Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 68 quite tough conditions all things considered

Today dawned overcast with temps of -5, no new overnight snow, the snow base now down around 240 cms with kind of light mountain snow off and on all day. We had some pretty strong ridge line winds so that there was blow in all over but the conditions were variable. In a nut shell where the wind had blown it was hard ice crust, where the snow had been subject to up slope winds it was wind slab which was grabby on the tips but with wash out on the tails and later as the blow in came from down slope winds it became great smooth wind groomed brainless skiing.

The Old side provided the first challenges with -
Boomerang - slabby blow in.
Linda's - more slabby blow in at the top with some nice soft fill in lower down.
Bear Chutes - blow in starting to get a bit less slabby.
Steep and Deep - nice wind blown at the top and actually deep powder in the right hand chute into lower Gorby.
Snake ridge - good if you picked the folds in the terrain to give you soft tracks.
KC chutes - a bit scratchy on the way in and on the way out but great powder all the way down the middle section.
Cedar Ridge - Right side, good down draft snow now forming good wnd groomed smooth snow which was easy skiing.
3 returns through Kangaroo - as always ugly icey bumps with some soft cover, very tough skiing.

Last run before lunch down Boom which by then had tons of down draft soft which was some of the easiest wind grooming you were ever going to see. Because of the varied conditions, the scratchy base and of course the flat light it was vert difficult but rewarding mornings skiing.

In the afternoon we went to the New side where there appeared to be a bit less wind but there was still plenty of evidence of blow in.

Cougar Glades - great soft snow if you held the tight tree line on the left. During this I tried to take a line which involved dropping a 6 ft roll, ducking under a fallen tree then diving into an untracked glade. I failed to notice a branch pointing down off the fallen tree and smacked my head so hard that I was knocked over, saw stars, wrenched my neck back and had a huge lump on my head through the helmet. A message to those who say you don't need a helmet, today without mine I would most likely be dead now - think about it.

The Brain - great soft snow skiing still to be had if you looked hard enough in the trees.

The Brain again - having met up with abuddy who hadn't done the Brain yet this year it had to be done again and was just as good a second time but of course with a slightly different line.

One Step Beyond - I am told the chute beyond Lone Fir is technically part of Easter Meadows but in my own mind I have named it One Step Beyond. The chute is tighter and steeper than any of the Saddles but as it doesn't get skied much (at all) it remains in great shape.

Spinal Tap - still very good soft snow but still with a couple of sink holes to avoid on the way out and a bit technical as you come out through the trees.

Michy Chutes - just over the ridge line from the prevailing wind so predictably full of soft blow in snow.

Skydive - final ripper during which I met up with a couple more buddies so we ended up with quite a collection of the usual suspect for last rip, it's getting to be something of a club in there every day.

Early night in anticipation of the forthcoming weather cycle which is looking pretty encouraging for the weekend.

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