Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 39 a bit slabby and grabby in places but pretty good

The snow of yesterday died out pretty early in the night so the 24 hour figure was only 17 cms - base up at about 230 cms. We obviously had a very significant wind event on the hill last night as a number of trees were down, and the snow was very wind affected with the apparently smooth powder surfaces a bit slabby and grabby. On the way to the hill temps were only about zero and at the base rose to a degree or two above that while staying at around -4 on top.

The most interesting aspect of the start was that whilst it was overcast the ridge lines were clear and as we arrived we were treated to the sight of ridge line heli bombimg which seem to get great results all the way across the area. We had a choice - go to the Old Side and ski Snake Ridge which should have been open by the bombing or go to the New Side and try for Polar Peak. We went to the New Side which was a mistake. Polar Peak remained closed due to high winds - the chair kept dropping on to auto slow speed and there is no way anyone in their right mind would be wanting to ride that chair at slow speed at around tower 8.

We had many runs in untracked or lightly tracked snow which had been created by a combination of yesterdays snow fall and last nights wind. As I was group skiing with friends we didn't quite rack up the usual amount of vert but still had a very nice day.

Cougar Glades -untracked on the left
Stag Leap - untracked with the bumps filled in
Lone Fir - super deep and even better in the fans with only one board track beating us in
Lower Easter - mostly untracked on the left side
Decline - lightly tracked and untracked in the trees off to the left
Window Chutes- really good untracked in the trees at the top and a soft landing on the log drop, soft and deep below.
Triple Trees - we skied all five sections down to the trailed below Summer Road and had untracked tight tree skiing all the way down.
Secret Chutes - great fall line skiing in the untracked trees line to the right
Spinal Tap - filling in with hero snow so that even with the dead fall that is there you could still ski some pretty good lines
Knot chutes to Jim - steep soft untracked with a broken off Christmas tree in the middle of Jim that needed avoiding
Anaconda -  took one of the far chutes that hadn't been touched which was great
An oddline through the trees beyond Bootleg Glades which was great open tree skiing in the top and then some rather more technical bits followed by some bush whacking to get out on Gilmar Trail

Lunch. After lunch we gave the Old Side a try and had a great loop out to Steep and Deep taking the shoulder between that run and Gorby Bowl which was steep and untracked before cutting left into the run itself - great skiing. Kangaroo skied well with a lot of soft blow in. We had a great run back through Boomerang where we hung left and found more untracked. For the first time this year we hit the trees to skiers right in the lower section by Boom Chair. Don't know if this has a name but it was great tree skiing with many log drops and a couple of navigational issues.

After a further fun drop down Bear Chutes we ran back to the New Side and just had time to do a loop of Knot Chutes and Surprise Trees ( very good and lightly tracked) before heading out to Skydive. Of course Skydive was tracked (Lynda grabbed first tracks in there in the morning) but it was soft and smoothed out a bit by the wind. We had a maximum speed rip to finish the day which was great.

It is now snowing and temps are -2. There is a worry that there will be a warm up on the front end of this weather system bringing rain. As it is passing around dawn at the coldest time of the day I have hopes that we might just keep the precip white - after that it is a heavy snowfall warning for the Elk Valley so her we go, here we go.

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