Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 61 similar to yesterday but different

The similarity to yesterday was in the sense that it was very good powder up on top and some very ugly heavy snow low down, but different in the way it came about.

It rained in town overnight and even in the small hours of the morning it was hardly coming down white. When we woke up we were surprised to find how low down the snow line was on the trees ( only a hundred metres or so above the base) and even more surprised to see the figures from the hill which were 39 cms of fresh at the snow plot (seemed true to us) and a base of 280 cms.

When we got to the hill we found everything was closed except the Deer and Mighty Moose lifts so as far as I am concerned that is the hill closed. We got the word that the first thing to open would be the Bear Chair which was right. Boom chair wasn't open and the one lap into Boom bowl proved that the snow there was heavy and strangely already tracked up - could it be that one of the pay for powder groups had been there before us ? We heard that the higher terrain on the New Side had opened so headed in that direction.

The New Side was a rolling opening so we had a couple of runs straight back down to the White Pass chair in very poor viz that was a problem all day. The snow was deep but quite heavy with a hero quality anywhere on top. After a while the Knot chutes opened so for the first time but not the last were traversed in to Tight Knot to get some amazing deep untracked skiing. We spent the next few loops tracking further into the Knot Chutes eventually geting as far as Jim all of which were lightly skied and very deep.

As we hoped they opened Anaconda Glades so the next couple of loops were Knot Chutes (various ways down) Anaconda Glades (untracked chutes) and then Bootleg Glades (trees to the left with only a couple of tracks ahead.) Then Currie bowl opened but with only the traverse at the Polar Sink open it was hard work to get across but some great skiing when you got to the far chutes.
Cougar Glades - Untracked, awesome 39 cms of fresh amd an exit above the rain line.
Stag leap - only three tracks ahead and great powder all the way down to the last section which was jusy heavy wet snow.
Decline - great again at the top but getting really ugly at the bottom.
Cougar Glades - one more time and just as good.

As the viz had improved I decided to hike the top of Knot Chutes. As I got to the top it started to sock in and by the time I had got to the tight entrance to the Tight Knot it was totally socked it. It was hard drop but great deep snow skiing. Turned left into A 4 (or was it 5) which is about the tightest Anaconda chute then the early chutes in Bootleg Glades - just about the toughest run off the hill you can get.

A final Knot chute traverse and the Surprise trees drop in some ok tracked powder to kill time before going out to Skydive for the final run. Skydive was just like all the big three runs ( note these are not and never will be called the fingers) fantastic on top and ugly soft melt down low. The last run was much enlivened by the soft snow starting to set up in the cooling conditions which may point the way to some rather tough conditions in the days to come.

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