We like to pack and impact all of our terrain before we open it. On less steep terrain we tend to do that with a snowcat. On steeper terrain, we do it with skis and boots and explosives. The packing has several positive impacts. We reduce the chance of an avalanche occurring by breaking up the snow slabs. The quality of the skiing is better once it has been packed. Lastly, packed snow is more likely to stick around in the event of a big wind event.
I took this picture of the West Wall a few days ago. You can see the Ski patrol side stepped or foot packed the trail. You can also tell that the wind and blowing snow has filled in the packed areas. Now, following future wind and snow events, we will start ski packing the trail.