Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 22 the shortest day

It's kind of unusual for the shortest day to be a bluebird day like today, usually it's overcast and seems to get dark around 3 but with the forecasters calling for cloud and fog it couldn't come out as anything other than pure bluebird.
The temps are well on the way down with a start of -6 and I guess out of the direct sunlight it stayed that way all of the day and was -7 as we came off the hill. No new snow so the base reduced further to 103 cms which is pretty sketchy for this time of year.
Today we went to the hill with a different attitude which I think helped in us coming away with a better view of conditions than we otherwise might have done. Instead of expecting everything to be good we accepted that it wasn't and just went looking for what was good and being grateful when we found it.
We went to the New Side and found that although some of the snow had been packed in ugly by high traffic ( bottom of Lift Line, exit of Easter bowl and the lower parts of Tom's) there was still a considerable amount of ok, if well skied, snow in the upper parts of all runs. Gun bowl was very nice in the sun and runs back in White Pass through Quite Right and Surprise Trees were also good if slightly tough skiing.
Currie bowl was open all the way across as the final chair had been hung on the Polar Peak lift at 7 last night. On that subject the race is on and bets are being taken for the opening of the lift. It appears that if the inspectors can be satisfied before Friday then a pre holiday opening may be on but if not then the inspectors go off on holiday and its mid January before the lift opens - looks like this one is going to go down to the wire.
We spent the morning looping out to 1-2-3s, Concussion (3 different chutes) Tom's, Easter bowl and Anaconda Glades. All were ok skiing with a bit of blow in on a firm base on top and some more marginal stuff lower down.
At lunch I got word that the high traverse across Cedar bowl had been opened so I decided to hit out across it and give Steep and Deep a go - big mistake. As the traverse hadn't been open for several days there was no skier traffic in Steep and Deep and it had not been touched since the snowfall at the end of last week then the big melt down and refreeze. The result was some of the worst breakable crust I have even had to ride which could only be done by hard jumping all the way down which was hard work to put it mildly. We went back to the New Side.
We spent the rest of the afternoon continuing to loop the various parts of Currie bowl we had done in the morning which as there had been no change in the weather was exactly the same as the morning. Final run was a drop of Skydive from the top which from the Decline split was untracked over the knee powder down to the half way trail. The terrain was hard and it was a little twiggy but as good powder skiing as you will find all season. The hike out in to Cougar Glades (the bottom of Skydive looked like a Christmas tree farm) was a bit of hard work but well worth it.
A few beers and then completed my Christmas shopping - and it's not even Christmas Eve, I must be getting organised or something.

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