Friday, March 2, 2012

Day 93 strange weather but ok

When we woke this morning there had been no new snow but the base was still 330 cms and the temp on the deck was -14. Driving to the hill the temp started to rise as soon as we left the valley and was about -6 as we arrived at the hill. During the day it looked as if things were going to go bluebird and temps started to rise fast but by lunch time everything was getting socked in, snow flurries were starting, light was very flat and temps were falling so we finished with about -5 on top and -1 at the base. As I said a strange day of mixed conditions and when you throw in that here was wind that sifted snow all day and kept Polar Peak closed you can see what I mean by strange weather.

We went to the Old Side and had a warm up down Sunny Side shoulder and the chutes below which gave some good skiing on a firm base with blow in. We then went out to try Steep and Deep with a little trepidation as we thought it might have been sun affected yesterday - not so, it was great tracked powder all the way down.

We then had a little play of Cedar ridge which was tracked but soft and Boom Ridge which had not suffered grooming and as a result was good soft bumps with windsift. Next loop was the Gorby shoulder into Steep and Deep which was surprisingly untracked, I guess it's the fact that it is steep and between main runs.

We had a last loop before lunch and repeated the Gorby/Steep and Deep run on the grounds that it was so good. All exits from Steep and Deep were through one of the three main exit chutes all of which were skiing soft and pretty mellow. All returns (4) were through Kangaroo which is still full of soft snow, in fact the only problem is the cat driver that cuts the track half way down is insisting on taking a big cut on the uphill side and as a result there is a 3-4 ft drop onto the cat track and the start of the second section is full of death cookies.

We always completed the loop through Boomerang which was skiing ok with some soft blow in making it a bit easier. The only exception was last time round when we got word that Boomerang chair was down so we traversed out on Cedar Trail noting that the Boom chair was stopped and this was obviously one of our better decisions - Lunch.

Afternoon was spent on the New Side which with Polar Peak closed was just a load of old fashioned Currie loops -
Cougar Glades - getting a bit tracked up and slick in the top but ok soft blow in on powder lower down.
Stag Leap - like Cougar glade slick through the trees. The snow in the main run was getting a little chunky in the warming temps and this was a feature of all the afternoon runs which as a result became rather harder work.
Secret Chutes/Spinal Tap - see above, hard work but only partially tracked and some good deep snow if you were prepared to take tight lines in the trees.
Decline/Window chutes - see above (Secret chutes,Spinal Tap I mean).
Skydive - last rip getting a bit more chunky than before but still some very good skiing.

In summary a good (but not fantastic) day with the Old Side probably delivering rather better snow than the New Side for a change. As we left the hill is was snowing in strong winds and with significant plus temps forecast for tomorrow who knows how this will fall out.

On the way back from the hill I dropped in to Ski Base to buy some new bindings and have them mounted on some Sally Shoguns that I bought in the bargain bucket at the end of last season. They look about the same as my S5s but a bit lighter with the bamboo core so lets see what happens.

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