(Colonel, sorry about my previous post. Someone yesterday predicted that trip reports about TL would emphasize the wind, so I thought I'd oblige.)
We arrived at TL this morning just before 9am. The temperature was right at the freezing point and the wind was blowing hard. It was chilly standing in the ticket line, esp. because I was dressed for spring skiing.
The only lift open at 9am was the beginner's chair. A ski instructor pointed out the grooming machines, explaining that they hadn't groomed Friday night. The orange chair opened up at about 9:30. At that point, Thunderstruck was open, but we saw the ski patrol taking up the sign on White Lightning at about 10:00. That first run floating down a freshly groomed WL was pure delight!
Other than a surprising number of ski school classes on the beginner's chair, the slopes were uncrowded and lift lines were absent. Plenty of snow at the mountain's base, althouth the traverse from the base of WL to the orange chair was s-l-o-w. On White Lightning and Thunderstruck, the surface went from machine groomed granular to spring conditions rather quickly. Bare spots were avoidable (but why no warning signs or poles)?
Best entertainment was the involuntary dunking booth at the base of the orange chair. A pond built up just past the loading platform, giving most riders some free water-skiing and a few a cold bath! (When the liftie couldn't find my friend's ski right away after he'd gone into the drink, I thought, "Uh-oh. This doesn't look good.")
The only significant disappointment was that TS and WL were the only top-to-bottom runs open. Lower Almost Heaven was open, but Upper AH -- although it seemed to have adequate snow -- was closed, as were all runs to skier's right of White Lightning. Maybe TL was saving these for Sunday, but I plunked down a full $35 to ski today. I know Timberline isn't making any money by opening this weekend, so, you're right, it's all good. And it was...
... my first April skiing.