Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 36 we need more snow

There is only so much that windsift can do and with no significant snow for almost two weeks things are starting to get a bit scratchy. That isn't to say we don't have great coverage for the time of year or that the hill isn't holding up well considering the holiday traffic we have had but, if you want to ski the powder that Fernie is so famous for we need snow and we need it now.

Today was another overcast day with temps of around -6 all over the hill. The wind of yesterday had continued into the night so wind sift skiing was to be had. Patrol were having a busy day with the chain saws sorting out all the trees brought down in yesterday's wind and from what I could see they did a pretty good job at cleaning up the mess.

We went to the Old Side first and had a warm up down the Sunny Side shoulder which was crisp bumps with some sift in the troughs. On the advice of a patroller buddy we went out to the Red Tree (skied by Lynda) and Steep and Deep (skied by me) areas and again found some nice wind sift between crisp bumps.

That was just about the story of the Old Side which we looped on Boomerang, Boom Ridge, Linda's Cedar Ridge (several ways) and Buck shot - all a bit of sift between quite nice bumps. A special thanks must go to the group who decided to side slip the left exit from upper Kangaroo on to the cat track thus ruining the only reasonable exit and leaving the rest of us with a pretty sketchy drop - I love these people.

We went to the New Side and found the top of White Pass socked in and very white. It was this way all day and as the afternoon wore on we found the cloud base was drifting down the hill and the sock in line eventually ended up somewhere near the top of Timber - viz was very poor above that line. I went to check out the Polar Peak chair and found it running but not loading, it would be really helpful if they put a sign at the top of White Pass showing the Polar Peak status to save wasted trips to the chair to check.

We ran down Alpha Centauri which was in great windsift shape and then Concussion which was the same. Last run before lunch was Skydive which was very bumpy in the top but getting better low down and good but twiggy in the lower section.

After lunch I had a relaxing afternoon just dropping various bits of the Currie chutes off the Reverse Traverse all of which was crisp bumps, twigs and other obstructions starting to come through and a bit of sifted snow. One run worth mentioning was trip out to Decline and then into the Window Chutes where my navigation skills (rather an assumption that there will always be space when I jump blind round a tree) let me down and I had to do some reverse shuffling to get away from a close encounter with a tree - all in the game and the chutes themselves where still deep soft snow.

We had to do a fill in loop in White Pass at the end of the day and after a totally white drop through the Gun Bowl went to Triple trees down to Trespass Trail. It was untracked wind blown snow which was a bit slabby and grabby in places but great skiing. As there hadn't been any real wind today I have to assume that we were the first ones in there today at about half past three.

The final rip down Skydive was of course fun but the twigs in the bottom section are now starting to become a bit of a hazard to health if you don't pay attention. As I am typing light snow is falling and a wet Pacific system is supposed to hit us in the next day or two - lets see.

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