On Sunday, things had changed at the mountain. The fresh snows from the day before had "set up", and many natural snow trails were no longer fun. Even some of the easy tree runs had deteriorated, leaving us with fewer skiing options.
But, we managed to have fun. We did some racing, we skied a few natural bump runs, and we skied some steep terrain that proved somewhat challenging. To end the day, we worked on jumping techniques for a while.
On Monday, I was able to confirm that I would get to ski all day on Tuesday with a friend from out of state. So, I took Monday as a rest day, knowing that a full day of skiing with an expert skier who is also an ultra-marathon runner would be challenging.
And then, it rained on Monday night. My wife and I had visited some friends for dinner after work, and a drive home that would normally take no more than an hour took three full hours, including 75 minutes parked on an interstate that was completely iced up.
We were supposed to see some snow on Tuesday, but I wondered if the mountain would be bulletproof ice after the rain on Monday night. What we found was a mixed bag. Trails that were groomed Monday evening before the rain were fairly slick. Trails groomed Tuesday morning were choppy at places, but fairly nice. The upper mountain had been spared most of the rain, and there were even pockets of snow. Lower mountain terrain that had not been groomed at all mostly fell into the spectrum of "not fun" to "downright scary". We did one run on a lower mountain, natural snow bump run. Without a doubt, it was the least fun ski run I've had in years. But, at the summit, we found a couple inches of windblown powder in a bump line on a double black run and we had a blast there. We made about half a dozen trips to the summit and skied every snow-making trail that was open on that side of the mountain. By the time we called it a day, we had skied close to 30,000 vertical feet in one day - the most I've done in a day this year. Before I became an instructor, I skied that many vertical feet nearly every time I skied, but it's rare to ski that many runs these day.
So, we had a day of powder and packed powder, a day of mixed conditions, and a day of firm conditions. With warm weather expected today and Friday, Saturday will probably start out firm and fast. But, we may get up to 6" of snow during the day on Saturday. And then, starting on the 19th, we enter a period of unsettled weather that may produce three big storms in rapid succession. That would help the mountains in the northeast tremendously.