Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day 100 Paddy's Day and we have the luck of the irish

First of all apologies for this report which is being written after a maximum Paddy's day celebration plus an additional celebration for 100 days of the season and some awesome powder skiing. It may all become a bit more incoherent than usual and if that is the case - sorry.

It didn't seem to snow overnight but the hill reported 15 cms in the last 24 hours and a base of around 360 cms. It did start snowing first thing and continued throughout the day with the snow just getting deeper all over as the day went on. On the way to the hill temps were -2 at the base and about -6 on top. During the day temps at the base rose to low plus temps but as the snow was coming down from cold clouds it kept coming down white. On top temps stayed just below zero and the snow on the upper mountain stayed lightish and fairly dry all day just getting deeper all the time.

We went high to the New Side to get the best snow. Lift Line set the tone again with a rather scratchy base where yesterday's rain crust had frozen but with good soft snow with a high moisture content giving hero powder on which you could float. We assumed that the base on the Old Side would be just the same but with skier track marks making it very lumpy in the overnight freeze

We did a White Pass loop through the Gun Bowl and Surprise Trees which were lightly tracked and good powder starting to accumulate. Next loop was through Knot Chutes where the Tight Knot was good deep snow and then we found Anaconda open which was great sloughy skiing over the hump. Even a drop down Bootleg Glades proved ok on a scratchy base as long as you hit the near trees and avoided the death cookies from the cat track.

After that Currie bowl opened and even though it was only the low traverse that was open (no Polar Peak obviously) we worked out to the Skydive Traverse and for the rest of the day got -
Skydive - Only about three tracks in front of us so mostly untracked snow all the way down. As Currie haden't been opened for 5 days the lower sections were not tracked up crud, in fact they were soft rain rounded bumps now taking an edge with good powder building on top. All the big three were like this all day getting better as the snow mounted up.
Cougar Glades - a few tracks in the top which soon disappeared as you worked your way down. Some really nice soft stuff in the creek bed exit on the lower left.
Stag Leap - amazingly mellow skiing through the top trees if you had the nerve to drop your skis into the fall line. The run itself had been beaten mostly flatish but with the powder covering it was a real ripper with only a few tracks ahead of us.
The Brain - most amazing experience of the day. There were no tracks in there even that late in the morning. Half way down a board track crossed me right to left but then disappeared and I had the tight trees to myself all the way down to the cat track below Skydive, awesome powder.
Decline/Window Chutes - Again great skiing in Decline and no tracks into the top of Windows with only a couple of tracks when you got in there. Lunch
Secret Chutes/Spinal tap - by now the snow was really starting to get deep and the skiing was good and deep with aload of fresh lines to be found.
Stag Leap - just like before lunch. More tracked up but the high moisture content of the snow meant that it was still great skiing.
Easter Bowl - Getting tracked up but very good powder with lots of fresh tracks.

Just time for a filler in Knot Chutes (Tight Knot even deeper than before) and Surprise Trees where the powder was mostly now covering the base.

Last run was Skydive which was an awesome rip on tracked powder where you could fly any part of the terrain you didn't feel like skiing. Highlight of the day was Lynda ripping past me in the untracked snow on Skydive - I think she is becoming a bit of a hooligan.

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