Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 68 feels like Groundhog Day

Actual Groundhog day was last week but just lately it has felt like Groundhog day every day. It always dawns overcast and stays that way all day without actually snowing. Temps are always at or about zero at the base and a little below at the top. The snow base stays at about 210 cms and the hill is always deserted - today we didn't have to share a chair lift even once. Despite the lack of new snow ( hardly any for 5 weeks) the hill stays in remarkable good shape, why wouldn't it as the three things that damage a hill ( sun, rain and skier traffic) are all absent. If all this wasn't bad enough the outlook for the next 14 days indicates that this is just going to go on and on.

The only thing to show that each day is different is where we ski as in yesterday when we tried the trees to the left of Gorby bowl and the deep gully in KC chutes for the first time this season. Today we hit the New Side as we hadn't been there for a couple of days due to the junior freeski competition being held there at the weekend.

As soon as we hit the new side in lift line it was apparent that the snow had been hardened up by the overnight temps and we were going to be dealing with bumps which were firm, but taking a nice edge so easy to ski - yesterday I heard an old Fernie local refering to the conditions as "icey bumps" and it occured to me (not for the first time) that some of these guys should get out and ski some of the crappy European conditions that I was brought up on, then they would know what icey bumps really are.

A few loops through Surprise confirmed the conditions and the ok skiing that followed. Spent the morning doing alternate loops through Surprise Trees hitting further left each time ( actually found a few turns of fresh in the really steep sections) and then going out into Currie via Anaconda/Bootleg ( as always good) Concussion ( ok if you hit the far chutes) Toms ( nice all the way down) Cougar Glades ( still plenty of life in the left trees) and finally Skydive ( steep bumps at the top getting less steep lower down but softish) then lunch.

In the afternoon just looped some of the tougher stuff at the end of the County Line, Stag Leap (trees on the left still had some fresh) Window chutes ( log drop off back to about 6 ft and scratchy at the bottom) the Brain ( still very nice if a bit tracked at the top but getting a bit technical in dust on crust in tight trees in the lower section) and a final rip down Skydive. Somewhere in there I had a couple of fill in loops through Surprise far left which were still giving up some fresh turns on the way down to Trespass Trail.

A few beers in the Griz and home for an early night. Still ok skiing but how long can the hill hold up and when will we get some more snow .

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