Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 19 and today we have Elephant Snot

Of course the polite terms for what we got today are words such as Jersey Cream or Sierra Cement but Elephant Snot seems to cover it well enough for me.

The snow came last night but towards dawn as the temps rose the moisture content of the snow rose until it was high, very high, 100% actually ie rain. When we got to the hill the temp was +1 at the base and we were told it was much the same at the top. In what proved to be a pretty average idea we decided to do an old fashioned powder chase to the old side triangle.

We got first tracks in Boom but it was heavy. All over the hill you could see people stacking it as they tried to ski the rain affected snow and we were tempted to think that maybe today would be a short one. Spent all morning getting fresh tracks on the old side in Linda's, Cedar Ridge, Boom Ridge, Gully and Gulch etc but the rain line crept up the hill and the snow was heavy.

Tried the new side which was a bit better as we went higher and it was snowing in White Pass if raining pretty well up to the White Pass base station. Most of the new side was closed but by late morning they had managed to open all of Timber bowl and Anaconda down into the top of the Gilmar Trail. We looped several times through Surprise Trees which were awesome but heavy. Seeing Anaconda was open we started looping Anaconda and Bootleg then back up Timber Chair. First time through Anaconda we witnessed a huged avi in the bottom of 1-2-3's which the Patrol told us was the smallest of three in Currie bowl although it looked pretty big to me.

In the afternoon we headed up the new side in pouring rain and by White Pass this had turned to wet snow. Spent all afternoon looping towards Surprise Trees in poor viz and full on winter storm conditions. Snow was filling in and a last run through Surprise was pretty much fresh tracks. Finished by dropping Anaconda in the far chutes which we thought probably didn't have enough snow but were happy to find there was loads and most of it untracked then out through Bootleg which seemed to be reparing quite well in the snow and cooling temps.

A few beers in the Griz bar followed by Christmas shopping down town then back to the house to eat and have an early night. Forecast is for flurries and cooling which we will need to cover the soft snow low down which will go to boiler plate when the temps drop later this week. The future is very uncertain - welcome to the Legendary early season conditions in BC.

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