Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 5 a pretty crappy day

And before anyone suggests that I am being a pessimist I would point out that most of my buddies suggested a better title for today would have been "a very crappy day."  Those blog followers who hang on my every post will remember that last night I was looking at two forecasts, one calling for a load of snow and the other for a load of rain. It will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the sod's law of skiing that the rain won out.

When I went to bed last night it was +4 and pouring with rain and when I woke up this morning it was +3 and still pouring with rain. Most of the snow in the valley was pretty well washed out. When we got to the hill the rain line was more or less at the top of Bear so with only the Old Side open this meant that everything was rain affected.

There must have been some snow just below the top at the weather plot as the hill were claiming 14 cms of fresh and a base of 114 cms. If the sking along side the plot was anything to go by it must have come down in the middle of the night and then been rained upon to produce an ugly crust.

Lizard stayed closed so the first run was down the Bear. The first few turns were in a tricky rain crust before it became a refrozed hard iced base and remained that way all day. Next I (not we as Lynda refused to have anything to do with a day like today) took a trip down North Ridge and Emily's to Haul Back. The surface had been groomed but refrozen to a bullet hard ice sheet base where you were skiing about as fast sideways as you were forwards. Lower North Ridge to Boomerang was actually breakable crust on a groomer which was pretty strange and only got a bit better through the day as the surface was broken up by skier traffic.

Early on I decided to try Cedar/Cruiser encouraged by one of the snow flurries that occured during the morning. Cruiser was about 1 ft deep breakable crust and and absolute nightmare to ski, every turn was a huge physical effort. Later in the day I noticed Ski Patrol had put a warning sign on Alpine Way suggesting that Cruiser was experts only and giving it a tripple black diamond rating. I didn't try it a second time.

During the day we had a cooling trend and clearing skies. They were setting up snow makers during the day so it should get cold and this was confirmed by the clear skies tonight when I looked up from the hot tub and saw the stars.

So today all you could ski was a scrappy Bear and a sheet ice North Ridge - as I say pretty crappy. Of course technically you could have skied any part of Boomerang but my guess was that would be even worse than Cruiser. The few tracks that led in and then turned immediately and bailed out tended to confirm this.

There are only so many ways you can ski a couple of runs so by 3 in the afternoon I bailed. In any event I was suffering some early season foot pain and went down to the ever reliable Top Shelf to get it sorted. Beer in the griz, hot tub and bed. Forecast is for cooling and some snow, anything has to be better than today.

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