Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 81 Sun, cold and the Freeski finals

Today started with team Ireland heading back to Calgary for the long journey home. After last nights farewell session it is surprising they could find their rental car let alone drive it back to the airport, well done lads. Great to have you stay and look forward to next years adventures. On the way to the hill dropped in to Lizard Creek to see Liz from Inghams and book my ride back to Calgary on Wednesday ready for my flying visit back to the UK.

Conditions were bluebird skys with temps down at -11. During the day the temps rose to plus temps at the base in the direct sunlight but overall it was quite cold with some wind up top. For a change the cold temps overnight hadn't hardened the base but had rather tended to dry out the snow so that it was crisp and taking an edge in most places but there was still plenty of boiler plate around if you weren't careful.

We started on the old side as the finals of the Freeski were being run off Polar Peak, down Lizard head wall through Richards run. I had looked in the top of Richards yesterday when I was up Polar peak and it is one of the gnarliest entries I have ever seen with a steep pitch disappearing over a blind edge as you look down. Major respect to all competitors but mostly to the third to run female who took the chute on tele skis - awesome.

The skiing was ok. Sunny side was scratchy but as we worked our way into Cedar all the north facing stuff was crisp with some soft on top so Cedar ridge, Gully/Gulch, King Fir, new Lift line etc were nice if not exceptional skiing. Occasional loops into Lizard to check the state of the Freeski allowed for a check on the open terrain in the middle of Lizard for the first time this year which was ok but not challenging enough to be anything than rather pleasent. The big loop out to Snake ridge was interesting with soft snow in the top getting more chunky as you got lower. Inspired by the freeriders I took the ridge through KC chutes straight down through the alders which was a bit challenging and raised the pulse rate a little.

Returns from the Cedar/Snake loops were always through Boomerang/Bear chutes (nice crisp bumps) and Kangaroo ( really icey ugly bumps even by Kangaroo standards) and that completed the mornings entertainment.

In the afternoon we just hit out along the County line and Skydive traverse which is getting pretty icey and interesting. Dropped Stag Leap, Cougar Glades, and Decline which were all a bit bumpy at the top, like big terrain parks in the middle and a bit scratchy at the bottom. Last loop dropped back through White Pass which was starting to harden in the shadows and then a final blast down Skydive which showed the same three sections as all the other runs.

On the hockey front the Riders won their second play off game 6-0 (the first was 7-0) so unless Golden can turn something on at home later this week we could be on our way to a divisional final. Canada could take a lesson, currently trailing the USA 2-3 despite out shooting them 2 shots to one on the game so far - fingers crossed for the third period.

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