Belleayre, Friday 2/ 27/14

Sunny, minimal wind, 10-18 degrees
packed powder, granular

Probably a bit late but was busy yesterday and thought I'd share. Decided to check out Belleayre for the first time. I've skied Hunter several times this season and wanted a change. I wished I'd stuck with Hunter. I'd been told that for what I like (steep groomers) Belleayre wouldn't cut it but I wanted to check it out for myself.

For a beautiful and somewhat chilly Friday it wasn't crowded. It was ski on and off. No complaints there.

The conditions were fairly good. It was cold but windless but there were a lot of marbles mixed in with the groomed packed powder and it never got warm enough (even with the sun) to soften things up. Still, not bad and it was only in the late afternoon that the main run, Belleayre Run, started to get a 'bit' skied off. Nothing to complain about. I'm probably just spoiled from what's been a great season for conditions.

As for Bell itself. If you love bumps (which I don't) this is the place. The double diamonds all have bumps at the top and the are bumps everywhere, here and there, in patches, mostly at the top but few in the midsection. If I were a mogul lover I'd loved it.

There was a few nice glades open too. I don't ski the trees but there was snow in abundance in the woods.

Same if I was an intermediate skier who wanted blues. Just about the entire mountain had blues (except the parts with bumps). If it started off black, it quickly went blue. There were lots of beautiful cruising trails all over. A great place for an intermediate skier.

Can't comment on the beginner's trails because they were in a section that I didn't go to.

What I do like is sustained steeps and varied terrain and Belleayre didn't deliver for me. It reminded me of a bigger version of Camelback. Everything started out somewhat steep with the blacks at the top but it quickly (within a few turns) flattened out and turned blue. There were lots of intersecting trails but they were all pretty much the same. Great if you're an intermediate skier or someone who just wants to bomb down but if you're looking for variety it just doesn't do it.

I started off by going up Superchief (the fastest lift) and rather liked Belleayre Run simply because it was nice and long but started exploring. Just about every black was the same. Start off steep, quickly flatten out and then jump on a dog slow lift to get up top and do a bit of cross country skiing at the top to get anywhere. I wished I'd brought my snowshoes with me at times after exiting the Superchief and 7 lifts.

Went over to Tomahawk lift and I rather liked Dot Nebel and Peekamoose at first but it soon grew old as I found myself once again just cruising down on blues after a few turns.

A few years ago when my daughter was a solid Intermediate and I couldn't get her down a black I would've loved coming here but she's pretty much of the same mindset as I am. She loved Hunter and I have to say, I was told that I would prefer Hunter to Belleayre and they were proven correct. But it was an enjoyable day out. I just wish I could've been a bit more entertained. After Tomahawk closed at 3pm I pretty much packed up and left.

Nice hill if you don't want crowds and aren't in a hurry to make it to the top of the mountain but for terrain and steepness go to Hunter or Plattekill.

What I will say is that this is a beautiful mountain. I took a lot of pictures simply because it was beautiful to see and such a gorgeous bluebird day. I noticed that there were hiking trails as well on the mountain and plan to come back and explore. It might not be a very steep mountain to ski but it will be great for hiking. :)

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