Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 20 things are improving

Well maybe things are improving or maybe I am just in a more optimistic frame of mind tonight, what ever the reason it seems to me that today was rather better day.
Last night's snow didn't amount to much (about 3 cms) and the base is down to 107 cms which was pretty well what it was when we started but when we got to the hill there was snow on the trees that generally make things look a bit nicer and temps were below freezing. In fact temps at the base started at -2 and got up to +1 while up the mountain it was minus single figures all day. The conditions were slightly overcast with a cold ridgeline wind which brought the occasional flurries but overall just a firming up of what we have.
I had a feeling that the Old Side was going to be pretty poor ( a view confirmed by a few buddies who skied it) so we stayed on the New Side all day. We linked up with our good buddy Lee who has managed to blag 3 weeks off work and skied together for the morning and some of the afternoon.
The New side was in good shape. The drops to White Pass from timber via Lift Line were all good soft snow and on the couple of occasions we ventured out to Mitchy Chutes we found Lazy Locals traverse actually in better shape than it had been and Mitchy's nice and soft all the way down to the rock band which unsurprisingly you had to negotiate with some edge to edge jumps - all very nice.
The Gun bowl and Surprise trees that we did morning and afternoon were ok. Viz in the Gun bowl was poor but improved during the day and skiing the blow in was fine if you didn't get too shaken by the traverse lines. Surprise itself was a bit chunky but mostly untracked and about on the right side of ok.
The good news today was that they seem to have finished splicing the cable on the new Polar Peak lift and were getting ready to start to hank on the chairs and start running some tests. Opinion seemed to be that it would be running for Christmas week ( assuming testing goes ok) and will then be up for the rest of the season. A bye product of this was that we could ski across to the reverse traverse and whilst I don't want to be a downer I do have to say that looking up Polar chutes didn't really fill me with the desire to take the lift to the top. Let's see how it works out.
Morning and afternoon we looped out and did most runs several time which were -
Concussion - Nice if a little slabby in the top.
Cougar Glades - very nice and soft all the way down where the trees had protected the surface from the wind but the exit is even more sketchy that it has been.
Easter bowl - ok snow all the way down but the wind sift proving a little grabby in places.
Anaconda Glades - very nice blow in at the top but hard lumps of debrise in the bottom.
Decline - Varied, hardish bumps in the top, very tough windslab in the middle and nice soft deep powder down to the trail out to Easter. That trail was much enlivened by a newly fallen tree that forced a detour into some quite tricky stuff on the edge of Easter.
Stag Leap - Last run and the best of the lot. Great untracked deep powder through the trees from the top of Sykdive to the top of Stag Leap. The whole of the top section untracked but a bit twiggy in super deep powder, the best on the hill.
Beers, hot tub with friend and temps falling so at least what we have should stay in good shape. No real precip in the outlook but things can change.

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