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.
NUMERALS REPRESENT INCHES OF SNOW
There is near-perfect skiing now in the nation's more northerly areas. Midwest, Southern California and lower New England still need snow
FAR WEST: MT. BALDY, CALIF.: 4-6 W but rain had previously ruined base. Needed to operate: 6-12 NS. Area has played host to plenty of sight-seers and snowball commandos but no skiers as yet.
SQUAW VALLEY, CALIF.: Skiing here has been excellent the past month. On top of the mountain there is 12-24 new PO on an estimated 96 base. Down below it is 12 new PO on 36. The lodge is sold out again for this weekend. If driving, be sure to bring chains.
RENO, NEV.: Local drumbeaters claim skiing here is best in the Far West. They have a point: 15-18 PO on 55 HB at the Ski Bowl with conditions rated excellent. New Year's business broke all previous records. Don't forget to bring auto chains.
NORTHWEST: MT. BAKER, WASH.: Here is heaven for those who like difficult touring in snow up to the knees. 29 NS, dry but not PO, on 96 HP with temperatures below 20. Crowds have been heavy but with everything operating there is no waiting. Bring the chains.
SNOQUALMIE PASS, WASH.: Ski schools sponsored by local newspapers begin this weekend and will cause a 5-10 minute wait on most lifts. 4 NS on 50 total means good conditions. Chains are a good idea.
MT. HOOD, ORE.: At Timberline everyone's smiling because of 8 new PO on 77. Little Betsy is operating but not the chair lift. Temps. 20-25. The aerial tramway is running. Govt. Camp has 4 new PO on 44 and roads have packed PO surfaces, so chains are a must.
GROUSE MT., BRITISH COLUMBIA: 14-16 NS on 33-64 HP and HB with conditions good. On lower areas the snow is a little heavy in spots and demands caution. The twin chair lifts will carry heavy traffic this weekend due to local newspaper's ski school, largest in Canada.