Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 17 I was right

And of course what I mean is that when I said last night that maybe better was to come, I was dead right. It snowed overnight and the official figures were 12 cms by this morning. Patroller buddies tell me that by the close today we had another 15 cms and since then it has continued to puke snow all evening - I have no idea what the end figures might be when this cycle finishes, if indeed it ever does.

The effect on conditions was that we had great powder to start with that just got better during the day as a combination of new snow and blow in (it got very windy during the afternoon) filled in your tracks almost as fast as you could make them. Temps stayed  a few degrees below zero so the snow did stay in good condition all day.

We went to the Old Side and found ok snow but not quite as deep as we expected. Considering we were on one of the first chairs up it did seem to me that everything was very tracked up and it did make me wonder if some of those "pay for powder" groups hadn't beaten us to the snow. Boomerang was good and lightly tracked on the far skiers left down in the guts. We next tried Cedar Ridge which had some very deep soft powder but surprisingly tracked in places. We felt that maybe the New Side would be a better bet so after a lift up Boom we hit the Bear Chutes which were much improved from the past few days as the twigs and dead fall were getting well buried - across the bridge to Timber.

We did three Polar Peak loops on the New Side as the snow started to really fall. Just like all season the trip up to the Peak was howling wind on the chair and the light when we got there was decidedly white. In the chutes (Papa, Mama and Papa Bear in that order) the viz was pretty dreadful and didn't get better until about two thirds of the way down - after that it was soft smooth knee deep powder all the way to the Reverse Traverse.

The journeys to the base were via Cougar Glades, Stag Leap and Decline. No point in expanding on these runs as they were all great soft powder, getting deeper each time and with the few tracks that were there being filled in by a combination of new snow and wind sift. It was one of those days when the harder you hit the soft rolls of snow and the more air you took the easier the skiing became.

After lunch we went to New Side and found that Polar Peak had been closed due to lack of traffic as had the Saddles - in truth we had looked in the Saddles earlier and decide not to drop them as the light below them just looked too flat to be fun. We spent the afternoon alternatively looping Surprise Trees and Anaconda Glades with the snow now filling in so fast that our tracks were covered each time we returned. A fantastic afternoon with hardly anyone else on the hill and linking runs like Lift Line and the Gun Bowl skiing like soft powder runs in their own right.

The final run of course was down Skydive. It had filled in so well that the Reverse Traverse going out had to be cut just as if it was the first run of the day. The run itself was soft rolling terrain covered by mostly untracked powder. We had to stop a couple of times when the wind was blowing so much snow off the trees that we simply couldn't see more than a metre in front of our eyes.

It was still puking snow as we drank beer in the hot tub tonight - could tomorrow be better yet ?

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