Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 37 an awesome day with some powder

When I woke up for a pee in the night it was snowing quite heavily. The hill report only called 7 cms but this was as at 5 am so I figured there would be more and I was right. The snow stopped just before we got to the hill but it remained overcast all day. The interesting thing was the temperature which hovered at around zero all day at the base and was only about -5 even on the upper mountain.

We had new snow so we decided to have a New Side day. At the weekend one of the pay for powder groups would have had all the good lines off the Old Side and as this makes me very pissed off I decided to avoid the whole issue. It turned out to be an excellent call as with the White Pass top socked in and Polar Peak not running we actually cut first tracks out along the Skydive Traverse to Skydive - what a position to be in, any run we wanted off the big three untracked in what seemed to me to be about 15 cms of new snow and windsift. We hit Skydive top to bottom with the bottom of the bumps all filled in with soft powder.

After that the morning played out as -

Cougar Glades/Stag Leap - a couple of tracks headed right so we headed left and had untracked lines in the left hand trees all the way to the Stag Leap cut out. Stag Leap had two tracks in front of us so still plently of fresh.
The Brain - not everyone joined me for this but it was their loss. One board track crossed left to right in the top section but after that it was untracked on top of the hero snow fallen from the trees in yesterdays wind. Great tight steep tree skiing on the right shoulder of the creek bed.
Lone Fir/Easter - patrol had done a great job with the chain saw in removing the tree that had fallen in this chute two days ago. There were only two tracks in front of us and the real danger was being barrelled out by your own slough as you dropped the chute. The avi trees and the trees on the left side of Easter below the chute were pretty well untracked and great skiing.
Secret Chutes/Spinal Tap - large sections of the chutes were untracked and I managed to find a fall line line straight through the trees in what seemed to be very deep new snow. Spinal Tap is filling in and although it is still very technical around the new dead fall the snow is fantastic and deep, I guess due to low skier traffic, after all who in their right mind would want to ski a chute like this.
Decline/Window Chutes - amazingly there were still places in Decline where the snow was untracked for a turn ot two. The new snow in the top of the Window chutes meant that you could fall line ski the trees into the top of the chute and after that it was tracked but deep snow but a little scratchy in the choke.

We had a late lunch and went back to the New Side. Bearing in mind that we had not yet skied Stag Leap from the top we did that and found it still lightly tracked with some fresh snow. We then hiked up to One Step Beyond and found only one track ahead of us. The snow was deep and fresh and the exit chute tight and fun as becomes what is probably the tightest steepest chute on the hill in general use.

We were wondering what to do next when our minds were made up for us by the opening of Polar Peak. As they had opened it so late they decided to keep it open until 4, which they did. We went up three times cutting back to the lift each time. The conditions were brutal with a very strong wind and bad viz. We skied Pappa Bear twice (poor viz but great soft snow) and Grand Pappa Bear once ( ugly windcrust in the top half suddenly becoming soft flat windgroomed powder half way down for no apparent reason) before as a final run off Polar we decided to go for Mamma Bear as it looked like no else had been there.

Mamma Bear was fantastic deep wind sifted powder and the viz was not all that bad, we had super GS turns all the way through the chute. On a whim we skied on the Skydive and then took that to the bottom with no break. Polar Peak to the bottom of Skydive non stop is quite an achievement and after that our legs were on fire with a fire that could only be put out with lots of beer.

Off to hot tub and drink more beer while thinking about the forecasts of some pretty serious snow in the next couple of days.

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