Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 121 Final day of Furnival and more fresh powder

What an end to the season. Overnight we had another 5 cms of fresh giving a starting base of 453 cms which is the highest I can remember at any time in the last 7 years. Arriving at the the hill it was -2 at the base and -6 at the top and snowing which it did all day. The difference between today and yesterday was that yesterday things warmed up pretty quick and by early afternoon we had a rain line moving up the hill, today it stayed cold enough so that the snow stayed as snow top to bottom all day, in other words a full on winter ski day in the third week in April. The rain yesterday has come a fair way up the Old side (only side open on Furnival) so that the top was great fresh untracked powder but about half way down it was fresh on a rain crust. The interesting thing was that the crust wasn't the boiler plate that we all expected but rather soft mushy ice (a bit like a slushy) so that when you banged an edge in you got an edge set rather quicker and firmer than you expected and as a result nearly took a header down the slope. Once you worked out what was happening and edged two footed it became very easy and forgiving skiing. During the day we looped pretty well everywhere and found great powder on top and pretty chunky stuff lower down which got better during the day as the underlying rain crust softened in the warming temp but at the same time new powder gave a good soft covering, a strange combination. We went as far skiers right as Easter bowl which was good and only lightly tracked but with a very chunky exit on Freeway. On the left we went as far as the Snake ridge sign line which was also great powder on top and very challenging crud lower down. All the rest in between (Cedar ridge, Boom bowl, King Fir, Bear chutes, Kangaroo etc) was great powder of sorts becoming tougher, in fact the greatest challenge was the light which was very flat and foggy in places most of the day. Skied through to last bell and arrived at the top of Bear just gone 4. Only game in town was a traverse then a long side step traverse into Skydive which I got into just at the point where it splits from Decline. The result was, first third awesome powder mostly untracked, middle third ok but a little crunchy where it was setting up, final third very hard work in pretty cruddy conditions - overall well worth the hike to be skiing awesome powder on the last run of the season. Beer and music and now a quiet night in. Watch this space for a season summary report.

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