Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 19 a significant reduction in quality

Now, to be fair a number of people in the Griz Bar tonight did not agree with my view that things had become pretty scratchy and thought that I was being over critical. That having been said this blog is about my views and here they are.
For the past few days I have made the point that despite deteriorating weather conditions the skiing conditions have held up quite well. Today was the day that the conditions took their toll and the skiing, particularly on the Old Side deteriorated. In summary the conditions on the hill fell back to the worst they have been all season as confirmed by the snow base reducing to 116 cms, almost 20 cms below what it was few days ago. This was further confirmed by the lower slopes showing rocks and bare earth peeking through groomed ice.
Initially when I got to the hill it looked like we had had overnight rain at least on the lower slopes due to their beat up natures. This didn't make sense as from my own observations there had been no precip over night although to be fair these observations were from my hot tub on the back deck while drinking beer and through the blinds of my bedroom window while getting up for a pee in the middle of the night so it would be hard to describe them as scientific.
The explanation was the incredibly warm temps which have been up to +7, been above zero for the past 48 hours and had the effect of melting the snow and base back to the extent described. Despite a forecast of -4 overnight temps on my deck at the start were +4 just as an example.
The Old Side was a mess of re frozen crud up top, heavy mush in the middle and groomers frozen to boiler plate lower down. I suppose the groomers might have been ok but then we don't ski groomers. Not worth listing all the runs we tried in the morning but again the high traverse across Cedar Bowl was closed so we couldn't try Snake Ridge and beyond. Some of the stuff was ok such as Boom Ridge and Boom bowl but even there it was soft to start but hard crunchy ice in the lower section.
The New Side was actually a lot better if only because it was higher. We skied it all afternoon as the temps fell so that by the end of the day even at the base temps were down to zero. The effect was that the snow that had softened during the day was re freezing fast later on. Up top things became a bit heavy and chunky but low down we were back to ice with bare patches on the ski out.
Anaconda, 1-2-3s, Concussion several ways and Easter bowl all conformed to heavy chunky stuff up top and a mixture of refrozen crud and or soft melt in the lower sections. In summary a very mixed day in difficult conditions which were just ugly on the Old side but rather better on the New.
Last run was in snow actually falling up high. By the time we got in the bar snow was falling top to bottom on the hill although it was very wet at the base. In the hot tub on the back deck it was still snowing while we drank beer and temps were down to -1 so tomorrow could hold something quite interesting and the damage to the hill could be on the way to being repaired.

1 comment:

  1. My wife insists that she heard rain falling on our tin roof around 5am Sunday morning> That might confirm why the hill was in the condition you found it in upon arrival yesterday.