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Original Issue


A late roundup of snow conditions in America from a picked group of local skiers

CO=corn snow; GR=granular; PO=powder; IC=icy condition; HP=hard-packed snow; W=wet; HB=hard base; SB=soft base; NS=new snow; BC=breakable crust; BS=bare spots; CL=trail or slope closed; DC=dangerous condition; UC=unbreakable crust.


Skiing conditions are best in northern New England, northern California and over most of the Rockies. More snow is needed in the southerly areas

FAR WEST: RENO, NEV.: Ski Bowl has had some of best skiing in country so far. 65 packed PO on 12 HP base at top of Slide Mt. with 48 packed PO on 6 HP at nearby Mt. Rose Bowl. Roads are clear, chains not needed. Novice facilities offer excellent skiing.

SQUAW VALLEY, CALIF.: All trails and lifts are open and snow conditions are excellent. 24 packed PO on up to 72 base with weather sunny, temps. 25-45. Best skiing is on upper third of mountain and around Flying Saucer lift. Crowd of around 1,000 showed up last weekend but there were no lift lines. All beds at lodge sold out for this weekend.

MT. BALDY, CALIF.: 2-4 HP on upper runs but still no skiing. Lift is running for sightseers, who numbered 2,200 last Sunday.

SUGAR BOWL, CALIF.: Up to 60 total at base of chair lift with all facilities operating.

NORTHWEST: MT. HOOD, ORE.: At Timberline there is up to 52, but it's windblown with IC. Skiing rates fair. At Govt Camp 15 drifted and IC, fair at summit area only with just two rope tows going. 6-12 NS needed.

MT. BAKER, WASH.: Conditions approaching excellent at last. 10 dry PO on 48 HB with some crust showing on south side. Best skiing is on all northside trails, especially Austin Pass. Crowds have been fairly heavy but no waiting. Access roads have ice and are snow-covered so bring chains.

GROUSE MT., BRITISH COLUMBIA: Recent heavy snowfalls have improved over-all situation. 30-32 NS on 15-17 HB, good skiing. It's still rough on upper areas with 21 total and more needed.

ROCKY MTS.: ASPEN, COLO.: There is 28 packed PO at Sun Deck and 26 at midway, with all trails good to very good. Best runs are Sun Set and Spar Gulch. Novice slope is very good. East-West highways snow free and excellent.

ARAPAHOE, COL.: Skiing is fair with some BS. 3 new PO is HP on main run, variable on slopes. Maximum base is 20 at midway.

JACKSON, WYO.: The Snow King chair lift is still not operating. 12 NS won't pack in. Teton Pass rope tow running weekends only with 26 HP and excellent skiing.

ALTA, UTAH: Excellent skiing everywhere with 4 heavy PO on 32 HB. Wildcat, with most powder, is best; Upper Germania most popular. Maximum waiting time for lift only 5-10 minutes.

SUN VALLEY, IDAHO: The snow depths are growing steadily with 18 on Baldy. Good conditions on both Baldy and Dollar. Road from Shoshone is clear.

WHITEFISH, MONT.: Skiing generally poor with lift not operating. Upper trails have 4 PO on 13 HP, 3 PO on 8 in lower area.

BANFF, ALBERTA: Prolonged mild spell continues with limited skiing on practice slope. Only the rope is open. 10-12 new snow last week melted in 50-plus temps. A good freeze and 6-12 NS is needed but not anticipated.

MIDWEST: BOYNE MT., MICH.: Area will open Dec. 26. 2 packed PO on 4 HB with crews out packing after each snowfall. Conditions are good but more snow would help.

RIB. MT., WIS.: Skiing rated as excellent following new snow. 3 NS on 8 HB. Open slopes are best.

TERRY PEAK, SO. DAK.: New powder arrived in time to make opening of double chair lift a success. 12-14 PO on 8 HB. Temps, above freezing. Light snows would make holiday conditions ideal.

PENNSYLVANIA: LIGONIER: Area has had a good month with big weekend crowds. 5 light PO on 5-12 packed, good, with temps. in 20s.

QUEBEC: LAC BEAUPORT: 5 PO on 12 HB. Skiing continues good, and temperatures very low—around eight above.

MONT TREMBLANT: A foot of new snow has made conditions excellent. Maximum on top now 42. 13-18 PO surface on HB.

NEW ENGLAND: FRANCONIA, N.H.: Just 4 to 6 more PO would put all of Cannon Mt. in near-perfect shape. So far there is a GR surface on 4-27 HB in upper areas, 3-15 on lower. Skiing is fair-good with few BS. Best bets are trails in T-bar area. Big holiday influx anticipated.

BIG BROMLEY, VT.: The jokers skied with umbrellas in last Saturday's rain but the snow cover was not damaged. Under 1 PO on 7-20 hard frozen GR with some IC. Over-all conditions are fair and would become good with 4 inches of new snow.

STOWE, VT.: Base now totals 17-25 HP with 1 PO surface. Upper areas are fair, lower good. Of all major trails only Nose Dive has been closed.

NORTH CONWAY, N.H.: Recent rain ruined Cranmore's thin cover and the Skimobile closed down. Area must have 4-6 PO to reopen before Christmas.

DUTCH HILL, VT.: Area has poor to good skiing. Recent rains caused some BS and IC.

JIMINY PEAK, MASS.: T-bar has yet to operate. 0-2 surface. Heavy frost and snowfall needed.

NEW YORK: BELLEAYRE: Instructor Dot Hoyt says she has never known better December skiing here. Base is like rock and will take a lot of punishment from the holiday crowds. Present conditions—2 PO on 1-6 frozen GR—rate fair with lower area bare. 2-4 NS would mean good-excellent skiing.

WHITEFACE MT.: 2 PO on 8-10 packed GR. Fair-good at T-bar area. 4 more PO would make for best holiday skiing in years.