I went UpNorth this weekend and spent Saturday skiing.
I am not going to name the particular resort I was at, but if you read this site or spend some time reading this site you should be able to guess.
To set this up let me describe the weather last week. We have had a pretty usual winter so far (if a little late) where we get hit with some minor snows, a major snow, and then some warm weather with warm weather precipitation. We underwent the warm weather & rain phase starting in the middle of last week. At our home we we lost most of our snow cover looking out we see brown fields and grass and hay that was once bright green.
However, from Friday night to Saturday morning winter sanity returned to the region. Here is some data from Weather Underground showing some weather data from January 1.
So warm rainy weather was followed very quickly by dry and frigid weather. Guess what happened to any snow surviving the warmth and rain?
The runs were literally ice. Many people characterize our runs as ice, but in reality there is usually a good layer of packed powder above a base coating of ice. Yes, the packed powder is harder than the pow skiers out in Utah are used to, but it is not usually ice. However, on Saturday the runs were groomed ice. Every now and then you could find parts of the runs were there was some loose snow and there was one trail that was something other than pure groomed ice.
The resort we were at is usually good at keeping their snow in good skiing condition but there is no fighting nature on this one. They need at least 2″-3″ or more of snow to make skiing something other than pure ice.
Everything else about our time at The Ski Resort was good. I have to believe these icy conditions apply to nearly every ski resort in the Upper Midwest.