Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 70 tough skiing can be fun

The reason I write today's title is because the number of people (whingers) who are saying how bad things are on the hill. They seem to have a straight line equation in their heads which reads "tough skiing =bad, easy skiing =good". This leads to the view that "the only good skiing on the hill at the moment is on the groomers".

My view is well known in that skiing on groomers is never good - it isn't really skiing at all. I also take the view that the fun in skiing is in over coming the problems and hazards thrown up by the hill so that the tough skiing we are getting now (and there is no dispute that it is tough) is some of the most fun skiing we have had all season as long as you are prepared to make the effort to overcome those hazards and enjoy the challenge. Of course if all you want is easy skiing then what I am saying will make no sense to you and never will.

The day started bluebird with no snow and a base of 263 cms. Temps on the way to the hill were about -16 at the base and about the same on top. During the course of the morning it clouded over and we had wild temp fluctuations which at the base got up to -2 before dropping to -6 and on top inverted to -2 before falling away to -8. All in all a pretty crazy day for temperatures and a continual trend of becoming more overcast with flurries before the end of the day.

As an example of fun we had two rips down the Sunny Side shoulder which were hard packed in bumps and the chute to the skiers left of China Wall which were similar bumps - tough but fun.
Next I took a loop out to Gorby Bowl for the first time this year and had some tough skiing in the top of the bowl before finding a way out of the rock band with a left right shuffle and then a line through the only part of the avi debris that looked anything like flat -fun.

After that it was loops off the Boom Chair through Boom bowl, Buckshot, Linda's, Cedar Ridge a couple of ways all of which were tough semi tracked snow and great fun. Last loop before lunch was along hike out onto the traverse in Fish Bowl followed by some great untracked skiing just beyond the avi debris which I have to admit was rather larger than I thought - maybe a risky manoeuvre but great untracked skiing.

Needless the say the three returns through Kangaroo were hard ugly icey bumps that took 100% concentration to stay in the game but was rewarding when you did it and as a result was, you guessed it, fun

In the afternoon I went out to the New side and did -
Decline - great soft bumps now all the way down, real hard work.
Easter Bowl - good steep soft snow becoming harder and bumpier on the way down.
Polar Peak - the 40th time this year and it was ugly hard icey bumps in the chutes with the light socked in when we got there, had a good laugh at the patrol sign that said "softening in the sun" always the danger of a life ending slide over the rocks so great challenging skiing.
Stag Leap - surprisingly good snow on top but a tough ski out in the lower section requiring some good edge to edge jumping.
Cougar Glades - the most variable run on the hill. We had every condition on the way down and the only way to keep things together was to stay on your game.
Mitchy Chutes - hard pack but quite smooth and tight in the rock bands.

Skydive - final run and as usual was good chunky bumps in the top and scratchy rough terrain in the lower section.

All of the afternoon was tough skiing where I had to be at my absolute best to stay over the skis and rip down in a half way decent style. Me and my buddy Rod had a great fun day skiing on the hill. That is the answer to those that think this type of skiing can't be fun.

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