Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day 92 enough new snow to make things pretty good

Overnight we had 13 cms, or rather that was the call for the past 24 hours, I think that only about 5 cms fell overnight but it had the effect of giving a covering to yesterday's chopped up powder. This was a mixed blessing as the new snow did have some fill in effect but it was dry and fast so that when you turned the skis were always trying to get away from you and for the first couple of turns until you got used to it you did tend to find yourself in the back seat. The snow didn't have any hold up "hero" quality so the skiing was a bit technical from the outset.

It was about -6 as we got to the hill and at the base it warmed up to low plus temps before falling back to -1 as we left the hill. Up top it remained at minus temps all day. Conditions ranged from overcast to bluebird and viz from very flat light to excellent. We also had snow off and on all day on the upper mountain. In other words everything was very varied all day but the snow stayed in great condition as tracked powder with some fresh lines.

We went to the New Side in anticipation of Polar Peak being the best snow due to the wind sift and new snow in the chutes. First trip up White Pass revealed that the Peak was still on standby so we dropped back tp White pass base via Gun Bowl and Quite Right Trees both of which were untracked 5 cms of new on a deeper powder base but the light was very flat indeed.

As the next loop showed that the Peak was still closed we went out to Cougar Glades and had a great rip down in the new snow and with untracked lines in the trees particularly on the left. Quite deep on the left side creek bed exit. Next loop the Peak was still closed so we did Stag leap which had a couple of tracks in but was much the same a Cougar Glades (and everywhere else on the hill) about 5 cms of fresh on the deep tracked powder of the previous few days.

Then the Peak opened and we did two loops of Papa Bear and Grandpa Bear back to the chair before heading out to Mama Bear. All three chutes were deep untracked wind sifted powder and excellent steep chute skiing. We dropped via Concussion which was in surprisingly great shape and hardly tracked.

Next time round we cut out left on the Peak to Baby Bear which was starting to get tracked but was still deep and ok. We exited via Decline/Window chutes which like yesterday were only lightly tracked an excellent deep snow in the chute, the only problem is that log drop has now totally disappeared so the chute is a bit less challenging than usual.

After a late lunch we went back to Polar Peak for a loop back through Barely Legal and then a drop to the traverse through Spirit Bear which was steep, narrow and full of soft snow, and as such great skiing. We returned to base through Secret Chutes and Spinal Tap which were great chopped up deep powder and only lightly tracked in the new snow.

Back up to Polar Peak for a loop through Grandpa Bear and then a drop to the traverse through Mama Bear. By this time the chutes were getting pretty chopped up but the quality of the snow was such that it was still good deep skiing. All afternoon the viz had come and gone but for these last runs we could actually see what we were doing which made them all the more enjoyable. The season's Polar chute tally rose to 96 but who's counting. Exit to base via Decline/Window chutes on the grounds that they had been so good earlier on and we were not disappointed, they remained steep, deep, and lightly tracked.

Last rip was down Skydive as usual. Just like yesterday there were steep soft bumps in the top which makes for good enjoyable bump skiing. Lower down the snow was soft and chopped up but great skiing all the way down to the bottom, tough but really good fun.

Tomorrow looks like much of the same but the weekend is looking at temps of +7 and +10 so we may be in for some rather strange conditions.

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