Sunday, January 6, 2008

Soldier Mountain

It was a serious powder day at Soldier Mountain today, and I was lucky enough to get first tracks down the liftline. Visibility was very poor for the first hour or so, but then the clouds burned off to reveal pristine white runs all over the hill. Many of the best powder stashes required either a little hike, or a long runout, and this preserved the best snow for those willing to do a little work. It was nice to see folks being courteous enough to farm their turns a little as well.

I got a little greedy, and ended up chasing some fine powder out of bounds, followed by a healthy bootpack to get back to the ridge. Some of the best runs required some climbing, but I found a lot of untracked powder on the back side of the ridge (Dare Ya'), as well as through the trees on the front (Drop In). Overall, there was a light crowd for a weekend, which made for very nice conditions for the whole day.

One thing Soldier cannot offer is significant steeps - most of the ski area is very gradual in slope, very good for cruising, but nothing here is heart-stopping. However, on a powder day, the open slopes provide plenty of room for turns, and the dual-ridge access spreads the skiers well across the terrain.

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