest in the morning and would normally soften the quickest. They would be followed quickly by Werner run and maybe upper Teewinot Gully.
After about an hour there, I might work over to the Casper chair and hit Sleeping Indian and the Moran Woods/Moran Face area.
By 10:30 or 11:00 on a very sunny day, things will be heating up quickly. At this point, you're going to have a lot of options but many of them will have short windows of opportunity. Riverton Bowl next to the Thunder Chair can get really nice, as can the sunny portions of the Lower Faces like North Colter, South Colter, and Sublette Ridge.
Also about this time, Grand and Gannett (between the Thunder and Sublette chairs) will start to get good, as will the skier's middle-right side of the upper part of Laramie Bowl. Higher up on the mountain, Bernie's Bowl, Sherry's Slide, and upper Cheyenne Bowl will be softening, as will Rendezvous Bowl. Rendezvous Bowl is the most difficult to predict because it has the highest elevation and it's the most susceptible to having wind hold down the temperatures. You just have to go up there and see. The same thing applies to the Cirque. The Cirque and Expert Chutes can be glorious on a sunny day, but you just have to go try it in order to hit it at the right time.
By noon to 1:00pm, it's probably time to try a Hoback. The nice thing about the Hobacks is that there's a wide variety of aspect, so you can often find some snow that's softening. The bad thing about the Hobacks is that if the snow is bad everywhere (which it certainly can be), you've got a long trip down before you can go somewhere else.
By mid-afternoon, you'll probably want to start looking for north-facing stuff that's sheltered from the sun. Places like Indian Paintbrush/Toilet Bowl, the extreme skier's right side of Laramie Bowl, Bivouac and Bivouac Woods, and some fun little things right underneath the upper half of the Gondola.
As the day starts to end, you *might* want to head back over to Apres Vous. I've had some really great late-afternoon spring skiing on the ridge spine between St. John's and Saratoga Bowl, but that's totally dependent on how the day progresses.
Just some general things to keep in mind:
* The mountain generally faces northeast. That means that sunny areas on the skier's right side of most runs will warm earliest. The middle of most runs will soften next, and then the left sides will be the last to soften. Just reverse the process to figure out which places will start to re-freeze first.
* Don't be afraid to move. If you start down a particular line and it sucks, traverse sideways one direction or the other to see if you can find better snow. On many of these runs, as little as 40 or 50 feet sideways can make the difference between heavenly corn and frozen crap or slush.
* The same applies to elevation. There are times when the Lower Faces can be spectacular (and nobody's on them) while the upper mountain is so-so. The reverse can obviously be true as well.
You just have to ski around, be aware of where the sun is, and see what you can find.
Now, you realize of course that all this is wasted typing because I'm personally guaranteeing that it's going to snow 6-12" every single day you're here.