Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 13 free skiing from now to the end of the season

No, not a fantastic deal offered by RCR to customers but my take on the season pass situation. If you take the price I paid in the early bird sale and then compare it with the daily ticket price you will find that the pass paid for itself yesterday - as far as I am concerned everything from now to the end of the season is free. Of course there are other key points like when the average cost drops below 10 bucks a day (around day 85 this year) and getting the cost below 7 bucks a day which should just about be possible by the season end.
When we got to the hill today they were claiming 9 cms of fresh which seemed a bit optimistic but bearing in mind this was in the last 24 hours so quite a lot got skied in yesterday I guess it was about right, particularly when we got up higher in the bowls. Big surprise was at the base of Elk where the board claimed a base of 150 cms up from 109 yesterday. Now we all know that hills over claim the snow base early season and use the first big falls of the season the even things out (oh yes you do guys) but even by these standards it seemed a bit excessive. During the day all over the hill the other boards were only claiming 115 cms so false alarm and a case of someone obviously having had a hard night last night.
Forecast was for cloudy this morning becoming sunny so it was no surprise that we had a bluebird day right from the off with a bit of ridge line cloud forming in the afternoon. The temp started at -12 and stayed there all day with perhaps a little warming in the direct sunlight. By evening temps were dropping and we may yet have our first -20 start tomorrow.
The new snow must have come down at around -7 as it was light dry powder. On the one hand it was nice to ski but on the other it didn't do much to help the base, you were for the most part skiing on yesterdays surface with a light covering. Of course everything looked a lot better with new snow and in truth did ski quite a lot better except that surface obstructions were covered and quite a few of us got tripped up on something unseen.
We went to the Old Side and took a few trips across Cedar bowl to Snake, Steep and Deep and similar areas . The new snow on top was nice and soft and untracked but the exits remained challenging. KC chutes seemed to have a bit more space between the bushes but poor light did make it all a bit interesting. We spent the rest of the morning dropping Cedar Ridge which as I have said before you could ski all day and still find new ways down. The ridge was starting to open up a bit in the new snow so we had several new routes.
The rest of the morning was filled in on Boomerang and Linda's. Bear chutes provided a real treat being mostly fresh snow because of the bushy entrance from Bear keeping most skiers out.
After lunch we went to the New Side and spent the afternoon looping out a long the Idiot Traverse and then either dropping Surprise Trees (going further into Triple Trees each time round) and back to White Pass or turning left into Anaconda Glades and working our way along the chutes each time on the way to the bottom. The new snow made everything really soft and powdery but there was still plenty of alders and other undergrowth to prevent easy flowing sking, in fact typical early season stuff made a bit better by some snow.
Finished with a rip out to Easter bowl on the low Currie Traverse and then another final loop through Cougar Glades. Because of the hard traverse (far side of Currie still closed due to work on Polar Peak lift) there had been very little traffic so we were back to nice, unskied powder on yesterdays lightly tracked surface. I did look at the side steps up to the Saddles but decided that with only a light covering they would not have improved and the juice would not be worth the squeeze.
A few beers in the excellent Griz Bar followed by more beers in the hot tub under the stars in temps of -15 on the back deck. Some disturbed weather in the outlook but no precip called for until Wednesday.

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