Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 58 a very happy Australia Day

On the hill most Aussies were given the day off to celebrate their national day in proper style (I think alcohol may have been involved) while the rest of us had yet another great powder day to deal with in the only way we know how - by trashing all the powder we could see.

You may recall that yesterday I said that it would only take about 5 cms of fresh snow to completely restore the hill and we got 6 cms overnight bringing the base up to about 235 cms so job done. It snowed all morning and we had some grappel flurries in the afternoon so I would imagine the snowfall figure will be about double when the 24 hour figures are published. Temps were just below zero at the base as we started and they rose to a couple of degrees above during the day with no significant melt. Up top the numbers were more like low single digit minus figures all day - the result was the snow stayed in ok shape.

Arriving at the hill and seeing the top (anything above mid mountain actually) socked in and mindful of my promise of yesterday I headed to the Old Side to see what was on offer. Lizard high traverse was closed and remained so as did Cedar high traverse but what was left was very good. There was no one around, partly because there was hardly anyone on the hill and partly because of an (incorrect) warning of a late opening on the Old Side lifts which I had failed to pick up.

The sking was just great powder, quite deep on a soft base. First tracks in Cedar ridge followed by the same in King Fir gave great face shots all the way down. After that it was just loops off Boom covering Cedar Ridge (three different ways), King Fir again, Linda's ( great untracked skiing on the right, Boom and down into Buck shot, Boom ridge, and a couple of other places I can't quite remeber. Everywhere was boot deep powder on a soft base and either untracked or lightly tracked. Returns to Boom were always via Kangaroo where first time round I got first tracks and after that it was just nice soft bumps and about as good as I can ever remember the Roo.

With the temps rising and the base getting a bit heavy it was time for lunch and a chance to try my luck on the higher elevations of the New Side. By a happy coincidence the snow had stopped and the light was lifting as I headed up after a short lunch break.

Polar Peak was never going to happen with the light lifting so late although they did turn the chair a few times just as a tease - they really need to get a permanent sign at the top of White Pass saying whether or not Polar chair is open as by the time you have skied down to check it out you are below the line of the Reverse Traverse.

We just looped out into great conditions which had only been lightly tracked and were improving with new grappel and wind sift all afternoon. Loops included -
Stag Leap - really great with only about 5 tracks.
Decline into Window chutes - deep and untracked in the lower section with even the ski out starting to get less icey.
The Brain - better every time I ski it and now just getting to the stage where you can free ride the rollers even in the tight trees.
Cougar Glades - if you went far left into the tight trees it was mostly untracked and awesome.

Runs down to White Pass involved a lot of hiking up to Mitchy's chutes which were great untracked winsift even after you had skied them with many more options now available through the rock bands.

Final run we hike up to Lone Fir which was closed but then dropped the shoulder into Currie Creek before cutting out to Skydive for the usual awesome rip top to bottom. Beer and hot tub well deserved.

Tomorrow looks a day to hang out on the New Side and see what happens, at least that is where I will be.

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