Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 105 and yet another good day on the hill

Yes, despite our misgivings today was pretty good. We got to the hill with temps of -2 and therefore knew that anything that had melted yesterday would be ugly but anything that had not would be in pretty ok shape. The official word from the hill as usual was "stick to the groomers" whilst the correct advice would have been to stick to the North facing slopes until the South facing slopes had started to soften, however who am I to object to bad advice which keep crowds away from the parts I want to ski. The conditions today were mountain snow which continued in flurries all day. Friends arriving late from town confirmed that there was no precip in the valley floor so what we had all day was genuine mountain snow. This didn't make for much accumulation but it did at least keep the sun off the south facing slopes which never softened but did not suffer from sun damage. We decided to try the Old side but it became apparent after a couple of runs that the crud band was right across the middle of most runs and the only place to go was back to the New side where we have been for about the last 10 days. On the New side we discovered an amazing few lines form the top if Timber Chair to the base of White Pass. Normally the trees to skiers right of Lift Line are pretty scratchy and so not skied that much. Now all the chutes are well filled in and so some straight line drops are possible but are being ignored through habit. We broke the habit and had some great skiing. Morning loops when we got to the New Side were... Gun bowl/Anaconda/Bootleg - all very good, even Gun bowl with the fresh covering making the surface at least ok. High Saddle/Nearside Easter bowl - amazing to be skiing (and I mean skiing as opposed to just being able to slither through) the Saddles at this time of year. Found a ski in the bottom of the chute and reunited it with a skier about 100 metres below which involved about a 6 ft crown jump whilst carrying a ski, a clear deposit in the karma bank. The rest good but with crap light. Lone Fir/One Step Beyond/ Easter - Actually Lynda took LF and I took OSB and both were great soft snow if a little more tracked up than yesterday, Easter remained great soft snow. Skydive - Very good in the top two thirds and very crunchy in the lower third. The best technique to deal with this was skiing fast and hard so that the individual death cookies had no effect and the average of the many impacts from fast skiing gave a kind of average effect which was not far off hard powder. In the afternoon it was much the same... High Saddle/ Easter - just like this morning, the jump off the crown was still about 6 ft and Easter remained soft. Decline/Window chutes - Top of Decline really good soft snow, Window chutes pretty ok and a nice log jump in the middle section if you reversed it right to left. Last couple of turns in death cookies pretty clunky. Stag Leap - ok all the way down getting a little more crunchy in the last third. Knot Chutes/Gotta Go - really some of the best snow hitting it from the left hand side and then all the way down into 3's and to Trespass Trail. Skydive - final rip very good. Bumps in the top, great top two thirds and then the final third what looked like death cookies but were actually rather softer than they looked. A number of beers with good buddies. The last 14 days of the season are forecast for precip on every day, mostly a snow or rain snow mix but a couple of rain days. None the less this is a valley forecast so it could be a stellar end to a great season - who knows.

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