Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 34 Perfect Polar Peak

The forecasters got it dead right (now there are words I don't often type) and we had a major temp inversion today. The result was that below the cloud line (White Pass top but getting lower all day) we had cold temps of around -10 and valley snow. Above this was a bluebird day with all the sights you would expect (sun dogs, clear sky snow, even some angel dust etc) and milder temps. By the afternoon it has almost completely cleared and driving back from the hill we had clear skies and temps of around -14.

It didn't look promising on the way to the hill with the tops socked in and we were going to go to the Old Side. In the locker room a buddy told us that she had just had a call from her son (a patroller) to say that it was bluebird on top so we just headed for Polar Peak.

On a day like this we always take a loop on the Peak and the another chute with a drop to the bottom. The morning was -
Pappa Bear/Mamma Bear/Concussion - No one had worked out what ws happening and like all day most of the visitors to the Peak were intermediates who just wanted some photos and then a trip down Polar Coaster to give them bragging rights. Pappa Bear was deep soft windsift in perfect light. In the Mamma Bear chute we grabbed first tracks and I set off a huge slough which I raced all the way down and just beat out of the chute - by the end it had reached a size that there would have been real issues if it had caught me. Concussion was poor light but soft snow.

Barely Legal/Baby Bear/ Currie Creek - Barely Legal was very deep but a large number of not so good snow users had taken a lot of snow out of the lower chutes, in the end it was just easier to air some rocks to get out. Baby Bear was soft and deep and Currie Creek seemed untracked on the 4 cms of snow plus wind sift that we had received in the night.

Grand Pappa Bear/Spirit Bear/Concussion - Grand Pappa was a bit crusty on the exposed shoulders but soft and deep elsewhere. Spirit Bear was hardly tracked, I guess because of the tight entrance and the choke lower down, it was great wind powder skiing. The light had improved in Concussion so I took the steep chute in which was well covered with a bit of a technical section in the middle.

Pappa Bear/Mamma Bear/Stag Leap - Both chutes were as before with windsift actually filling in as we were skiing them. The trees at the top of Stag Leap were abit slick but when we got in the run I doubt more than half a dozen people had been in before us. We had a great rip down to lunch.

In the afternoon I linked up with my buddy Rob just off night shift in the mine - how does he ski after that ? It went -

Pappa Bear/Mamma Bear/Cougar Glades/Stag Leap - The chutes were as before but on the way to Mamma I found a steep little chute marked "cliff" and had the steepest soft snow drop of the day into the main Mamma chute. Cougar Glades still had lots of soft from the overnight accumulation and we took the left cut into Stag Leap which was just as it was before lunch.

Spirit Bear/Concussion - Still a lot of soft in the tight bits of Spirit Bear and the steep chute into Concussion remained in great shape.

There was just time for a quick hike up Big Bang which was quite soft in the trees on skiers right before heading out to Skydive for the last run. Having set the precedent yesterday there was nothing else for it but a top to bottom run without stopping.

All in all and awesome day. We will have better sunny days up Polar Peak (but the snow will be spring slush) we will have better snow up Polar Peak ( but the viz will be crap) - we probably won't get too many combinations better than we got today, this season. Any day you can ski the Peak 11 times is a good day,

A couple more days snow drought then the next precip cycle should begin.


  1. Hey Bill.

    Sounds like super day! Love the peak.
    Flight now booked (28th Feb) for a trip across the pond. Here's hoping for fresh!
    Hopefully catch you (say hi anyway) when I am over.

  2. Right in the middle of my one week back in the Uk to check on the house, pay bills etc. Back in Fernie 6th Mar - it always snows when I go back.