Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day 94 Not a bad day and not as bad as it could have been

The forecast was for a big warm up with possible precip of the snow/rain type. In the event we got the warm up but what little precip we had came down with some ice pellet flurries and no more. The overcast conditions protected the snow from any sun damage and all in all we rather got away with it. Once again there was a lot of wind (enough to close Polar Peak again) and as a result there was windsift in most places.

Temps on the way to the hill were -1 which rose to +5 during the day. Up top temps started lower and got to about zero at the warmest. The result was that the lower mountain became rather soft and spring like as the day went on although the upper hill stayed in remarkably good shape and the base was around 330 cms. For some reason the crowds seemed to stay away and the overall effect was for us to have a pretty good day in conditions which could have gone very much the other way.

We started on the Old Side with a few runs up and down Bear as I was trying out my new skis. In general this is the only use I have for groomers in that it allows you to work out the interaction between youtself and the new skis without any input from the terrain which is boringly consistent. The new Sally Shoguns were all I could have hoped for. They were pretty much the same dimensions as my old S5s with just a mill or two extra at every point and 300 mill lift in the tips. The only differences I noticed were a feeling that there was less material between you and surface (could be true), the bamboo core meant the skis were much lighter, quicker from edge to edge and a bit quicker coming out of the turn. They also seemed to have much better edge control although that may just be because they had edges ! In summary, very happy and able to drive the skis a bit harder than my last ones - happy days.

We managed 3 loops out to Steep and Deep/Gorby bowl/Gorby shoulder into Steep and Deep. They were all good deep soft snow with loads of windsift. Even low down they were not to chunky until later in the morning. We had 3 returns through Kangaroo which was like soft spring skiing in bumps that were icey underneath, great challenging stuff. Completing the loops through Boomerang gave good soft easy bump skiing in blow in and then the final drop down Boom Ridge was again easy soft bump skiing.

In the afternoon we went out to New Side and with Polar Peak closed did the usual Currie loops of Cougar Glades, Stag leap, Decline Window chutes which were all soft tracked snow in places and soft bumps in others, just nice skiing.

We needed two White Pass loops to fill in time. Perhaps on another day I would have gone in the Knot chutes but I didn't want to risk the rocks in the traverse on my first day on my new skis so it was two loops through the Gun bowl and Surprise Trees which still had some great soft lines if you were prepared to cut lines close to the trees.

Final run was of course through through Skydive and I was pleased to find that the new skis performed just as well in the big GS turns in the tracked snow there as they had in the tighter technical stuff in the trees and the bumps.

As I said a good day. Tomorrow looks tricky with warm temps and precip but the way things went today, I'm feeling lucky

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