Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 126 if you don't go you don't know

The heading is aimed at all the people who didn't go to the hill today because they thought it would be too crappy and that includes Lynda although as she doesn't read the blog I will probably get away with it. It certainly was the vast majority who didn't go, as a ticket checker buddy of mine told me at the end of the day the total number of different tickets scanned all day was 54 so by any definition it was a bit of a quite day on the hill.

The forecast was for rain all day and sure enough it was raining when we got up. The temps was +6 so there was an outside possibilty that it would be snowing on top but in truth the odds were against it. Lynda declined to come to the hill and I went with the intention of just checking things out and if conditions were not good coming home.

I went up Timber and it was still raining. First drop into Lift Line was a shock as the snow was so soft that I dropped in boot deep and nearly suffered a case of premature ejection. The rest of the run was good old crud skiing using upper body weight movement to drag the skis around. At the top Of White Pass things were very socked in and it was still raining but with the odd fleck of white.

I had a few runs down White Pass at first on groomers but then in Gun bowl and other soft stuff as the conditions appeared to improve a bit. I was just about to quit when the temps started to drop, the freezing line came down the hill, the precip turned to snow/ice and the skiing surface started to set up to give something that you could at least take an edge on.

I headed for the big three which was a bit risky but had some great runs. Skydive set the tone for the whole day where it was soft, almost slushy at the top, about one third of the way down the base firmed up with just a soft layer on top and the overall surface flattened out a lot by the rain. For the rest of the way down you could just throw big GS turns anywhere you wanted all the way to the base. That was what all the runs were like for the rest of the day.

Stag Leap was interesting in the entrance as it was a bit +/- trying to get through the trees as you were never quite sure how long you would need to keep your skis in the fall line before you had enough speed to turn. Once in the run it was just as good as Skydive. I had a run back through White Pass just to make sure the conditions were improving there which they were before hitting Decline which was just like the rest, perhaps best of all on the lower pitch.

In the afternoon it was just more Currie loops but the near winter conditions that had been there in the morning were gone and it was just overcast so I felt almost out of place in my expensive rain jacket (10 bucks yellow plastic mac from Canadian Tire) but hung on in there. We then just ran -
Skydive - as before
Currie Creek - didn't really mean to do this but a piece of bamboo was sticking out of the big drop off so I went back to rip it out to prevent an accident and in the process got too low and had to drop the creek.
Stag Leap - as before
Decline - as before
1-2-3's - having run the front runs twice I decided to try this and then exit via Diamond Back which was pretty good by now.
Skydive - final run and getting really good with fast GS turns down through the lower section.

Given the conditions it was really good day and well worth staying on the hill. In the bar there was select group all of whom had enjoyed their day. Just as a matter of interest today I decided to work out the day's vert. At the suggestion of a friend I decided that all I had to do was to take the number of lift rides and multiply them by the vert for each lift as the uphill vertical had to match the downhill. Doing this I came up with a number of 34,176 ft. This makes my estimate of 3 million vert for the season look a bit low but perhaps that's something I will count next year.

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