Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 57 yet another really good day

Sad to say it was yet another day that I spent all day on the New Side so there is no Old Side report but I will make a real effort to get over to the Old Side tomorrow as long as there is no chance of the Polar Chutes opening which I have to say looked pretty awesome as I looked up into them as I skied across on the reverse traverse for the last run of the day.

We had been threatened with a snow/rain mix overnight with the rain coming in the morning on the back of warming temps. In the event we got 19 cms of fairly creamy snow overnight and although temps got to about +3 at the base and -1 at the top during the day the odd bits of precip seemed to come down white (heavy snow or ice pellets) to me when they fell, off and on during the day. Some buddies said there was light rain at about 5 in the morning but I didn't see it and it certainly hadn't affected the snow on the hill.

The base rose to a respectable 238 cms and because the snow has been top to bottom on the hill the lower parts of the runs are starting to get in good shape with even Decline, Skydive and Stag leap getting not too badly affected by undergrowth in the lower sections. With the snow coming down a near zero temps I went to the New Side to get better dryer snow.

The first trip up Timber didn't go well with the chair stopped for 10 minutes but on the plus side this meant that I arrived at White Pass (which had been closed) just as it was opening. The I bowl was closed at the shoulder so I had a couple of runs down through the Gun bowl and Quite Right area which was in poor flat light but around 20 cms of mostly untracked fresh snow.

When the I bowl opened I did a couple of loops across the idiot traverse and down Surprise Trees. The surprise was that the winds at this stage had become so strong that I lost sight of the traverse several times and on one occasion had to stop skiing in Surprise Trees as the viz was down to (quite literally zero) in the blowing snow.

Next to open was Anaconda and I did a couple of very enjoyable loops which involved traversing in to the Knot Chutes (Tight knot each time) and then dropping into Anaconda. First time I just hiked the hump but next time went a couple of chutes in, but both times it was deep soft hero snow which made the tight lines pretty easy. Exits were via the trees in Bootleg glades which were mostly untracked. Second time through I heard some whooping from the Currie Chutes and guessed that Currie had opened.

The rest of the day was spent looping out into Currie, first on the low traverse and later on the high one as it opened. What we didn't get opened was the Polar Peak chair, the Saddles and Lone Fir, but we can wait as they will all be awesome as and when they come on stream.

Not much to say about the remainder of the loops as they wee all awesome in hero snow where you could just carve big GS turns at maximum speed and enjoy the ride. Even at the end of the day the lack of crowds meant that untracked, or lightly tracked options were available. The running order where conditions were all equally good was (or at least as far as I can remember after several beers) Stag Leap, Cougar Glades, Window Chutes, The Brain, Decline, Stag Leap again, Easter bowl with a left cut into Spinal Tap, and the final rip down Skydive.

I can't vouch exactly for the running order as all runs merge into one looking back on them as they were all soft deep fresh snow with plenty of new lines to be found. Some snow called for in the overnight with temps starting to cool tomorrow so it looks as if we have gotten away lightly from what could have been an ugly rain event and the possible 5 cms of new snow would put the hill right back in great shape.

Over the last very busy weekend I met dozens of blog readers who made some very kind comments on what I am doing here so thanks for that and if you like what you see tell a friend. Just to answer the three most frequently questions I was asked -
1. No, I have no official standing with the hill and no financial backing or sponsorship. I do this just for fun. In fact I have turned down several advertising offers to keep this blog independant. If I start taking money it always raises the question of whether my views are genuine or am I being paid to hold them.
2. Whilst the blog is not interactive you can always post comments after each day. If you want a more detailed view on anything email me direct at
3. I don't post pictures or videos because I don't want to waste my ski time during the day taking them. In any event there are plenty of other sites that do stuff like that much better than I could so let's leave it to them


  1. hmmm tight knot to anaconda eh? Did you ski all of tight knot to the idiot traverse, or stay high? Simon's Crack would have been pretty nice yesterday...

  2. tight knot to the I traverse for me - i always get temted to do just one more turn.