Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 39 is it getting better or are we just getting used to it

A very good question as I thought today was, well if not ok, at least tolerable whilst a number of people I met were saying it was just as bad as ever.

As promised I went to the Old Side to check things out and even took a trip down the Bear groomer to see if it was as ugly as everyone said - actually it seemed ok to me but then maybe the groomers did some good overnight work. Elsewhere Sunny Side, Boomerang and Cedar ridge were just ugly icey bumps with no sign of wind sift despite the cutting wind that was blowing and some mountain snow which didn't amount to anything.

Exploration of the Old Side was not helped by the fact that the Haul Back lift was down. Bearing in mind that the last two times I went to the Old Side the Boomerang Lift was down I am tempted to think that perhaps it would be a good idea if before getting the new Polar Peak lift to run (now scheduled for the 14th) it might be a good idea to make sure the existing lifts are running ok - but what do I know.

Temps were down at -2 at the bottom and -7 at the top and probably only rose a degree or two all day. The base was down to a very solid 152 cms at mid mountain but the temps did allowing snow making to continue on the lower runs some time into the morning so that most of the brown bare patches are now covered. We went to the New Side -

Just like yesterday the cold temps had frozen what was there and conditions ranged from nice soft blow in to boiler plate. We spent all day trying runs off White Pass and did most of them at least twice, summarised as -
Lift Line/Big Bang - still a challenging drop to Whitepass but almost every condition to be had on the way down and a bit more blow in than of late.
Surprise Trees - no real sign of new snow and a hard crunchy surface all the way down. Watch for the rope on the ski out into Silver Lining which has been lowered to the point where it can strangle the unwary.
Anaconda Glades - I guess where the snow has blown from Surprise. Nice blow in to be had in all the chutes we tried - best snow of the day.
Bootleg Glades - a bit hard on the base but ok dust on crust for the most part
1-2-3s - another really nice run with a bit of soft snow blown in but mostly a firm surface taking a good edge.
Concussion chutes - totally varied and unpredictable. Deep soft blow in and sheet ice and that changed from turn to turn all the way down.
Alpha Centauri - some of the best snow blown in just on the far side of the trees.
Easter bowl - great windsift at the top but very hard icey bumps lower down and the light always seemed to be flat.
Cougar Glades - biggest mistake of the day. Hard refrozen tufted ice all the way down without even a flake of soft snow to be seen.
Decline - great skiing on blow in on a reasonably forgiving base. Both times we exited via the trail into Easter as the lower section was likely to be ugly at best and dangerous at worst.

The forecast is calling fot some pretty dramatic precip events over the next two weeks. We have all been around long enough to know that you deal with one day at a time and tomorrow is likely to be much the same as today.

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