Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 104 and so much better than we expected

In the familiar pattern temps dropped to -4 overnight but the day was sunny and warming fast. As it turned out there was haze which thickened from lunch time onwards so although temps rose to + teens there was no direct sunlight so the snow reacted rather differently from the last few days.

With the overnight freeze we took a relaxed view of starting times and didn't start skiing until about an hour after first bell at around 10 o'clock. As expected everything was frozen solid but a couple of runs down Bear to get me used to the rock skis that are now back in service until the end of the season soon proved things were softening.

This was a day when we got everything ( and I do mean everything) right. In the spring you always try to hit the various slopes just as they are softening but usually get there either too early ( ice) or too late ( slush) - today we were bang on time everywhere.

First few runs through the Sunny Side shoulder and the chutes below China Wall which were all very good with the snow just starting to take an edge. Next a few runs down Boom ridge which was softening quickly but by staying on the side you were able to make nice tight turns in the soft. During one of these we dropped the trees leading down to Cedar trail for the first time this season and found that even in the shadow the snow was taking a nice edge.

We decided to loop out to Snake so hit Boomerang which was soft but not crazy soft then went out on the traverse and had a great run run down Snake main and cut into Lower Gorby bowl. This was good soft snow but starting to get a little heavy. Next time round we went all the way to Steep and Deep on the grounds that being a little more north facing it would be in better shape. We were right and had an excellent run down in soft snow before cutting left into the tighter exit chute which was also soft.

Every trip back was via Kangaroo ( 3 times ) which was it's usual soft bumps in these conditions. After all that it was almost 2 and a late lunch.

Went to the New side in the afternoon and found Lift Line in ok condition and the Gun bowl soft but not too soft and therefore a good place to wind up the speed in the slush. Surprise trees were a bit too soft but Anaconda and Bootleg were soft in the sense of being old snow not yet melted, but a bit heavy. In fact Anaconda was so good that we did an extra loop just before closing and got back to White Pass on Trespass Trail.

Yesterdays final run down Skydive had been testing and with todays conditions not much different I almost passed but decided to give it a try. It was the run of the day - soft from top to bottom with no slush but all the bumps taking a nice edge. My theory is that yesterday softening was as a result of sun whilst todays was as a result of general warming but whatever it was Skydive was the run of the day.

In summary a much better day than anticipated and one where every slope we arrived at was just getting to it's best condition.

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