Other than cold I want to detail the lift, trail, and crowd conditions at Ski Brule over the weekend of January 2 and 3.
As can be expected in cold weather the snow was squeaky and grabby, so the skiing was on the slower side. However, most of the runs were in terrific shape with a lot of untouched snow to be found at the edges of the trails, if you like running on fresh groomed snow you were able to find it at least until the backside closed down and on Otterslide. I don’t recall any untouched snow on Big Bear and Whitewater only on the backside runs, Logjam’s left side, and on Otterslide on the edges.
The Sunrise Headwall is half-groomed half-crudded up. The right half (as you approach it from above) of the headwall (from the steep to the far right side escape) was groomed on Sunday January 3 and the left half was very much crud and un-groomed. Check it out before charging over that headwall though.
As is very typical there was exposed ice patches on Big Bear down the center of the headwall and in the center of the approach.
The snow is in good mid-winter condition and typical for Ski Brule, but snow conditions may change quickly depending on weather, grooming, treatment, and crowds on hand.
Reports from those that visited Ski Brule on January 2 (they did not ski) and first hand observations was the resort was very uncrowded. Normally one expects the Saturday of a holiday weekend to be busy but most likely the severe cold kept people from skiing and inside. Sunday was also uncrowded, again on holiday weekends one expects a crowd but again the cold and the fact is Sunday is rarely a very busy day factor in here.
The lift lines were non-existent on Sunday with Ski Brule running three of them (plus the rope up the bunny run). The Bear Chair, a chair over by Sunrise & Otterslide, and one on the backside.
Everything else at Ski Brule was normal given the crowd. The Homestead Lodge was fine and we were able to sit right down and get immediate service. The Main Lodge too was immediate sitting and service.