Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 112 what a difference a day makes

Yesterday was crazy winter weather with snow puking down all day. Overnight the skys cleared so that temps dropped to -8 on the deck by morning and we had a perfect bluebird day with no cloud cover and temps getting up to +10 and maybe double that in the direct sunlight. As the New side was shut we went to the Old side and as we were riding up on the Bear chair we saw the sign line into Boom and Cedar ridge being dropped. Of course when we got there we found that the various "pay for powder" groups (first tracks, breakfast club etc) had been given their usual first run at the fresh tracks so that Boom and Cedar Ridge had been significantly tracked out. Old readers of this blog will know my view of the money making schemes that make fresh powder available only to those who are prepared to pay extra for it and the fact that I think these schemes have no place in mountain life. We hit Boom picking a route that had not been tracked and had about 50 cms of awesome powder giving us over the head face shots all the way down through Boom and Buck Shot. After that it was a couple of loops of Cedar ridge which if anything was even deeper than Boom with returns through Kangaroo which was similarly deep and awesome skiing. We got the word that the New Side was open so that's where we went. White pass chair wasn't open so we had a couple of loops up and down Puff Trees and Black Cloud which were deep and only partially tracked, at least for the first loop. We had a short wait then White Pass chair opened. We got up fairly early and dropped Gun Bowl and Highline trees which we amazingly deep - Currie bowl was closed but next time round they opened Knot chutes. For the rest of the morning we dropped the chutes and Surprise trees, Anaconda also being closed. The chutes were direct south facing and had slid to the January 17th rain crust, this wasn't as bad as you might think as the rains crust started to melt giving a sort of corn snow. Surprise Trees just got heavier and uglier until we went for a late lunch. Over lunch we concluded that only the North facing slopes would be any good so we went back to the Old side but we were distracted by the fact that Lizard bowl had opened and hit out to the far side a couple of times as those slopes were at least a bit north facing. The faces were tracked but ok. Next time round we side stepped into Spinal Tap from the Lizard side and this was the most awsome deep lightly tracked powder all the way down to the cat track. After that it was loops down Cedar ridge/King Fir which were ok but starting to set up. One return through Kangaroo was enough to show that it was too ugly even by Kangaroo standards so further returns were by Lower Linda's and Bear chutes, the latter ok but no more as it was very tracked up. For the final run I took the side step traverse from the foot of Easter and worked my way up into Skydive always taking the step up options so that after some hard work I found myself just above the first logging trail in Skydive. The final run down was great, after a worrying start when there was sun crust on the left and then a detour to the right that had been in the shade all the time and was therefore mostly untracked and soft powder. Beer, more beer and some nude table sliding (two young ladies and two young guys) in the Griz bar. Early night as a new weather syastem is on the way promising 10 cms over night and maybe another 20 on Monday night - bets being taken on a 5 metre party !!!

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