Friday, December 25, 2009

Day 23 and a very happy Christmas Day

Do we ski on Christmas Day - you bet, but only until lunch time when we hit the bar for a few beers with ski buddies then head home for a full on Christmas with much too much to eat and drink.

Starting temps were -16 and it looked overcast but actually it was just low cloud that gave up some valley snow with a temperature inversion so that it was warmer (-10) on top and a bluebird day above the cloud. The great thing about these conditions is that as you pass through the tops of the clouds the moisture in the air is frozen into ice crystals so you see things like Sun dogs, Angel dust and a rainbow round the sun. If you have never been in the high mountains in cold weather you have never seen these amazing sights - ask me about them.

Great skiing up in White Pass in bluebird skies with a carpet of cloud below us. The snow was strange, it looked like chopped up crud but when you skied it it was real light and skied like powder. Dropped back to the base a couple of times via Easter bowl and Cougar Glades which were pretty good but the snow up there was surprisingly heavy and quite hard work to bang out the turns.

One long stop on Timber Chair convinces me that they haven't sorted the reliability problems on the New Side and with the busiest few days of the year coming up I fear a disaster but I hope I am wrong. The good news about the stop was that we pulled up along side a Piliated Woodpecker who was having his Christmas dinner of termites only a few feet from us. Watched for the 5 mins of the stop and in a way it really made our day.

Now back at the house with a temp of -13 on the deck with all the cloud burned off and beautiful sunshine. About to start the hot tub, food, drink, fall asleep in front of the TV cycle. Tomorrow will be ugly busy on the hill.

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