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Wise volcano climbers and skiers of this website and the PNW: Wondering if anyone can share their wisdom of forecasting good volcano ski conditions (winter/ pre-corn). I pretty much assume anything above treeline is wind blasted, golfball sized rime chunks, boilerplate ice, or sastrugi (usually a combo) during the winter. This sour grapes attitude has left me really surprised when friends report skiing (Mt. Hood in most cases) powder from the summit, or even on the Palmer during the winter (okay, maybe more like March-April, and given that it doesn't seem to happen that often!). I am not really talking about corn cycle, although any wisdom is appreciated. Mostly how to determine whether the skiing will be ice chunder or decent above timberline. It seems that most big storms are windy and rowdy, and just scour anything above timberline, with the exception of localized lee pockets of softer snow. Does it just take less windy storms? Better aspect/terrain choices? It also seems that given a few clear midwinter days, anything sunny gets icy or a nasty sun crust- yet I am surprised by the winter corn harvests I read about from such periods. Obviously my cynical mindset is holding me back from the goods, so can anyone walk me through their conditions forecasting process? Is it a matter of just hoping for the best or are you all semi pro meteorologists? Thanks and happy (ice) skiing! Max