Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 102 things getting better

This morning we awoke to temps of -3, no new snow to speak of and overcast conditions with the occasional flash of sunlight. During the day we probably got pretty well every condition going. We had sun, flat light under cloud, showers of ice pellets, totally socked in conditions, for a short period in the afternoon very heavy snow which put down about 5 cms of fresh in a very short time then sun followed by more snow showers - you try and work out a description of conditions out of that.

We heard that conditions in the Polar Chutes were rather unstable and that it would take time to get them open so we went to the Old Side to try our luck. It was ok but nothing to shout about. We dropped the Sunny Side shoulder which was good tracked in powder taking a nice edge.

After that we looped out to the nearside edge of Fish bowl which had some good untracked sections, Redtree - very chunky all the way down, hard work but ok and then finally Gorby via the steep shoulder into Steep and Deep which was a bit less tracked than most of that area but quickly became chunky in the lower sections with some signs of avi debris that needed to be avoided.

Somewhere in there we had a return to Boomerang chair down Boom ridge which was good soft tracked bumps. We always completed our loops through Boomerang which was again good tracked up powder and Kangaroo which was at it's ugly, icey, bumpy best with a big drop onto the cat track where the trail had been cut into the uphill side.

Late morning we got word that Polar Peak had opened so we headed to the New Side only to find that it had been almost immediately closed due to poor viz. We contented ourselves with a quick trip down Corner Pocket which was still in good shape and the surface below the chute nice soft powder. We then cut across to Spinal Tap which was great soft snow specially in the creek bed.

After lunch we went back to the New Side and tried Lone Fir which was ok in the chute but a bit disappointing in the lower parts where the snow was nowhere near as soft as I expected. We exited via Spinal Tap again which was still good.

With the snow starting to fall heavily and the viz deteriorating we had to stay in the trees so we had a Decline/Window chutes followed by Cougar Glades both of which were getting better and better as the new snow mounted up. The lower sections of Cougar were even starting to slough on you as you skied.

Amazingly the light suddenly improved as the snow stopped and they opened Polar Peak for the last half hour of the day. Papa Bear was in fantastic condition with fresh deep blow in powder all the way down to the reverse traverse - 95th time this season. We dropped via High Saddle which was in good shape and the ski out was good as long as you avoided the avi debris from blasting and then once again into Spinal Tap which was still proving good skiing.

Last run of course was Skydive which was great rip in the new soft snow top to bottom without a break. More snow in the outlook and the base up at 370 cms so plenty more skiing to be had.

A note for the diary - 28th March, 6 pm at Corner Pocket on the hill the appreciation event for Patrollers and Groomers - 10 bucks to get in to go towards our guests beer and a fun evening for all if last years event is anything to go by.

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