Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 40 rather messy conditions but some ok lines

The reason for the mess was the rising temperature. When we went to bed last night it was -2 and snowing but by the time we woke up it was +4 and whilst the precip had stopped it had clearly turned to rain up some time in the night. The hill were calling for a fresh 20 cms but they didn't say 20 cms of what. At the base it was messy and wet while on top there was very heavy slabby snow which took a lot of skiing.

It was overcast all day and late afternoon we started to get flurries at the top with rain showers at the base. As we drove away from the hill temps were falling to +2 and are forecast to go to -8 tonight. As can be imagined from all this the new snow on top was pretty heavy and as you moved down the mountain it became real Sierra Cement somewhere just below half height.

We went to the New Side to get as high as possible in the knowledge that there was no chance of us getting Polar Peak. With Currie Bowl Closed we had several loops back through Surprise Trees getting a little further round each time and finding some heavy untracked lines most of the time. As soon as they opened Knot Chutes we included them in the loop. The snow was very heavy but if you skied it fast it felt like powder and we just about hit all the Knot Chutes including Slim and Jim and one time or another.

When they dropped the fence on Currie there was the usual rush but with so few people on the hill quite frankly it wasn't much of an event. The high Reverse Traverse wasn't open so we took a gamble and cut back to Anaconda (via Knot chutes) which had opened at the same time. This was a good choice as the whole of Anaconda was untracked so we divided up the first two chutes and had an amazing deep (if heavy) powder rip down to the trail.

Next time round we gambled again and went back to Anaconda - another good call. No one else had been there and we had to cut the trail out to about Anaconda 4 before we dropped. The snow was so deep that I was actually knocked off my skis by my own slough about half way down and had to execute a pretty spectacular recovery to continue. Bootleg Glades looked a bit marginal but were good heavy lightly tracked snow only becoming hard work in the last couple of turns.

Last run before luch we headed out to Cougar Glades and after a bit of side stepping from the low traverse worked our way in to Cougar Glades which were awesome heavy hero snow allowing you to fall line ski in the trees. The low exit to the left did get a bit mushy but was ok.

After lunch the rain down low and wet snow on top started. We went back to the New Side and found things socked in and Currie Bowl closed due to avi risks. Two poachers were actually hit by an avi in Currie but were ok - pity. I hope that at least their passes were pulled for the rest of the season for making the patrollers risk their lives to go and get them. As anyone who knows me knows, my opinion of poachers is that hanging is too good for them.

We went back to looping Anaconda and Bootleg which were still hardly tracked and had some very deep heavy snow in them. For a change we ran to the base through Triple Trees which were mostly untracked but got very sticky in the third section - we didn't even think about parts 4 and 5.

With Skydive cut off, the hill closing down one bit at a time and the lower hill now getting very messy in the rain we had to look for a finale. We decided to hit out a long way into Anaconda and take a random chute. We dropped at about 5 and had a nice start before getting into a tight chute that needed about 6 edge to edge jumps and then straight line it out beyween two trees into a super soft bowl - a very nice line. The final exit was through Bootleg Glades which was still ok.

This was a very tough day with conditions that would not be considered much fun by many. For us it was just another set of challenges that were fun coming to grips with although by the close the legs were getting very tired. The forecast is for cooling with maybe more snow which could give us anything from powder on a crisp base to boiler plate depending on how it plays out - whatever it is we will there.

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