Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 48 near enough a perfect ski day in my view

Of course my view will be a minority as so many people where whinging about how cold it was. It always amazes me that so many people fail to appreciate that skiing is winter sport and that involves cold weather. I am sometimes tempted to suggest that if you don't like the cold perhaps you should consider the possibility that skiing just may not be the sport for you.

On the way to the hill it was -18 and they were calling -20 on top. Things did warm a bit during the day but even late in the afternoon the mercury at the White Pass base was around -15. The boards showed 22 cms of fresh during the last 24 hours and although a lot of that came during the day yesterday we had a good covering of fresh powder to start with. Of course all these figures are averages and I am told that probes used by patrol to test the new snow did get up to 50 cms in certain pockets. The base was up to 184cms which is now getting on towards the 2 metre level at which everyone starts to relax for the season.

We went to the Old side hoping that the Cedar High Traverse would be open and we could get out to Snake Ridge which was closed early yesterday and must have some great powder. We were disappointed as the traverse was closed all the way down the Alpine Way which meant that the far side of Cedar was out of our reach.

We spent the morning dropping off Cedar Ridge a few ways, King Fir twice, Linda's Run, Bear chutes, Buckshot, Boom Ridge and generally the whole Boom area. The snow was good with plenty of soft snow (even some untracked near the trees) although you did still hit the base from time to time which given the start to the season was only to be expected. Conditions were a little tricky as the new snow had come down so cold and dry it offered no resistance when compared with the hero snow of the past few days and we all found ourselves blasting through what we had supposed to be some slowing deep snow at high speed and having to bang out a couple of turns to get things back under control.

We did four returns through Kangaroo which was officially open for the first time today and to celebrate I managed to blow a ski off in the top section for the first time this season - funny old game. In summary when asked for my opinion in the locker room at lunch time I summed it up as saying "nothing on the the Old Side sucked".

In the afternoon we headed to the New Side and if anything found the snow a little heavier and easier to ski. We looped off White Pass and found good powder everwhere in the following order -
Cougar Glades - great powder, for some reason getting better as we got lower down, maybe something to do with all the tracks spreading out. Did the final left hitch at the bottom which for the first time this season proved ok.
Stag Leap - really great untracked powder through the trees and just as good in the run itself.
Anaconda Glades - Deepest snow on the hill with amazing untracked chutes that just threw powder over your head.
Bootleg Glades - getting nicer and deeper all the time.
Knot chutes - still managed to scrape my bases jumping in to the first chute but no real damage. Best snow was in the tight knot which for obvious reasons people tend to leave alone and as such is in great shape.
1-2-3s - just really nice skiing all the way down as reported by Lynda.

We were thinking of the Saddles but they were closed but I am told Lone Fir wasn't, may be a good place to look to tomorrow. We had some time to spare at the end of the day and put a loop in Surprise Trees and were amazed to find it mostly untracked, if you were prepared to cut close to the trees, even at the end of the day. Last run of the day was Skydive which as always was great soft snow only lightly tracked.

Some angst was caused by the Polar Peak lift being run while it was not open. I know of a few unhappy bunnies who dipped down to check it out only to find it was closed and they were then too low to cut back and get any good skiing. I suppose that as the current record is that it has only been open for 18 minutes in 3 days and during that time it has notched up one broken ankle then maybe some thought is going into how it might be best used.

Finally today was the first day I skied on my new boots following their final adjustment. I strapped myself in first thing, didn't make any adjustments during the day and felt like I was wearing a pair of (high performance) carpet slippers - result.

Forecasts call for maybe another 20 cms tonight then 10 cms a day for the next 7 days. Bearing in mind this is a valley forecast and we normally get double on the hill this could be one quite acceptable weeks skiing.

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