A foot of fresh powder, Downing Mountain Lodge

March 19, 2012 at 17:46 | Posted in Backcountry skiing the Bitterroots, Skiing at Downing Mountain Lodge | Leave a comment

Jenny and I went for a ski day up at Downing  Mountain Lodge today and were very pleasantly treated to another round of high quality powder skiing. Guests were leaving today, so we did some of our chores before heading up the skin trail. The temps were cool and stayed below freezing with no glopping noticed while breaking the fresh snow trail. Curious about the overall depth of the snowpack on the mountain, I pulled out the probe at the top of Nina’s run and began taking some measurements while hiking up to the top of the Shore Break run. in non wind affected glades the snow was consistently about 6-7 feet deep on these north aspects. We skied a treed line and the snow was perfect consistency with a crust at the bottom layered below a dense six inches of snow and finished with about 6 inches of low density fluff. I felt the crust only occasionally skiing the Wolf Glades. After summitting to Telli Point at 8,100′ for our final descent in Mario’s Trees and into Avy Bowl I measured the snowpack again and found a consistent 8 feet at the top of the ridge here. With the warmth and settling that we have experienced this March, we have a great base for powder skiing until the snow gods knock us into corn at which point it should transition fairly fast especially on east and south faces. With the snow depths fairly solid, we should have a nice long spring corn skiing season. We skied the east facing line down to the runout to take advantage of the powder there that will morph fastest into crusts and corn if we do not receive new snow with tomorrow’s storm. Leaving the north faces for later days we found the east face skiing superbly, and the new snow had bonded fairly well with the limited solar gain from the day. Back at the lodge after skiing the full run down to the A-frame, we cleaned out the griddle grease, checked the hot tub for full function and made the dash for town and picking up our younger daughter from school. It was a great day to get back out skiing and this latest round of powder should last on north slopes for a couple of weeks barring any super hot days.

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