Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 82 lets call it Anaconda Monday

Today started a bit like yesterday at -11 with bluebird skies. Where it differed was that whilst the sun warmed up things down town on the hill even direct sunlight didn't really have the effect of softening upper mountain snow but more of that later. After the exertions with our recent guests Lynda decided to take a day off so I had all day on the hill to amuse myself.

Yesterday I was tipped the wink that whilst the patrol were setting up the Freeski course one of the start flags was dropped off the ridge line by mistake so someone had to ski down Polaris to get it back and then boot pack back up. My intention was to hike Polar Peak, drop off the back then hike up the boot pack a couple of times. On the way to the locker room another buddy broke the news that a bunch of slednecks (snowmobilers) had got in and trashed the snow off the back so it was time for plan B.

Went to the new side and had a couple of loops in White Pass finding that most of the snow had dried out and the conditions were crisp firm bumps. After the sun had been on Knot chutes for an hour or so I decided to give them a hike to see if the snow was soft - bad decision. Everything was refrozen crud which hadn't softened in the least since yesterday so I stuck to chute one and just came down in a series of hard jumps.

I then struck on a plan which was so simple I can't imagine why I haven't thought of it before. I hit out along the Idiot traverse to Anaconda Glades and dropped the first chute then came down through the near trees in Bootleg Glades. Next the second chute in Anaconda and back the same way, then the third, fourth, fifth and sixth. Each chute in Anaconda gets steeper and tighter as you go across so the last run just before lunch was very steep and tight. The snow was excellent. north facing, soft, and in many places untracked or at least lightly tracked. Then a late lunch.

After lunch went back to the new side and decided that the Currie chutes would have softened in the sun so dropped the far chutes in Concussion - wrong again. Concussion was also refrozen crud most of the way down and whilst not difficult it was just hard work and not a whole lot of fun. Did two more loops out on Skydive traverse which is very icey and scratchy and took Stag Leap and Decline which were bumped up but great, just like a terrain park then a little ribby at the bottom. With a little time in hand traversed all the way out along the top of Anaconda until the final chute before the closed area, didn't quite have the minerals to drop the skis straight into the fall line at the top of the last tree chute but jumped two turns before pointing down hill and that was about as exciting as I want to get.

Final rip down Skydive itself was just like the other two front runs but with the longer middle pitch the terrain park section enabled some serious ( if sometimes rather more than intended) air to be taken. Beer, hot tub and early night - great day.

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