My wife and I peeked over the modest cornice at the steep slope below. We saw a skier on his back, one of his skis having released on the hard, chattery surface. He slid quite a ways before stopping himself, apparently fine. We looked at each other and at the warming sun above us. It was working on the snow, but needed more time. "Let's come back later," we agreed. We opted instead for a run facing away from the sun, which meant it hadn't melted and refrozen as egregiously. An hour or so later, we revisited our fellow skier's Waterloo. We slid off the cornice this time, onto snow that had been softened by the steady sun from hard crust into grippy mashed potatoes. Our skis stayed on our feet, and we stayed upright for the whole delightful schuss. Timing, in this case, wasn't everything, but it was likely the most important thing.