Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 68 bloody bindings

More about bindings later. Another day just like the last few. Temps on the way to the hill were about -11 at the base and -4 on top. As the day wore on base temps rose to low plus figs before droppng away to -3 by tonight whilst upper mountain temps remained fairly constant. It remained overcast for most of the day with a few sun shafts breaking through. No new snow so the base is now down to 267 cms.

Unsurprisingly the conditions gave some very variable skiing surfaces. In fact this was yet another really tough day's skiing on the hill made worse by my cold which I now hope has reached it's peak and is in retreat. It is hard to describe just how much your energy levels reduce as a result of something as simple as a cold.

We went to The Old Side and after a couple of runs down the Sunny Side shoulder which was nice packed in bumps taking an edge we headed out towards the boundary fence. We had a 50:50 choice of Fish Bowl and Steep and Deep. As luck would have it we went for Steep and deep and it proved to be good luck. On the exit to Gorby bowl Lynda broke her heel binding and lost a ski. Had we gone to Fish bowl she would have faced a long walk out, as it was, getting out of lower Gorby through the avi debris on one ski was not exactly a walk in the park. Luckily two patrollers were close by to get a snow mobile to collect her from the cat track and get her back to base.

What is going on with ski bindings ? I have broken three heel bindings in the last year (Rossi) which you might expect with my weight and type of skiing but Lynda has now broken two (Sally) which given her soft style just shouldn't happen. It's about time binding manufacturers got their collective asses in gear and started making kit which is fit for purpose for the all mountain free riding user.

Getting Lynda sorted and on the snow mobile to the base to get her reserve skis took up some time. For the rest of the morning it was just loops off Boomerang, Linda's, Cedar Ridge (several ways) up until lunch. Just like yesterday the skiing varied from easy packed in powder where there had been skier traffic to chunky and tough where there hadn't. Also like yesterday the groomers had trashed much of the good skiing, particularly Boom Ridge. Four times through Kangaroo were tougher and icier than yesterday and as a result even more fun in my opinion.

In the afternoon we went to the New Side and took a look at Polar Peak. It was open but with my low energy levels I decided not to try it as it was going to be super tough skiing if the chutes below were anything to go by. We looped -

Concussion - Much more refrozen crud than yesterday when things had obviously been sun affected. Nice challenging skiing.
Anaconda Glades - Rather disappointing as the snow in the chutes was chunky rather than soft but well on the right side of ok.
Bootleg Glades - Really nice packed in skiing taking an edge.
1-2-3s - Ok skiing in all the chutes and surprisingly smooth.
Easter Bowl - Probably the best skiing on the hill with the surface staying soft on top and soft bumps lower down.

The runs back through Gun Bowl off White Pass ( the last time just a straight run back to fill in time) were much more refrozen crud than of late and again I suspect the sun effect from yesterday was responsible, no better than ok.

The final rip down Skydive was just like yesterday, great on top but a bit technical in the bottom section. Still no new snow in the immediate outlook but a precip cycle starting later this week.

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