Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 30 a much better day than anyone had expected

With a starting temp of-14, no significant snow overnight and overcast conditions all day we really expected a pretty average day just like yesterday. In the event although temps never got much above -10 and the snow continued very very light all day the hill somehow was in much better condition than it had been yesterday.

First thing I bumped into Neil ,an Aussie buddy from last year who is over for 6 weeks. He tells me his son Paul who we skied with last year is an avid reader of this blog and will be glad to know that the old man had an awesome day skiing. Better luck in getting the old feller to pay next year.

We went to the Old Side on the basis that Cedar High Traverse had been so slow over the past two cold days that there probably was some good snow on the end of it out beyond Snake Ridge. The light dust of overnight snow seemed to have a strange rejuvenating effect on the hill both in appearance and performance. The fresh snow made everything look so much better whilst the underlying conditions improved with the slick not being quite so slick and the heavy snow having lightened up back into genuine soft. Don't ask me how this sort of stuff happens, it just does.

Sunny side was a real pleasure with firm bumps taking a nice edge. First loop out across Cedar took us to Steep and Deep which was great soft partially tracked all the way down. We took a hitch back down Boom Ridge ( soft snow on hard bumps) before getting back to the start of the loop via Boom ( as per Boom Ridge). Next loop took in Redtree which was very much as Steep and Deep with some nice soft deep stuff just below the final line of alders. Another hitch on Boom Ridge and there was just time for a run down Cedar Ridge right which had improved a lot and softened before running back through Boom to the base for lunch.

You don't have to be a genius to work out that the morning require three pulls up Haul Back and as there is only one way worth skiing back from the top of Haul Back to the bottom of Boom - three runs through Kangaroo. The Roo hadn't really improved much and was icey bumps all the way down but hey, we have found a good way down onto the cat track at the half way mark so who cares.

After lunch we went to the new side and did 5 ripper runs on the front side -
Decline - Icey bumps in the top, nice and soft in the middle and enough dust on the lower section to improve edge grip. Right side easiest, left side most fun.
Cougar Glades - Nice and soft all the way down getting a bit scratchy on the chutes on the left side ski out.
Stag Leap - Approach much enlivened by a ski school group stopped on the Currie Creek shoulder with the instructor across the track addressing the group and the group members strung out along the traverse - a totally dumb action even by ski school standards. The Leap was soft all over but particularly good on the left side. Similarly left side ski out was a little scratchy but good skiing on the berms.
Window Chutes - Log drop at least starting to look a bit more normal but getting harder on the landing. The stream bed on the way out is a bit icey but it turns nice and soft just below the narrow section down to the cat track.
Final run down Skydive - Icey bumps at the top then great soft snow all the way to the bottom if a bit twiggy in the final section.

A much better day than anticipated without any real understanding of what had gone so right. A couple of beers in the bar then back home to watch Canada beat the USA 4-1 in the hockey - bring on Russia in the final. Hot tub and early night.

Things looking quite optimistic. There are moist disturbances coming in from the west but the timing and amount are uncertain. Worst case looks like 20 cms between now and the weekend and best case could be more than double that figure, fingers crossed.

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