Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 32 Surprisingly Good

The official information gave us 8 cms in the last 24 hours of which I guess most of it was the grappel storm of yesterday afternoon. Whilst I had some hopes that the storm would make things a bit better, in the event it out performed my best expectations. The base came up to 160 cms which is pretty good. Everyone keeps going on about how poor things are compared with last year's awesome conditions but this is simply rubbish. As a matter of fact at this time last year the base was 147cms and it remained very sketchy going into January - the totally awesome conditions that everyone remembers from last year didn't start until January so as we are a head we should just chill out and wait for more snow.

Temps on the way to the hill were about -1 and during the day it probably didn't get much above zero at the base. Up top it seemed to be about -5 all day and we had light flurries off and on all day which didn't do a whole lot for the base but made us all feel a lot better. Yet again we went to the New Side and yet again reports I got later from the Old Side tended to confirm that this was a good call.

The crowds today seemed less but that may just be because everything opened pretty well straight off the bat (a slight delay on Currie) so bodies were distributed evenly over the hill. Even allowing for that crowds were down on yesterday and my guess is that we will see a steady decline over the next couple of days until we back (almost) to pre Christmas numbers.

The effect of the new snow was to create a fantastic smooth and slightly heavy (but in the best possible sense) base of soft snow that you could push around and treat almost as hero snow. The result was great skiing on the untracked blow in everywhere on the New Side.

Not a lot of point of listing the runs as they were all much the same and great grappel hero snow.

Surprise trees - wonderful snow.
Anaconda Glades - strange opening with the fence down but the signs green so we got first tracks.
Bootleg Glades - as we were first in Currie they were untracked and we had a great run if crunchy under foot.

Later in the day we started working our way out along the low traverse in Currie Bowl and just kept finding great skiing in Concussion, Tom's, Easter bowl, Cougar Glades and all other drops off the traverse.

Later we started working our way onto the front runs and did them all top to bottom for the first time this year and they were -
Cougar Glades - great untracked skiing all the way down, particularly if you kept to the left hand side. Even the lower section was ok with the new snow forming a cushion on the rain crust.
Skydive - Fantastic deep powder in the top, great skiing in the middle section and very patchy alder strewn stuff in the bottom.
Decline - Awesome powder on top and some ok, if a bit tree riddled skiing lower down, the new snow made the crust ok.
Stag Leap - Really awesome tree skiing at the top then just as for Decline for the remainder.

Looks to me like the front runs are just about starting to come into play with even the bottom sections skiable with care.

So it's New Years Eve and it looks like a quiet night and an early start tomorrow in the hope of a quiet hill and maybe even a little extra snow to play with.

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