Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 103 First day of spring and it puked snow

Yes, today was the first day of spring. Overnight there had only been 3 cms of fresh snow and starting temps were -3 at the base and -5 on top. Things probably warmed up a little during the day but stayed cool enough so thathe snow that fell during the day came down white all the way to the base without a huge moisture content even low down.

Just before we left for the hill it started to snow and it just puked down all day and only stopped at about 6 this evening. The result was that we must have had over 20 cms of fresh during the day and the base must be getting on towards 400 cms by anyone's measure.

We went to the New Side looking for Polar Peak but it quickly became apparent that we would not be getting Polar Peak in the heavy new snow and that it would only be a matter of time before Currie bowl had to close. In these circumstances we decided just to keep looping the far side of Currie for as long as we could. As the day wore on every run became better in ever increasing depths of snow and we frequently found ourselves laying fresh tracks down slopes that we had already skied ourselves. The situation was made even better by the lack of people on the hill. Apart from a few instruction groups (who seemed to be intent on standing on groomed runs talking about skiing) there was no one around as evidenced by the fact that we had to cut the traverse out to Skydive from scratch every time we headed out.

We went to Skydive and put the first two tracks down there in reasonably deep snow on a firm base. Cougar Glades was next, deeper and with a couple of tracks in the top but untracked lower down and starting to become awesome. We thought Stag Leap would be good and were we right, the snow had mounted up to deep powder and although I am sure that there had been tracks in there before us they were covered and to all intents and purposes it was first tracks again.

The Brain was the same as Stag Leap, probably tracked but no sign of them in the new deep snow. Going into the Brain I noticed that Skydive was now untracked so next time round we ripped that again and it was getting really deep. On the same basis we figured that Cougar Glades would have filled up a bit more and we were not disappointed all the way down. By this stage the Reverse Traverse had been closed and we were accessing the big three by the lower Polar Sink Traverse, hard work but worth it.

I decided to skip lunch and got to the top of White Pass just as they were closing Currie Bowl. We just managed to get through and had a final rip down Skydive which by now was again untracked and skiing as deep powder. After that we spent the afternoon looping back through White Pass, Anaconda, Bootleg Glades, Triple Trees etc.

It was a great afternoon. Anaconda was deep in all chutes and the snow was of a hero quality so in tight situations you could just drop your skis into the fall line and let it rip. Bootleg was good particularly in the trees on the nearside or the far side of the main glades - nice brainless skiing in very easy mellow conditions. The only downside was in Triple Trees where I hit a death cookie pushed down by some pretty random grooming and stacked it big time - just a sore wrist to show for it so I guess I am pretty lucky.

The snow has stopped but we have flurries forecast for the overnight and tomorrow could be pretty epic always with the chance of Polar peak opening althiugh the effect of todays wind (did I mention we had mega wind storms all afternoon)`will mean that they are back to square one with the cat work they will have to do on the access track.

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