Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day 33 an afternoon adventure

But before we get to the afternoon let's look at conditions and the events of the morning. The mountain snow which has been falling very lightly for about the past 5 days accumulated 2 cms overnight and continued to fall all day today. As I have said before this doesn't give us much accumulation but it does at least make some fluff fly and makes everything look rather pretty.

On the way to the hill temps were -8 and rose a little during the day to about -4. Interestingly they are calling for an inversion over the next few days which will keep temps about the same mid mountain but give plus temps on the ridge lines. Whether or not this will happen and if it does, what it will mean is anyone's guess. It was socked in on top but lifted a bit in the afternoon. This didn't help with the Polar Peak chair as it went tech early on and stayed closed all day.

We went to the Old Side and were surprised just what a difference a little snow and windsift made. It was also interesting how the hard pack seemed to have dried out giving it a crisp quality and taking a nice edge. Everything had been skied and was firm (but nice and crisp taking an edge) bumps. We just played around in Sunny Side, Cedar Ridge, Gully and Gulch, Boom Ridge, Linda 's, Cedar Ridge again and Bear Chutes - all as described, bumps skiing very easily with totally carvable contours. We went to the New Side.

On the New Side the hard pack seemed a bit harder and the soft snow such as it was had become firm and chunky. We were unaware of the Polar Peak problems and assumed the closure was due to poor viz and so we just looped White Pass waiting for things to improved. Highline Trees, Firey Hornet, Surprise Trees and the Chutes all were ok hard pack. We even traversed into Tight Knot as the sun was out and Lynda dropped her first Knot Chute of the season. With no sign of the Peak opening we went to lunch via Decline which is now bumped most of the way down but as they come at you at such regular intervals they are some of the best bumps on the hill and very easy skiing.

In the afternoon I was on my own as Lynda had decided to take a half day. I decided to push out into unpopular (usually because they are pretty technical) areas to try and get fresh snow. I had great results -

Lone Fir - well worth the hike up. Deep soft snow in the top, a bit scratchy in the choke and then great soft snow through the avi affected trees.
Spinal Tap - this had been ugly a couple of weeks ago so I hoped it had been left alone. It was still ugly with a lot of dead fall but at least the stream bed is a bit more filled in. The snow was deep and mostly untracked but you did have to do some very tight turns between the trees and the creek to pull through.
Gotta Go - I cut across to top of the Knot Chutes and found Gotta Go full of deep soft snow. In the choke you had to do a pretty big jump to get round the scratchy section but apart from that it was very deep snow.
Bootleg Glades trees left - most people had cut out when the going got tight so there was soft snow all the way down if you were prepared to try some ballsey lines.
One Step Beyond - this is the chute just after Lone Fir and I don't know the name but this is what we call it. Best off all, the snow was so deep I had serious slough management issues in the first chute before cutting right to the tight exit chute. In that chute slough management became more problematic so I skied the right shoulder and in the end just pulled up by a tree and let the whole lot express train by me so I could drop the last few turns out of the chute - not bad for 8 days after a storm.
Knot Chutes again - Tight Knot had plenty of soft.
Triple Trees - just the first section as I was going back to White Pass via Trespass Trail. Very lightly tracked with deep snow and a lively drop on to the trail.

Last run was Skydive. As no one else turned up to ski it I decided to make it a challenge by skiing it all the way down to the day lodge in one with no stops - I deserved a beer or two after that.

A couple more days of snow drought then precip in the forecast for the weekend - here's hoping.

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