Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 98 a wet welcome back

So here I am guys, back in Fernie having spent 7 days back in the UK sorting out stuff and most importantly having a beer at the Pandora Inn (my favourite pub in Restronguet) which opened last Friday having been closed for a year after the fire and now rebuilt with most of the 13th century bits still intact.

Overnight the hill reported 13 cms of fresh snow raising the base to 360 cms. Temps on the way to the hill hovered around zero but the precip was coming down wet at the base. This set the pattern for the day with the rain line working it's way slowly up the hill so that by mid afternoon it was around mid White Pass. Snow was heavy and wet even on top but at the base it didn't even bear thinking about. We went to White Pass with the plan of going high and staying high - the Old side would have been a nightmare.

First run down to White Pass from Timber showed that we were dealing with Jersey Cream powder which would track out when the first tracks were put through it. Gun Bowl and Surprise Trees confirmed this with lots of untracked in Surprise.

After that we spent most of the morning working our way across Knot Chutes eventually puting tracks in pretty well all of the chutes with the occasional fresh lines to be had. In Surprise we worked our way backwards and forwards looking for fresh lines and finding some from time to time. Once we pushed out as far as Triple Trees and having got down to Trespass Trail took the trees all the way down to base which started as cream powder but ended up as heavy elephant snot by the last set of trees - not a bad run down considering conditions.

Late morning we were there when they dropped the fence on Anaconda and had a great rip through the second chute which was untracked and so deep that I was actually knocked over by my own slough at one stage. Bootleg glades were untracked in the near trees but by we got down to the Gilmar Trail it was getting very claggy and the trail out itself was slow heavey elephant snot.

One more run a bit further along Anaconda before lunch was even better with untracked snow through the far trees. The fianl run down before lunch was the trees beyond Bootleg which were untracked in the top and heavy snow beconing slush as you threaded the trees on the way down.

Over lunch the rain at the base picked up and we got reports that the rain line was even further up the hill. We went out with no great hope and found the reports to be correct with the cloud now socking in the top of White Pass, a sign saying that Currie wouldn't be open today and Anaconda now closed due to instability.

We did a few runs down White Pass in poor light and heavy snow before deciding enough was enough and coming off the hill about an hour before last bell. We ran off through Triple Trees which were now heavy and wet almost to the top and Diamond Back which represented the best exit as it had been tracked up so the sticky snow was at a minimum.

Early beers and a hot tub soon restored spirits. Snow forecast overnight but with deck temps of +5 who knows what we are going to get.

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