Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 116 a good day

I was going to head this report a good day for early April but on balance this was a good day by any definition. Best of all it was a Monday late season so there was almost no one on the hill and the parking lot was almost empty as we rolled in at just before 9 this morning.

Overnight we had 10 cms of fresh which added to the 18 from yesterday and the 1 metre of snow that has fallen in the last week has given us a base of 438 cms and a year to date total of 1116. On the way to the hill temps were about zero at the base and a few degrees lower on top. Forecasts were for the temps at the base to get to +7 which seemed about right and everything else got correspondingly warmer. During the day we had a sun cloud mix which worked out with snow starting to warm and sun ball first thing then cool down in the mid day overcast conditions before warming again in the late afternoon sun.

The overall effect of the new snow was to give us three distinct conditions depending on your elevation. High up was fresh quite deep full on winter powder. Just below this was the breakable crust from yesterday which with a 10 cm covering was very well repaired but you could still feel the crust underneath. Finally low down there was spring warmed soft snow which was ok for most of the day but a bit slushy late afternoon and then starting to set up on the final run.

We went to the New Side and the first run (of many) down Lift Line confirmed the improved conditions with the only worry some major death cookies that needed to be avoided. Currie bowl wasn't open so we had a couple of loops in Knot chutes which were excellent and mostly untracked (Tight Knot and Slim for me) with exits through the I bowl which was mostly untracked and then Surprise Trees. I was surprised just how many tracks there were in Surprise considering how few people were on the hill and the fact that the snow was starting to sun ball that early.

Currie opened and we hit out across the Reverse Traverse and ended up side step cutting the traverse to the bridge on the Skydive Traverse which of course meant that we could have any of the big three untracked - We took Skydive top to bottom first tracks and as I said it was great with just a little base crust in the mid section that you could ignore as long as you kept your speed up. Once again Lynda blasted past me in the powder, must find out what she is on this year.

After that we had -
Cougar Glades - again first tracks all the way down in great powder.
Stag Leap - about four tracks in front of us but plenty of room to find untracked lines all the way to the bottom.
Decline/Window chutes - only lightly tracked in Decline and two tracks in Window Chutes. A little scratchy in the choke but otherwise very good.
Corner Pocket/Spinal Tap - We noticed CP was open so took a look and as no tires we visible we dropped in. The chute skied about as mellow as I can remember and the face below was great untracked powder even though we did have to pick our lines to avoid the avi debris trails. Spinal Tap had a few tracks and was getting decidedly heavy in the ski out.
High Saddle/Easter bowl - High Saddle was very full of snow and again very mellow edge to edge jumping. We had noticed looking back the previous time through that there was a particularly nice line below High Saddle and we hit it to great effect with untracked powder all the way down to the Easter ski out. Easter itself was not over tracked and ok skiing even low down

All this led to a very late lunch so the afternoon was short but with conditions warming we had planned it that way. After lunch it was -
Knot Chutes/Anaconda Glades/Bootleg Glades - the snow was still holding up well in Knot chutes and as Currie had been open for so long there had been very little traffic so still plenty of fresh. Anaconda being North facing was good but right in the middle of yesterday's crunch band so it was no better than ok. Bootleg was also ok but starting to warm.
Lone Fir/ Easter - the chute at Lone Fir was so deep that most of the trees have disappeared. It was about the easiest ski down I have ever had but was a little scratchy in the mid section where it looked to me as if the snow had been removed by avi blasting. Easter was still good but getting softer below.
Skydive - predictably the final run was Skydive which remained in fantstic shape for the first two sections with a surprising amount of untracked snow still available. The final pitch was another story as it had been tracked up while very soft and was just starting to set up as the sun had gone off it, a bit technical but ok as long as you paid attention.

All in all an excellent days powder skiing. My view has always been any skiing in April is a bit of a steal so this was a real bonus. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

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