Saturday, March 21, 2009

21st March

Day 89 and in my opinion the worst day of the season so far but I am sure there will be others who disagree. With the forecast calling for wet snow turning to rain it was no surprise that we headed to the hill in a mix of sun and cloud and no sign of precip until half way through the afternoon.
Just like yesterday the temps soon hit +12 at the base and even managed +3 at Whitepass, the highest point of the hill. With these sort of temps we headed high to the new side as quick as possible to ski what we could before it went to mush. The Gun bowl and Surprise trees was just about ok and a trip down 123's was ok at the top but sloppy at the bottom. After playing around up top for a while the next attempt to get to the bottom was via Concussion which was again ok at the top but pretty quickly turned to mush and after that the whole thing became a bit of a waste of time. The final run down Decline was so heavy at the bottom that I could hardy lift the skis to turn.
To be fair if you are an intermediated skier just looking for fun on the groomers (on piste in UK speak) then today was fine with groomers staying firm under a soft surface which made skiing quite easy. Even if you want to go off the groomers as long as you stuck to high traffic areas then the hard packed base still made the soft surface quite good fun. However if you were looking to ski the low traffic, steep and in other circumstances deep areas then the mush was all but unskiable, or at least very hard work. The only guys having fun were those on the fat pontoons with maximum rocker who could handle the mush - my own bases are 95mm and I blew a ski off twice when it broke through and dived.
Just to test things I tried the old side to see how it was and the answer was very very soft although it didn`t seem quite as warm as the new side. By 1 o`clock I had enough and judging by the large number of empty chairs I could see going up the hill as I walked to the parking lot so had a lot of other people.
Went down town and took advantage of some of the fantastic end of season bargains to buy a new ski jacket and ski pants as the old ones have done about 500 days and are more duck tape than material in places.
Forecast is calling for a cool down and snow. If we get the one without the other then we are in for some pretty awful skiing before it gets better - fingers crossed. Temp on the deck is +10 and looks like it is about to rain.

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