Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 41 what a difference a day makes

First of all apologies for the lateness of this report. Straight from skiing we went to our buddies Rod and Karen for some excellent chilli and far too much beer. That may account for the erratic spelling and rambling nature of this report.

Yesterday finished ugly with rain and plus temps. Overnight things cooled so that by the morning it was -2 and it had snowed most of the night. The result was that we had what seemed to me about 20 cms of fresh (a bit more in the wind sift areas) on top of the great upper mountain snow of yesterday. Lower down the base had refrozen to a very crusty under base but with the new snow on top it still skied ok. So what we had was the top two thirds of the hill as awesome powder and the bottom third as covered crust which just about supported skier weight.

We went to the New Side to get as high as possible and were amazed at the lack of people - I guess they were put off by yesterday's conditions. Polar Peak was closed and remained so but as we skied off the White Pass chair they dropped the fence on Currie Bowl. On the far side only the low traverse was open and as we didn't feel the need to go any further we just dropped Alpha Centauri/Concussion and got first tracks in super deep powder all the way down including Gilmar Gully.

Next time round the traverse had been cut and we worked our way out to Cougar Glades where everyone had their own fresh lines in the trees in real hero fall line snow. I had intended to go out to Stag Leap but the trees to the right of the run before I got there (don't even know if they have a name) tempted me and I had an awesome run in super tight trees all the way down cutting out on to Stag Leap just before the bottom.

The high Reverse Traverse opened and we checked out the Saddles which were closed and remained so. We had intended to ski the Brain but as we passed over Currie  Creek it only had one track and we dropped in for a mega high speed rip all the way down. Next loop we got to the Brain and found it untracked and amazing tree skiing. Just before the exit on to Skydive we hit the crunch line and the last few turns in the trees were a bit technical.

Decline was next on the agenda  and although tracked had plenty of untracked lines and areas. I pretty much straight lined the top section which is something I have never been able to do and speaks volumes for the hero quality of the snow. We cut left into Window chutes and after an amazing deep run through the trees were staggered to find the chute untracked. It was an awesome rip with a great log drop marred only by the crunch line cutting in just as you hit the choke and so making for some very exciting final turns.

Last run before lunch we hiked Lone Fir thinking that perhaps with the Saddles closed we would not get the chute. No fear, it was open and although tracked the snow was such that you could rip the chute with short GS turns rather than to having to make edge to edge jumps as usual. Below the fan was awesome and there were some great untracked pillow lines in the trees to the left.

After lunch we just continued as before. Stag Leap (great soft snow in the trees and still untracked on the edges) Cougar Glades (by holding hard left in the tight trees it was still possible to find untracked fall lines) Anaconda Glades (tracked but great deep snow and untracked lines in the lower sections) Bootleg Glades ( nearside trees untracked all the way down, the first time I have been able to hit these this year) and so to Skydive.

Last run we had a great team of me, Steve, Liz, Randy, Rod and Stinger to have a last rip. The first two thirds were just the best maximum speed powder free riding you could get. The last third was crunchy but ok.

So an amazing turn round with temps still cooling. No crowds and quite a bit of the mountain yet to open so tomorrow could also be pretty good.

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