Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 96 happy Paddy's day

And what a wierd day it was weather wise. As before because the weather was so interesting it is more important to look at that rather than just where we skied although that was also not without interest.

Yesterday we had the huge warm up which left the hill as mush from top to bottom and where it had been skied it was tracked and very rough. Overnight there was rain which some thought fell as snow on the hill but it didn't. It rained top to bottom then froze down to just above the base.

We arrived at the hill with base temps of about +3 but everything feeling a bit wild with wind damage showing and more wind blowing around the hill. Almost as soon as we started skiing it started snowing and stayed that way for over two hours. At it's height it must have been coming down at over 5 cms per hour and then around midday it stopped and the sun came out.

For the rest of the day we had some warming in the sun cloud mix at the top and a lot of warming at the bottom which quickly turned to slush. As soon as this had been settled we were into big ice pellets falling for the last hour of the day top to bottom. So all in all 4 seasons in one day with some new snow.

We decided to start on the old side as we hadn't been there for a while but found that the mixture of boiler plate refrozen uneven base, new soft snow, flat light and socked in viz made the whole thing very challenging. We drifted around for a couple of hours finding all sorts of difficult stuff and strange as it sounds the only really good skiing was in Kangaroo which had not frozen so it was soft and in the tree line so you could see - we did it several times. Time to have a go at the new side.

To be continued ............. much later as we have just got back from the Riders game which they lost 3-2 in double overtime so it's very late. This means we are out of the play offs, season over. We were here to see the first game of the season in September and the last game in March so that's kind of nice and there's always next season.

Back to skiing. The New side was just like the Old side, uneven boiler plate and wet fresh with bad light. We poked around on White pass finding that Lift Line of all places was the best snow. Eventually we tried a few runs through Anaconda/Bootleg and 1-2-3s and found something that felt a bit like soft snow then time for a late lunch.

In the afternoon I took a gamble and headed out to Decline. If I was right it would be soft snow on a firm base at the top and getting softer as you went down. If I was wrong it was going to be dust on crust boiler plate and a very long afternoon for me. In the event I was more right than I had hoped for and after a few turns in Decline it skied soft all the way down which in many ways felt like powder. Only thing to do was try Stag Leap which at a quarter past 3 was there for me to have first tracks ! Just as good as Decline, as was Sydive which was mostly untracked in the late afternoon snow storm and an ideal finish.

Toughest part of the day was the ski down from the base of Skydive which was in pure elephant snot and straight lined at walking pace and even then some polling required. Wonder what tomorrow will bring.

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