Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 105 another awesome powder day

This may have to be a quick report as today we passed the 4 metre mark for the snow base and 10 metre mark for total snowfall on the hill year to date. this double celebration has propted an evening out at friends and the taxi is booked for 7 so at that time the report finishes.

With no real forecast of snow we were surprised to wake up to a deep covering of fresh powder and a heavy snowfall warning for the Elk Valley. The snow base was 395 cms at the early morning reading after 20 cms overnight and as it has puked snow all day we must be well beyond that figure ny now.

We got to the hill in temps of -3 at the base and about -6 on top. The forecast called for snow turning to rain but in the event we had snow all day although it was getting a little wet low down by the end of the day it was still very much snow and great powder on top. In a nutshell we started with great untracked powder everywhere and as the day wore on this was replaced by a steady fall of new snow and wind sift. The replacement rate was not enough to fully cover tracks but it gave pretty good skiing and added to the untracked snow of which plenty remained.

We went to the New Side as it was forecast to get wet low down and we thought (correctly as it turned out) that the Cedar high traverse would remain closed cutting off the best skiing on the Old Side. I am sorry that this is becoming something of a New Side only blog but that is just the way things have gone this year.

Currie, Knot Chutes and the I bowl were all closed but we got a good rolling opening. After a couple of runs up and down White Pass (Gun bowl, Quite Right, trees etc) in good deep powder they opened the I bowl.

We then had a couple of loops in Surprise Trees with Knot chutes still closed again in great powder much of which was untracked. Knot Chutes opened and were very deep but in poor light. To extend our range we hit Triple Trees (all 5 parts) all the way to the base. This was perhaps not the greatest plan for as we arrived at the top of White Pass it was apparent that Currie had opened, yesterday's sure touch on timing seemed to have deserted us.

The Reverse Traverse was open which gave us some hope for Polar peak but the viz socked in and just got worse all day so that put paid to that. We spent the rest of the morning looping the far side of Currie in super deep powder but unlike yesterday we encountered quite a lot of traffic most of which appeared to be out to demonstrate just how incompetent they were at holding a traverse for any length of time.
Skydive - a few tracks but enough untracked to make it a spectacular run of over the head face shots from top to bottom.
The Brain - more tracked than I expected but plenty of untracked lines in the trees to the right of the creek bed and untracked all the way down to the lower cat track
Cougar Glades - again tracked but I held a tight line in the trees way off to the left and was rewarded with some untracked chutes.
Knot chutes/Anaconda/Bootleg - we had an idea that as they had dropped the fence on Currie at the same time as Anaconda perhaps people would have ignored the latter. We were right and had great deep powder in the Tight Knot followed by untracked hero snow in Anaconda and some awesome skiing on the far side of Bootleg with the only scratchy section in the tight chute at the bottom. Lunch

After lunch we went back to the New Side and started to try variations on the drop from Timber to White Pass in the trees on the skier right of Lift line. These were so good we did these every drop all afternoon. We continued to loop -
Decline/Window chutes - just awesome lightly tracked snow and deep in the chute.
Lone Fir - closed so after all the trouble of hiking I had to do a drop into -
Secret Chutes/Spinal Tap - see Decline/Window chutes.
Stag Leap - the snow was easing off just a bit but the blow in gave soft powder that looked mostly ntracked all the way down. Something clicked and I dropped the skis in the fall line and had the fastest run ever down Stag Leap spending most of the time near the fall line and in the air, it just felt so easy.
A fill in up Knot chutes which by now had refilled with fresh then the final rip down Skydive which was a re run of Stag leap.
Awesome, awesome, awesome - taxi has just arrived, must go.

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