Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 113 back to winter again with some great powder

This weather really is the strangest ever. On Thursday we had rain, Friday it refroze to boiler plate, Saturday was a full on winter storm of snow which closed the hill and quite a few mountain passes, Sunday was a bluebird day with double digit temps and today we were back with full on winter conditions and snow all day - what a crazy season. On the way to the hill it was near to zero and overcast with snow. It snowed off and on all day (to be fair mostly hard grappel) and although lower mountain temps did get up to just about plus it was zero and below over all of the upper mountain. The result was that everything that had been soft yesterday (south facing slopes) was ugly, hard, icey, crusty, uneven crud which was only skiable with considerable application. North facing stuff ranged from challenging to awesome. We went to the New side where all of White pass was open with the exception of Knot chutes which must have been super icey and ugly. We went up an down a few times skiing in the general Heartland/Highline area and finding the skiing pretty tough and scratchy. A patroller buddy tipped us off that Anaconda was about to open so we dropped a very ribby line by the Knot chutes sign line to the shoulder and hit out along the Idiot traverse to wait for the fence to drop. Anaconda was very very deep and very heavy but with a variable base on the ice bed which ranged from bottomless to a couple of inches. The result was very challenging but super deep powder where I managed a massive stack as a result of the variable base but great fun. Bootleg was also variable but great powder. After a couple of Anaconda/Bootleg loops they opened Currie bowl. The signs in Currie said that everthing beyond Concussion was closed because of ice falls so the only real game was 1-2-3s which was good powder but bad viz and you had to choose your lines between the avi debrise tracks. We spent the rest of the morning looping 1-2-3s, alternating with Anaconda/Bootleg and getting good if heavy and challenging powder. In the afternoon we went to the Old side and found everything open. We went out the Easter bowl on the Lizard high traverse and with a bit of a step up got several great runs through Easter in what was totally awesome untracked deep north facing powder, and I do mean awesome. On one loop we took a trip into Spinal Tap which wsn't all that good being a bit tracked out and chunky. On a whim a buddy and myself hit out across Snake ridge. The ridge looked just awesome and untracked but a quick probe of the surface showed it was ugly sun crust and a drop in would have been a nightmare. We actually went out to the Fish bowl which gave even more awesome untracked deep north facing powder than we had so far down to the Redtree ski out. The ski out itself was ugly crust but just about skiable. Last run we came back to Bear and then side stepped Easter hitting the nearside untracked trees. Half way down we cut right into the side step and worked our way up to Skydive for a final blast down there in soft snow. More snow called for tonight (and the next 3 days) so early night and get ready.

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