Six weeks of dry and warm weather provide less than inspiring motivation to get out on the local ski trails. If you haven’t already succumbed to the Spring heat wave that we’ve been enjoying, and traded your skinny boards for wheels to ply on bare dry ground, the spring conditions can be thoroughly gratifying, as long as you keep an eye on the temperatures and time of day. A string of highs in the 50s have thoroughly saturated the snowpack and advanced the snow-line far up the valley, clearing the sunny ridges for the coming season. Creek beds that had been frozen over and made for enticing travel, are now running open, with bridges to cross them coming fewer and farther between. With cool overnight temperatures, the morning snow will be firm with the course granules and often wrinkled surface of an aging snowpack. During the magical hours of mid-morning towards noon, delectable spring corn provides delightful travel whether touring or turning. Wait too long, or get out too late after a night when the mercury did not drop well below the freezing point, however and the supportive surface will drop out from underneath you like a trap door. Beware the rapid warming of a bluebird day! Near popular trailheads, one can expect to find some post-holes in the trail where unsuspecting tourists, out for a walk, have fallen into this knee-wrenching, sometimes hip-deep pitfall. There is talk of possible snow and even rain in the forecast by the coming weekend, so one may have to climb to a higher altitude to enjoy les sports de glisse.

Happy Trails!