First meadow in Catherine's Area: So Long
H did laps on Sugarloaf, keeping an eye on the electronic sign for when ski patrol opened Catherine's Area for the first time after the Christmas Eve storm. When the rope dropped, he was there and so were a lot of other people. He got out in front of enough of them to score fresh tracks in the So Long meadow and, as you can see in the photo above, the snow was lovely. He texted me: "Great snow, but you need to be on the lookout for rocks." The snow in the upper section of Catherine's Area was so good, rocks notwithstanding, that he went back twice more, getting first tracks in Sunset and then in Snowshoe Hill/Last Chance. Trying to get out of Catherine's was another story: the last pitch was full of rocks and willows and emptied out onto a narrow, bumpy track. Three times was enough, especially since he went over rocks at least once each time.
Second meadow: Snowshoe Hill (?)
He skied off-piste nearly all day: five times through Sunspot (including once following a couple of really good chick skiers through the swooping gully below Lone Pine), twice through Ballroom (where the traverse in continues to be gnarly, in a bad way) and once down lower Extrovert.
All the way out in Catherine's Area and no-one there yet
When he texted me to let me know he was catching the bus, I asked him how the bases of his skis had fared. At first he didn't want to look, but then he did: "Nothing too deep or too close to the edges. So, yay." Yay indeed - and yay for an excellent off-piste day (finally!).