Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 14 New snow New side day

Well the severe overnight temps never materialised so we had a -10 start with upper mountain temps staying there or thereabouts all day and the base warming by a few degrees. Conditions were overcast all day with mountain snow starting at the base and getting heavier as you got higher. As a result viz became very poor from about half way up White Pass and the top was totally socked in.
We decided to go to the New Side and for no real reason stayed there all day so I really can't say what the Old Side was like except to say that the locker room talk was of good powder in Cedar Bowl. The reports were calling 3 cms of fresh in the past 24 hours with a base of 119 cms. Clearly this was mountain snow which we never saw in the valley and it continued to fall all day probably adding at least another 3 cms during that time plus a fair amount of wind sift.
The result was that everything was in much better shape than yesterday and better than expected. All over parts of the hill that had been marginal no go areas became marginally ok and the stuff that had been ok was getting down right nice.
We spent some time alternating the loops between Surprise Trees ( much better and softer than of late) and Anaconda Glades (still steep and deep and mostly untracked but still rather bushy) to very good effect. On one trip to the bottom we did try Diamond Back which was great soft powder most of the way down but just a bit too aldery in the final pitch.
Just like yesterday (and I suspect several days to come) the far side of Currie bowl remained closed for Polar Peak lift construction although it was hard to see the closed signs in the very poor viz. Also like yesterday no one was making the effort to get out to the far side of Currie bowl because a little polling and side step traversing was required. We made the effort and it was really worth while.
A combination of new snow, wind sift and no skier traffic meant that all across Currie chutes was untracked boot high powder which had generally filled in by the time you looped back next time. All the entrances to Concussion (particularly Severe Concussion) were just great untracked powder chutes. Easter bowl had a few more tracks but there was plenty to go round.
We simply spent most of the day looping out into Concussion for untracked skiing, it rather reminded me of our first vacation here when the New Side lifts first went in back in 1999. Cougar Glades had also repaired to the point that we were back to soft untracked tree skiing. I know I keep going on about how few people are here but today, as often as not, we could not see anyone on the chairs in front of us on any of the lifts.
A final run was planned on the right side of Easter bowl but we got pushed further right than we wanted by the terrain and ended up in what turned out to be the top of Decline. This was awesome deep first of the season tracks in powder although a few small bushes got in the way all the way down to the first trail across. At that point we exited back to Easter along the trail which had been our intention all along but with some amazing powder experiences to relate at wings night in the pub.
Best news today was that I was able to get back on my rock skis having reconstructed a heal binding from the parts of three broken heal bindings in my closet - amazing that it all held together. Perhaps rock skis won't be needed much longer as we have some snow at least in the forecast for each of the next 8 days and this bearing in mind what we got today when no snow was forecast at all - here's hoping.

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