Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 29 how can so little new snow make such a difference

This is the question we were giving some 3 pint attention to in the bar tonight. Over night there was a dusting of snow, maybe 2 cms. During the day we had more taking it to 5 cms at the most but the effect on the hill was to give conditions reflecting a fall of at least twice the recorded figures and maybe more in places. Needless to say the answers we came up with ranged from the idiotic to the even more idiotic and no one had any real idea of why things worked out the way they did, but they did and we had a great time.

Temps were between -10 and -5 all over the hill and of course as we had snow, things were socked in at the top - everywhere else the light wasn't really anything to write home about. Having had quite a lot of time on the Old Side yesterday we drifted over to the New Side in part to see if Polar Peak was open which it wasn't first thing. It was clear ( or rather not clear) that given the light conditions staying in the tree line might be a good idea.

First run was an untracked Cougar Glades which had surprisingly deep soft on a firm base. Exit was in the left lower chute which was tough edge to edge stuff between the dead fall. Best news was that patrol had shovelled in the dip after the bridge on Skydive traverse and this remained pretty mellow all day.

I have to confess that today proved so much fun that I ditched lunch and just spent all day looping out beyond the County Line and getting great skiing. The log of the day is -

Stag Leap - the new snow made the drop through the trees pretty straight forward and after that the sking surface did give the odd face shot.
Decline - like Stag Leap but slightly more bumped in the upper part but then some of the best skiing of the day.
Skydive - beautiful as usual and ignoring the opinions that Decline is better.
The Brain - it was the first time in there for a few days and there is still plenty of soft in the top section and untracked lower down but it can get a bit technical in the trees.

Polar peak had been closed all morning due to poor viz and now just as the viz got about as bad as it had ever been it was opened. We dropped a wonderful soft Pappa Bear before cutting out to the top of Skydive (where the bumps still look like they have buried VW Beetles) and then dropping into the left of Secret Chutes which were good powder if you took it tight to the trees.

My buddies went for a late lunch but I met up with another buddy and skied on.  We did a Polar Peak loop down Grand Pappa Bear which was bit white and wind crusty on the shoulder so we looped back and had a very nice run down Mamma Bear in soft deep snow. Tthe route to the base was through Cougar Glades again which were tracked but with soft sections then a short left hike into Stag Leap and some great all terrain skiing to the bottom.

We went for a last trip up Polar despite it being socked in and had a very tough ski down Pappa Bear in some of the worst viz of the season - sorry for taking you up there Tekka but I enjoyed it. To meet up with another buddy I had to drop to Trespass Trail and back the White Pass. We just had time for a White Pass loop in Highline trees which by this time were getting very white indeed before heading out for the final run down Skydive.

As always the big S gave us a great soft snow finish with a very excitig rip in the bottom section where the skis spent as much time in the air as they did on the ground. Today was supposed to be the busiest day of the holiday period but it seemed ok to me. There were a couple of brief line ups at Timber but these were more due to mechanical failure or human stupidity than volume of traffic.

Light  coming down as I am writing this - fingers crossed.

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