Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 55 one of the most enjoyable days skiing ever

I can't really work ot why today was so good but everyone in the Griz tonight agreed that it was. After the past week of total awesomeness it's a bit strange that today seemed so good but I guess that's just the way it goes.

Conditions helped with temps at the base staying at or around zero with the upper mountain temps a few degrees lower. We had 8 cms of reasonably cold overnight snow which had the effect of firming up the under layer of powder without actually making it hard so it just took a nice edge. The snow on top was light enough so that it didn't really affect the skiing but just made things look and feel nice. The base was up to 220 cms and the light was not too bad in the afternoon if a little socked in during the morning.

I had a report that Polar Peak chair was going to open so went to the New side to check. The new snow made real first tracks an option and on the first drop down Lift Line from Timber top to White Pass bottom it actually slabbed out on me. This is how the day went, you try and work out why it was so good -
Cut the trail to Cougar Glades and had first tracks all the way down. Not enough snow to float on but enough to give the feeling of powder.
Followed two guys into Skydive and had just resigned myself to third tracks when they stopped at the top to take pictures of themselves (hope they were worth it) so I grabbed first tracks in Skydive.
Got first tracks in the trees next time round on the way down to Stag Leap but a track appeared out of the right hand trees and crossed to the left of the run. Had to content myself with second tracks but as the others stayed left I didn't see them until the ski out.
The Brain was the next on the menu and a snowboard track cut in from the Decline side but then disappeared to the left of the creek bed giving me first tracks to the lower part and then out on to Skydive.
Although it was getting near Polar Peak opening I went for one more loop, this time through Window Chutes which were (you guessed it) untracked with the one metre log drop skiing ok and the narrow exit much less icey than yesterday.

Then they opened Polar peak and for the first time ever allowed us to ski the Polar Chutes from the chair. Some people were just looping the chutes and back to the chair but this didn't make any sense to me for two reasons. Firstly you had to cut out of the chutes early to get back to the chair missing the snow in the bottom which was the best and untracked, presumably because people were cutting out and missing it. Secondly the ride up was very cold in a cold wind and a loop to the bottom was just what was needed to warm you up ready for the next ride.

I did four loops -
Main Polar chute then a left cut into Severe Concussion which was still wonderful and soft filled in with wind sift.
Mamma Bear chute then the Reverse Traverse out to the top of Skydive followed by a drop through Secret chutes which may just have been the best snow all day with lightly tracked powder and big rollers off the dead fall.
Main Polar chute. I was trying to devise the toughest way down and think I did just that. After the Polar chute I traversed to Cornice Ridge, hiked the ridge and then dropped Lone Fir which was just awesome soft powder then a traverse across Easter to Spinal Tap which was deep tracked powder in the top and great terrain skiing jumping in and out of the creek bed on the lower section.
Mamma Bear chute again but this time followed by a quick traverse into Decline and then down that top to bottom with the bottom section now totally skiable and very soft.

For the record the snow in all the Polar Chutes was soft powder which was tracked up a bit by the end of the day but if you were prepared to work the smaller chutes and ski all the way down there was still plenty of fresh snow to be had.

To kill some time at the end of the day I looped into Surprise trees and was amazed to find only about half a dozen tracks that had been put in there all day, I guess the draw of polar had taken the traffic away.

A final rip down Skydive which as always was soft and deep with just a bit of work needed through the alders to finish. I don't know why it was so good today but it was. Perhaps it was the total lack of people (back to no line ups at all) or the opening of Polar Chutes, who knows, but it was a great day.

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