Tuesday, March 24, 2009

24th March

Day 92 and an amazingly good day considering the conditions. I thought I might have a short day as I wasn't feeling that great with the cold but in the event a combination of me feeling better and the conditions working out pretty well meant that I stuck it out all day and even managed a few beers in the bar afterwards.
The forecast was for sun in the morning and rain in the afternoon so no one will be surprised that it snowed all day with a fairly good accumulation by the afternoon. I headed out on the old side and tried a couple of groomers to get a feel of what the base was like at various altitudes on the hill. My first attempt off piste was in Boom bowl which was just ugly from top to bottom.
The turning point was when a buddy of mine from the patrol (thanks Marc) told me that they had just opened Snake Ridge and it was pretty good. When I checked it out I found that as Snake had been closed for three days although it had suffered all the mush damage of the past few days, as there had been no skiing there it was smooth with the fresh snow on top so you were skiing un tracked powder and just had to ski a bit quicker lower down to stay on top. Gorbie bowl had some nasty avi debris but picking a track in between the death cookies you coould still get some ok powder. Once through Kangaroo was enough to convince me that today wasn't the day to be having fun in that neck of the woods.
Spent the whole day cycling Snake Ridge in untracked powder every run - not bad considering the state of the rest of the hill. Linking up with Dan and Rob in the afternoon we carried on with Snake Ridge and then decided to try something new. I though Boom might have softened - wrong. It was crunchy and ugly. The new side didn't have much to offer and the final run down Skydive was challenging as the freeze line started to move down the hill making the whole run very interesting and a bit technical.
Wings night at the Pub found most of the tables reserved for some arty photo event from Island Lake much to the anger of the locals. Those involved might do well to calculated the value of a one off event ( where most of the tables weren't taken up anyway) against the regular weekly business that they turned away.
Still snowing - what next

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