Wolf Creek magic had returned after weeks of no snow. Even though I pulled into the parking lot before 8AM, there were at least a dozen cars ahead of me. Lots of folks were hungry to sample the depth and consistency of the powder in the middle of the storm.
We waited for Treasure Chair to open. In the meantime we struck up conversations with our new neighbors.
This elderly couple has at least twenty years on me. She always telemarks, but today she was on really fat boards. He, if the going will be tough, breaks out a big snowboard.
At times the sun would shine weakly through the clouds, casting faint shadows on the snow. This was when we could ski more aggressively, instead of feeling our way around in a world of white on white.
So, what do you do on a day with ample powder and more falling from the skies? If you're in the Rocky Mountain Race Division...you race! They don't cancel events on account of weather. It's open to all age groups.
The New Mexico Cross Country Ski Club bus trip came to the Pagosa area, and some of the folks decided to do some lift served skiing. I kept an eye out, but didn't see any of them on the slopes.
By the end of the day the storm was breaking.
The next day was 'severe clear.' A final inch had fallen last evening, so there was still some fun to be had off piste for a couple hours. After that, it was time to climb Alberta Peak.
Alberta Peak has been wind scoured all season - the worst I've seen it. The lee face had snow, but you can't see that from this angle.
The bowls below and north of Alberta Peak were also on the lee side, and had good snow.
After the hike to the summit, I was looking forward to some relief. Denied!
On the way home, there is a scenic overlook in the Jicarilla Apache reservation that gives you a panorama of the San Juans. It was my last chance to see snow as I headed south to lower elevations and warmer temperatures.
In the course of just a few minutes, the distant clouds over the mountains had changed considerably. I hope it means another storm is approaching.
Heading south toward Albuquerque on Hwy 550, near mile post 44...there is a view that looks like something prehistoric. I almost expect to see dinosaurs. No sign of snow here.