Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 107 a big day by any definition.

Yes, today we had 8 trips up Polar Peak, 4 drops through the Saddles, 3 drops down Spinal Tap, and the big three off the front plus Cougar Glades, as I said, a big day by any definition.

So how did it all happen ? Well, we went to the hill and it was -3 at the base and cooler on top. During the day temps rose to about +5 at the base and just about plus temps on top. As we arrived we were told that there was an inversion and that it was sunny above the valley fog. For most of the morning the result was that the top of the hill was totally socked in (worse than it has been all season) and although it hinted that it might be clear up at Polar peak, as it wasn't open this was pretty irrelevant.

We had yet another 13 cms of fresh snow raising the base to 410 cms - this is getting to be a crazy season. Everything was open straight off the bat so we headed to the New Side to see if Polar Peak was going to open and eventually we got what we wanted.

First run we headed out across Currie on the low Traverse and got to Cougar Glades which were unracked so we took them. Next we went to Skydive which was a bit tracked up but was ok and we had powder top to bottom.

We went out to Currie and found out that the Reverse Traverse was open so we pushed out to see if the Saddles were open and we were delighted to find that they were. Corner pocket was full of snow with no tires showing. Viz was not great but we had the most mellow descent ever through the chute and just groped our way down the snow underneath which was great untracked if slightly heavy powder - we exited left side Easter which was pretty untracked.

Next time we dropped High Saddle which was also super mellow and easy edge to edge skiing all the way through the chute, the viz had improved so that we had a very easy rip below the chute. This time we exited through Spinal Tap which was soft deep powder just starting to get a little heavy in the warm up.

When we got to the top of White Pass they were just switching the sign for Polar Peak so we got very early tracks up there. Of course we were behind staff members who had got the first lift - after all you wouldn't want fare paying customers to get first tracks when the chutes were opened for the first time in 5 days.

We looped Polar Peak 5 times in Popa bear, Barely legal, Grandpa bear, Popa bear and then Baby bear - this brought my Polar Peak total to 100 for the year. We took the view that the awesome deep conditions (and they were deep and awesome in the chutes) would be deteriorating in the sun and we needed to get the good snow while it was available.We dropped to a late lunch via Corner Pocket (a few tires showing but still ok with the soft snow below the chutes perhaps the best on the hill) and then Spinal Tap which was just as good as the time before.

After lunch Lynda went home as it was day 100 on the hill for her and she is very wary of day 100 as it was 4 years ago she broke her leg on that day, so to get it behind her is considered something of a result.

In the afternoon I went back to the Polar Chutes and ran down Popa bear which was just starting to set up in the less than soft snow. To complete the set I dropped the low Saddle and cut right into some deep untracked snow which stayed in good shape in the North West facing aspect. Another exit through Spinal Tap was good but getting heavy.

I arrived at the top of Polar Peak next time round and took Barely Legal all the way back to the base of the chair before hitting out to Mama bear which was tracked and setting up in the base. This completed the bear family circle for the day and brought the number of Polar Peaks for the season up to 103.

With not much time left I went out to Stag Leap which was good through the trees and even better in the run itself. Made a major deposit in the karma bank by putting a kid back together who had a major yard sale in the last pitch of Stag Leap.

Final rip down Skydive was pretty good with powder in top, reformed crud in the middle section (which wasn't too bad) and soft in the final pitch.

Things may look a bit different tomorrow when the softening snow sets up over night, lets see.

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