Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 81 I should learn to keep my big mouth shut

I am of course talking about yesterdays report when I said that there were no real crowds on this holiday weekend. Well today they showed up big time and the lift lines were long, some of my usual quiet places had people in them and even the Griz Bar had a line up to get in it - a first on a Sunday this year.

We got to the hill about half an hour late due to having to sort out our Irish guests and get them on the shuttle bus back to Calgary for their return journey. Even allowing for our late arrival things were busy and we only just got in the back of parking lot 2.

We had 5 cms of fresh overnight added to the 4 of the day before and the 4 of the day before that to bring the base up to 254 cms, ok but nothing spectacular for this time of year. Temps were just below freezing at the base a and quite a few degrees below that on top. As the day wore on base temps got up to +3 but stayed around -4 on top. Initially conditions were overcast and socked in on the ridge lines but the cloud lifted during the day although we had flurries of grappel on and off which have continued into this evening.

For all the usual reasons we went to the New Side, avoiding the problems of the Old Side which are usually manifest on holiday weekends. Skiing was slowed down by long lift lines but the first drop from Timber top down Lift Line looked amazingly as if it would be first tracks until a girl jumped in from Puff Trees and I had to make do with second place.

Polar Peak was open but the chutes were shut so we just went out to Skydive and were just beaten into second place for tracks - this was becoming a habit. Skydive was great soft bumps at first followed by the 5 cms of powder for the rest. Next loop was Decline which started with a few tracks which dropped off into the trees giving an untracked lower portion.

The chutes were still closed so we hit Stag Leap which like yesterday was more tracked than expected but still good soft snow.

At last Polar Chutes were open and we did a cut back to the chair through Papa Bear and then had an awesome run through Baby Bear which was deep new and blow in snow which had the quality of being skied and still being untracked - no I can't work it out either. The run off was Decline/Window chutes where once again I was just beaten for first tracks and which was great deep soft snow.

A final loop through Polar Chutes was a return through Papa Bear and then this time a drop through Spirit Bear which I guess because it is a bit steep and tight was untracked. The exit for lunch was a hike up Cornice Ridge to Lone Fir which was tracked but good deep soft snow and then a traverse into Spinal tap which was in amazingly good shape.

A very late lunch to avoid crowds then straight back to Polar Peak for a Papa Bear/Baby Bear/Lone Fir/Spinal Tap, which was just as good as as it was in the last run before lunch.

With a bit of time to kill before close we went into Knot Chutes and found good snow in the Tight Knot. After that it was Surprise Trees which were far less tracked than I would have expected for the end of the day and in fact had a lot of untracked snow out on the left hand side. Final rip down Skydive was just as good as the first run of the day but with a few more tracks - a great finish.

A good powder day and more on the way.

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