Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 17 a day to go adventuring

Today they opened Polar Peak which is the first time I can remember it being opened before Christmas so top marks to everyone on the hill for doing all the prep work. All a bit wasted on me as the viz was bad so the view wouldn't be any good, the snow looked variable to say the least and hiking 35 minutes into that just for bragging rights somehow didn't seem worth it to me. Everything else on the hill was open so there was more than enough really tough adventuring skiing to be had with no hiking.

Overnight temps had dropped lower than anticipated so that it was -20 in the Elk valley when we woke. By the time we got to the hill it was -14, over cast and snowing lightly which it did on and off all day. Given the temps the snow was coming down with almost no moisture content but firmed up a bit during the day so that by the end we had a reasonable soft covering with great prospects for tomorrow.

We decided to stay on the New side and from reports I have had from the Old side this seems to have been a pretty good plan. We looped up and down White Pass in the Gun bowl, Highline trees, Surprise trees (twice) and a few other places. It was all good soft snow still with a bit of the rain crust underneath.

With the snow getting thicker we headed out into Currie bowl and along the County Line and just like yesterday we found that the snow up top was soft and good, not many tracks and even down below the new snow had greatly improved the scratchy ski outs. We looped Cougar Glades, Decline, Currie Creek in ever improving conditions. Final run before lunch we hiked Cornice Ridge and dropped into Lone Fir which as always was tight, steep, lightly tracked with great powder underneath all the way down into Easter bowl - the first bit of the days adventuring.

In the afternoon Lynda went to the gym so even with a curtailed afternoon I started with Window Chutes and this time hit the big double log drop dead centre with loads of air and then great soft snow through the stream bed on the way out into Lizard bowl.

Next on the agenda was a hike up to the top of Knot Chutes. The first chute was great deep powder which was so easy that I jumped the shoulder into the second chute which proved to be a real bad idea as it was hard ice where it had avied to ground earlier in the week. A quick left traverse into Anaconda gave me the chance to drop the first Anaconda shoulder which was steep, deep and mostly untracked. Finally I took a right hook into into Bootleg Glades and dropped the near trees which again were untracked. A real adventure linking three double black diamond runs to get off the hill.

Riding up on the lift a guy mentioned that Corner Pocket was still in ok shape so I tried it. He was right, only one tire exposed and the new snow covering the hard pack base so that with some good edge to edge jumping it was quite enjoyable. As always finished with rip down Skydive which was in much better shape than recently and should get better still over night.

Looking for more snow overnight to add to the 135 cm base.

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