Sunday, April 12, 2009

12th April - Easter Sunday

Ok one last pic from hotdog day which is me coming out of the Goat Trail at the foot of Boom bowl onto the Bear run - could be a shot straight from the 1980's except for the twin tip free riders which of course are a bit of a give away.
Day 111 ( Nelsons) and winter returns - well not exactly winter but a significant change in the weather. Last night it rained but with deck temps of +4 hill snow didn't really seem much of an option. We arrived to areport of 1 cm of fresh but more inportantly the conditions were overcast with occasional flurries so there was no direct sunlight to soften the snow and the melt line moved only very slowly up the hill as the day went on. Even by afternoon the melt line was only about three quarters of the way up the hill and as we left the hill the upper slopes were getting a fair amount of new snow although how long this will go on for is a matter of debate.
We started on the old side and found pretty well everything frozen so had to spend rather longer on the groomers than usual. Eventually the lower slopes softened and we found that Kangaroo was particularly nice having been beaten flat by the nights rain, frozen then softened on the surface, This gave near perfect spring skiing ( as opposed to summer skiing which is what we have had for the past few days) and we ripped it several times.
Encouraged I stuck my nose into Boom bowl and Boom ridge and found them both to be rock hard bumps with tufted ice on top which was very tough going. Second time through Boom ridge I decided to have another try and even though when I tested the surface it was ice again I went in and found it just as bad - just goes to show how dumb you can be, but still ok if challenging and living up to it's double black diamond grading.
We went to the new side and immediately found some fresh snow. In Lift Line this had the effect of providing a new surface over the ice and much improved the skiing. At the top of White pass there was about 3cms of fresh snow in Gun bowl which was really dust on crust with the underlying surface being rutted ice from the day before - not great. Deciding on an easy run off the hill before lunch we dropped down Down Right only to discover it hadn't been groomed and was pretty icy so we just had to suck it up and bounce our way down to the day lodge.
In the afternoon I tried the new side again and did the usual loops out on the County Line to try Decline and Skydive. Due to and error of judgement I managed to blow off both skis on an ice chunk in Cornice chutes and take a header down the chute as a result - heigh ho, no harm done except to my pride. On Currie creek shoulder there was a lot of damage with branches, roots and leaves all over the traverse, don't know what caused it ( hope it wasn't a bear waking up and having a scratch) but I went for my good citizenship award by stopping and cleaning up the trail.
Spent the rest of the afternoon cycling Skydive and Decline the latter being slightly better. As you might expect the runs were icy at the top great in the mid section and a bit heavy at the bottom - typical spring skiing.
Light rain and + 5 so could be snowing on top at this moment. Some reports call for 2-4 cms tonight so we may be getting a little more winter and fresh snow , if not real powder, before we finish off.

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