We seem to be in a holding pattern at the moment here in Squaw Valley. Blue skies, cold snow, good groomers, rough and frozen off piste conditions. Conditions Squaw Feb. 3rd 2012 | Eerily Similar to Conditions on February 2nd. | Unofficial Networks

Conditions Squaw Feb. 3rd 2012 | Eerily Similar to Conditions on February 2nd.

Conditions Squaw Feb. 3rd 2012 | Eerily Similar to Conditions on February 2nd.

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Conditions Squaw Feb. 3rd 2012 | Eerily Similar to Conditions on February 2nd.

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KT-22 from headwall, squaw

We seem to be in a holding pattern at the moment here in Squaw Valley. Blue skies, cold snow, good groomers, rough and frozen off piste conditions.

The new snow that fell on Feb. 1st is still being blown cold around the mountain. It’s too sparse to create drifts or smooth over the frozen moonscape off piste, but it is giving the snow cats something to work with. The groomers on Shirley and Siberia Face are velvety midwinter corduroy in the morning and hold their texture well throughout the day (but it still pays to have good edges). Temps are not rising enough to create anything resembling a corn cycle and the frozen base layer off piste is being insulated by the winter dust on top and remains firm.

palisades, squaw

The groomers are great but just about everything off piste is staying frozen. Almost everywhere that was skied on or slid after the wet storm in late January before it froze is pretty brutal right now. There are a couple of small exceptions. Sun Bowl off the back of Headwall is much smoother than most areas and C II bowl is… skiiable.. in places. Anything down the ridge beyond Adrenaline Rock towards the Enchanted Forest really sucks. Sun Bowl will still chatter you around a bit but it is the best off piste I could find today.

On the bright side, Granite Chief was skiing great again. It is mogulled and firm where it gets scraped down but the snow is like shaved ice and skiing well.

sun bowl top, squaw

Looking down into Sun Bowl

Fast fun groomers and good weather. If you want to test your legs on unmanicured terrain there are plenty of opportunities for that. And with the forecast for the weekend the KT Sundeck and Chamois Patio are looking like some prime real estate. 

Lots of things to smile about while we wait for a pow day this season right?  : )

bill murray toaster bathtub

(image: Groundhog Day, 1993)

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