Spring skiing? More like January | VailDaily.com

Spring skiing? More like January

Dominique Taylor/Vail Daily\Five inches of fresh powder proved a little overwhelming for this unidentified skier Tuesday on Vail Mountain's Gandy Dancer.

VAIL ” Forget the brown spots. Forget skiing in a T-shirt. Forget rain in the village.

Winter was back Tuesday, with Vail reporting nearly a foot of snow over 24 hours.

“Fantastic,” said Randy Guzik of West Vail, a snowboarder who was standing at the top of Chair 11. “There’s lots of snow.”

Enough for an occasional face shot, and drifts in the trees were well over knee-deep, he said.

Not too light, but not too heavy, either.

And was that expected for April 10?

“No, but we’ll take it,” he said.

“It’s definitely a powder day,” said Guzik’s friend, Marc Demeillac of Trinidad and Tobago.

With 12 days left in the season, Guzik was hoping this wouldn’t be his last powder day of the season.

Vail has already had its share of warm days this year. Skiers were dressing in shorts last month, and as of this weekend, the lowest face of the mountain above Vail Village was dotted with grassy spots. But all of those spots were gone Tuesday, and the slush on low runs like Bear Tree was gone.

Temperature dropped to well below freezing on the mountain. Strong winds were whipping snow sideways and swaying lift chairs. Blue Sky Basin closed in the afternoon as the wind picked up.

James Coe of Westminster was getting ready to drop into Sun Up Bowl on Tuesday afternoon.

“Better than it’s been in a long time,” said Coe, describing the conditions.

For Coe, it was really the best of both worlds.

“We don’t have a bunch of gapers here, and it’s nice, new snow,” he said.

Most of the spring breakers have come and gone. There weren’t even lines at the usually-busy Chair 4 Tuesday. Coe was more than willing to delay his days of spring skiing.

“I’ll take a pow day over spring any day,” he said.

But he wasn’t surprised, he said.

“It is Colorado,” he said.

Christof Nix of Nuremburg, Germany, arrived in Vail four days ago to warm weather.

“We thought, OK, that’s it for the week, that’s it for the season,” Nix said. “So we were really surprised.”

The weather forecast called for only 20 percent chance of snow, Nix said.

“The 20 percent came through,” he said.

His brother, Steffen Nix, said the snow had been “quite perfect” all morning, even if they encountered a bit of crust beneath the powder.

“Wherever we went, we had perfect snow conditions,” he said.

Heather Burkhart, in Vail on her honeymoon, said she thought the snow was good, too. After all, at their home hill, a few inches would seem like a lot.

“We’re from Tennessee, so this is great,” she said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com

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