Arizona/New Mexico 2018-19 Four Corners Weather, Conditions & Stoke

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Fishbowl

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Just back from a 3-day visit to Purgatory with the Alpine Ski Club. Pictures in the previous post from Monday's powder day.

Friday AM departure, stoked by the report of 17" of new snow from Thursday's storm, but glad to see a break in the weather for our travel day. Clear and dry roads up to Flag and across the Four Corners. Talking to some folks at dinner, we received reports that the warm nature of the storm left a very wet and heavy snowfall and Friday's conditions were described as difficult. Minimal grooming was encountered.

Wife and I are returning to skiing after a short, 28 year break. :ogcool:
Five days in Utah last February was our "get back in the saddle," and this trip would be our first for this season. We are rusty intermediate skiers, so we picked Purg for this year's first turns, remembering the fun had years ago on the long rolling groomed blue runs on the backside served by lift #3.

Saturday morning with just a little dust, we found no groomers and the lack of some smooth corduroy to get our legs back was a bit disappointing. Wife was struggling so we ended up staying mostly on the front side greens. Weather - overcast with a few flurries.

Sunday was mostly sunny and dry, found some corduroy but it was the exception. A good day of skiing. A morning lesson has me on my way to learning how to actually use my ski edges to turn. My old school parallel style has been rendered mostly extinct with the newer equipment. Didn't take long to get the basic gist, and quickly realized how efficient the carved turns can be and how a lot less energy is used. This will be good!

Monday morning greeted with 4-5" of true light powder. Again, no active grooming was noted but the few that were done Saturday night were delightful. I skied by myself, working my way up and down the backside and was virtually alone on the blues off of chair 8. Everything was cut up by mid-morning but then it began to snow hard. By lunchtime another 4" had fallen starting to fill-in the tracks and just making for a superb last few runs before boarding the bus for the tense trip down the highway. Picked up the weenies that chose to stay back in town and headed off for the long drive back to AZ.

All said, a great time!

You may have noticed, I made mention of the scarce grooming several times. It turns out, I was not the only one wondering. It seemed to be the topic for many in our group as well as in conversation with random chair riders and lunch counter/bar occupants. One local seemed to summarize it by saying "I guess they have decided not to do grooming this year..."

Don't know what to think, but with the bad season last year, maybe they have had to cut back on staff? All facets of the facility seemed understaffed. there were long waits for everything, understandable with the holiday weekend, but factually, it wasn't really all that crowded. Daily grooming reports were just total bullshit. I assume they consider a 3-4 day window ok to designate a run as "groomed." Just wondering if anyone else has noticed this or maybe we hit an unusual weekend? Not complaining but more curious.

Purg is not really a destination resort, more of a four corners locals place and one of my favorite long weekend visits. Had been watching the live mountain cams for the month preceding my trip, and had noted that the place is typically deserted weekdays, and with sparse crowds on the weekends. Truly hoping that this season is a good one for the resort.
We were at Purgatory a few weeks ago right after the last storm. I don't know what their normal level of grooming is, but there seemed to be a good blend of groomed and ungroomed terrain. To be fair, we tend to seek out the powder, bumps and trees, and only use the groomers to get back to the lifts, so are not the best when it comes to grading how good the trails are. I think it is fair to say that as you get further towards lift 8 at Purgatory, the terrain gets less groomer friendly. We had a great three days there with a nice variety of terrain to enjoy. Just saying that the conditions you encountered may have been peculiar to that weekend and not reflective of the season in general.
 
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Core2

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Waited out the control work at the best place ever this morning and made it to the lot at Wolf by 9:30. Puking all morning, fat skis required right now.
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raisingarizona

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Why is it so quiet in here? Some of you have been skiing right?

I got some serious funk that kicked in last Tuesday so during the storm of the century I got 3 runs in. Yup.....3. I haven’t been sick like this for 11 years, ugh.
 
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Why is it so quiet in here? Some of you have been skiing right?

I got some serious funk that kicked in last Tuesday so during the storm of the century I got 3 runs in. Yup.....3. I haven’t been sick like this for 11 years, ugh.
That sucks man! The funk is going around, saw on the news in CO like half the kids at one school were out last week. I skied Purg, Wolf, and Hesperus the last few days. Bummed I missed the storm at Snowbowl but I reaped the goods in CO. Definitely one of the deeper storms I've ever chased. It was balls deep at Wolf on Thursday, I heard reports of Tuesdays In The Snow deep on Alberta but I knew better than to venture over there in low vis. It was seriously fun skiing, the kind where the only thing you have to worry about is losing a ski until May. I talked to a few locals at Purg and Hesperus and they are saying these are the best conditions in the last 10-15 years. Pretty much everything above 7k is skiable in the San Juans right now. I saw turns on the hills above the river in downtown Durango.

Wolf backside
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Wolf Lunch View at Raven's Nest IMG_0430.jpg

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Purg IMG_0444.jpg

Purg IMG_0447.jpg

Hesperus IMG_0451.jpg

Hesperus right after fog rolled in. One lap and it went from clear to full on frozen fog. IMG_0454.jpg

Chapman Ski Hill in downtown Durango. Cool little hill with two rope tows. IMG_0455.jpg

Hesperus yesterday morning. The mountain manager said this was a historic storm. IMG_0457.jpg

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Hopi rez dog
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Jerez

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Santa Fe had 31 inches in 48 hours. 24 overnight Friday. We got up Saturday shortly before the road closed for a while thanks to the cluster caused by the 6 or so cars that inevitably got stuck. Mountain was near empty and the upper mountain didn't open for an hour or so.

No worries on making round turns for bump development because there was no making turns for the most part. Just straight down whooping over the pillows and splashing into the troughs. I got very first tracks in Bozo... and third and fourth and also in Bozo glade.

I have never skied conditions like that. It was quite literally over my head! I was choking and coughing all afternoon from the cold smoke in my lungs. And laughing with every soft poof.

I thought about photos but.... sorry

Then I got clipped in the upper thigh by a pointy boulder and bruised my leg pretty hard. The rock must have been 20 or more inches down and two feet up to snag me where it did. I helicoptered onto my back in bug position and was buried deep. Scary! Had to self-talk to gather my wits and dig myself out. Only took 2 more runs after that. But it was worth it for those 6 magical runs.

I want it again!
 
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A couple more pics, only time I busted out my good camera on the trip. Hesperus yesterday morning and a fully zoomed in shot of the La Platas. Almost looks like ski tracks up there.
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Why is it so quiet in here? Some of you have been skiing right?

I got some serious funk that kicked in last Tuesday so during the storm of the century I got 3 runs in. Yup.....3. I haven’t been sick like this for 11 years, ugh.
I was at Snowbowl on Friday and Saturday. Friday was snowing, heavy at times. Saturday was bluebird and crowded. Bombing on both days so left side of Agassiz was cut off in the morning. In you timed it right and got up there when the left side open, snow was knee to waist deep. Snow was fantastic everywhere and you couldn't go wrong. Started to warm Saturday and looks like the days after. FeelsBadMan
 

raisingarizona

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My three runs were on Friday morning and I went left side off first chair for the first two laps. Shhh. It was DEEP. 3rd lap was in Second Gully down to Friesland Prairie Road. After that I was toast and stuck in bed through Sunday. On Monday I got to make up for it with one of my very own top ten tours ever here in the back country. I’m ok now.
 
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Core2

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Weekend storm keeps trending wetter. Sunday could be a decent powder day.
 

Jerez

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Wolf Creek got the big numbers down here but little Santa Fe had a surprise powdery day. It had rained in town and was foggy so it was like a weekday. Very nice silky snow.
 
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AZ Snowbowl picked up a few inches, enough to refresh the base. I'd call it silky too. Trees were skiing well in the gladed areas.

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