Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 3 When high means low

Today we had an Arctic high set in and the result was lower temperatures well below those that had been forecast.

This morning it dawned clear - the expression "not a cloud in the sky" is much over used but today it was just that, blue from horizon to horizon all day. The down side was the temp which was -21 as we arrived at the hill, getting up to about -10 mid day and down to -16 as we turned into the garage at the house at the end of the day.

Circumstances dictated a short day skiing. I haven't been all that happy at the way the car has been starting ever since we fired it up a week ago so today I phoned Fernie Ford for a check out. They could book me in at 2 so we could only ski 9-1 which was ok as there is snow in the forecast for the rest of the week and we might as well get this stuff done before the really good skiing starts.

Just like yesterday we hit the old side as we thought the snow would be best there. Although it was cold there was a bit of an in version and I would guess the temp at the top of Bear was a good 10 degrees warmer than at the bottom. It had to be cold as there was angel dust in the air at mid mountain and the snow cannons were blowing snow straight up in the air which may not yet have landed.

The whole thing was good practice for when it gets really cold (like -35) so we tried our bulk bought hand warmers from Canadian Tire, face coverings and a 4 layer strategy under the ski jackets - everything seemed to work ok so we are set for when it gets cold.

Toured round the old side just enjoying the sun. Hit Sunny side, Bow Trees, the bumps on Bear several times and just like yesterday found that the lower temps had hardened up (previously) soft snow so the skiing was pretty tough.

We started to move out into more interesting areas and skied Boom, Linda's twice (great job of de-aldering in the summer) and some great soft bumps on Boom ridge. Managed to pop a ski in Bear chutes taking some unexpected air over a log which was the first real fall of the season. Went out into Cedar bowl and tried the newly gladed area again a great job. We then went out to Snake ridge a couple of times and found very good soft snow at the top then had some pretty challenging stuff at the very bottom on the shoulder by KC chutes which was all alders and tree stumps.

Somewhere in there we managed 3 trips through Kangaroo which is still some of the best skiing even though the drop onto the cat track was a bit technical.

Early finish, starting problems on the car sorted while we had a relaxed lunch at Boston Pizza. Went back to the hill for a few beers with buddies then home for a hot tub. Forecast looks like it could be some serious snow later this week so fingers crossed.

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