Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 59 a frustrating start to a great day

Lets deal with the frustrating start first. I got to the hill reasonably early, got ready, taped myself into my boots and was already to go when I pulled up the zip on my jacket and it broke so the front fell open. There was nothing else for it but to get off all the kit and drive back to the house to pick up one of my old ski jackets. Of course I could have just bought a new jacket but at on the hill prices you would have to be joking.

By 10 o'clock I was ready to go (by far the latest start of the year) and headed up the New Side in the hope of a Polar Peak opening. There had been about 7 cms of snow in the last 24 hours but I think most of that had fallen yesterday and there was really nothing new overnight. The wind had done it's job and a considerable amount of wind sift had blown around to refresh most places on the hill. Temps were around -5 and stayed there all day which kept the snow in great shape - of course up Polar Peak it was a lot colder and with a significant wind chill but that is just something that is going to have to be taken as read in the future.

I arrived at the top of White Pass and was pleased to see that Polar Peak chair was turning but not loading. I did a couple of runs back through the Knot Chutes (Tight Knot mostly untracked) and out through Surprise Trees that still had plenty of deep tracked powder while killing time. I got my reward as on arriving at the top of White Pass they were indicating Polar Peak was open and I got on the fifth chair going up.

Three days of closure and loads of new snow says it all. The Polar chutes were just awesome deep powder and I got second tracks in Mamma Bear - the run to the base through wind sifted Concussion chutes was equally good. Next time I hit the right hand Polar chutes so I could ski to the loading station and check to timing of a Polar loop - less than 10 minutes.

I was looking for ways to link in to the Polar chutes for a run off the hill and had an idea about the Saddles which proved to be a good one as High Saddle was easy tight jump turns all the way down with great powder underneath and an exit through Easter bowl. Next loop was just the same, just as deep powder but this time the drop was through Low Saddle. The saddled was a little scratchy but the chutes off to the right under the rock band were awesome and mostly untracked.

After this the Peak was closed due to high winds that was no real surprise given the brutal conditions on the last chair up. As it was about lunch time I took Lone Fir which had been mostly left alone and was just great steep tight chute skiing and then and exit through Spinal Tap which as always was demanding but huge fun jumping in and out of the creek bed.

After lunch I went back up and was delighted to find Polar Peak re opened so I pushed out to Baby Bear (fast becoming my favourite) which because of the access prroblems and the wind sift appeared almost untracked. A quick hike up to One Step Beyond ( the chute beyond Lone Fir) was rewarded with untracked steep and deep chute skiing, exit via Easter bowl which was in ok shape.

Next Polar lap was a right hand chute to allow a short Polar lap and the another Baby Bear trip but this time with a traverse into Cougar Glades which still had some pretty good lines in the tight tree sections on the left hand side. This brought the Polar Peak total to the day to 7 which I thought was ok so with some time to kill on the final lap in White Pass I did yet another Tight Knot/Surprise Trees loop which was still in great shape and lightly tracked even at the end of the day.

Final run through Skydive was, as always, great free riding to finish the day with skis spending more time in the air than on the ground.

A Warning - tomorrow Lynda gets back and if her flight into Calgary is on time I must meet her just after noon. It follows that if this happens I won't be skiing and there will be no blog unless anyone is interested on what a drive to Calgary and back feels like. Of course if the flight is delayed I may get a couple of runs and if so I will give a report no matter how brief.

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