Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 4 started really well before going way down hill

And so it did. We had great skiing in the morning and then as conditions deteriorated with the rain line moving up the hill things got pretty crappy to be quite honest.

Overnight we had some snow but very wet. Driving to the hill temps dropped from zero to -1 so we arrived to light snow showers, very overcast conditions which socked in the top of the hill all day and a claimed base of 102 cms with 6 cms of fresh. As you would expect for a mid week day in December with nothing special in the forecast the hill was almost deserted.

We arrived at the top of Bear to find that Lizard Bowl was closed for avi work on the head wall. Even after quite a lot of blasting Lizard remainded closed all day, I guess this was because the results couldn't be seen in the socked in conditions. This meant we only had the Old Side from Bear to Cruiser open with the top of Cedar off Bear also closed. To compensate the whole Boomerang area including Boom Ridge was open but more of that later.

We had a couple of runs down Bear with the new snow untracked dry powder on a smooth base. Second time down we hooked into Kodiake which yesterday had been a bit of a nightmare. Today the new snow made all the difference and the new snow on yesterday's mush base made for great untracked slightly heavy powder down to Boom Chair.

A ride up Boom Chair showed that the whole Boomerang area including Boom Ridge was open. From above you could see that the area was covered with alders and general ground scrub but in between the growth there was some great deep powder that was totally untracked. We looped 4 times taking different lines in Boomerang , twice taking it all the way to the bottom and twice taking the very patchy Goat Track out to the top of Kodiak which was starting to get a bit more tracked up.

As it is early season we are on a two short break strategy so we stopped at 11 for some hot choccy.  The second session was a case of doing loops down Cedar Ridge off Alpine Way and then down Cedar Centre to Haul Back. Then take Lower North Ridge to Boom Chair, up the Chair and then down Boomerang and repeat. The one attempt at Boom Ridge worked well for the first three quarters before having to bail to skiers right due to just too much undergrowth.

During this session the precip started as snow at the top and wet snow at the bottom and the skiing was exellent with good powder untracked in places. The wet snow turned to rain and by the time we broke just after half past 1 the lower hill was getting very heavy and claggy but still with good stuff on top.

Lynda declined to come out for the final session as it was raining very hard at the base. Dressed in my yellow 10 buck Canadian Tire plastic rain jacket I gave it a go. As always Lynda was right (aren't wives always right ?) as the final session was not good. The rain line was about half way up Bear and above that the snow was coming down almost as wet as rain. The result was everything now was heavy and where there had been powder we now had elephant snot.

We bailed at about half past three and hit the Griz Bar which as always at this time of year may have lacked numbers but made up for it in the quality of the company. Too wet for us to even think about a hot tub.

We have two forecasts - one says it's going to rain hard to the top of the hill for the next 24 hours. The other say that temps will cool overnight and about 25 cms of the precip will come as new snow. I know which one I would like to be right but lets see.

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