Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 71 a much better day than I expected

Overnight temps rose amazingly to +7 but fell back to about +2 by morning which was a great contrast from the forecast -5 which we had been promised. Not much precip but the weather feature of the night was wind, tons of it. We had power outages at the house due to falling trees and the news on the radio this morning was about power outages all over the Elk Valley for the same reason. Arriving at the hill we were told that the Old Side was down due to a tree having fallen on one of the power cables - a pattern was starting to emerge. During the day several fallen trees were to be seen on the hill.

With the decision taken for me I went to the New Side - Lynda was taking the day off due to a severe attack of the Fernie flu which everyone seems to be going down with. The conditions showed severe wind damage but when you got into it the surface was great flat windgroomed soft snow pretty well everywhere you looked.

A quick run back under Lift Line and then the White pass chair confirmed just how good things were, really good. After that it was four loops of Knot Chutes ( great blow in powder) Anaconda Glades (awesome wind grooming) getting fresh tracks each time by going one chute further and Bootleg Glades, again awesome wind grooming in the trees.

Next was a traverse across the top of the Knot chutes ( third chute drop off a bit rowdy) and then first tracks in Gotta Go which was predictably steep and deep all the way down. Going out on the County Line I ignored the Saddles which still didn't have enough fresh to look attractive to me and hit Cougar Glades which were yet again untracked blow in and well on the way to awesome. Last run before a late lunch was to be Lone Fir but hiking the ridge I found it closed which was strange as everything else around it was open. Made do with a great rip down Skydive which was soft and easy, if a bit scratchy in the final section.

After lunch went back to the New Side although half way through the afternnon word came that the Old side was up and running. Not going there could have been a mistake as everyone who did reported great skiing in the Snake/Steep and Deep area. I satisfied myself with The Brain, Secret Chutes/Spinal Tap, Window Chutes, Stag Leap, Cornice Chute and of course the final rip down Skydive. Not much to say as all of these were just like everywhere else with great wind groomed blow in providing untracked powder in most places. Once again a hike up to Lone Fir proved to be a waste of time and i must find out what was going on there.

All in all an excellent day against all the odds. One more day of these unseasonably warm temps before the mercury starts to fall tomorrow night and with any luck we go into a weather cycle that could produce some more of the white stuff

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