Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 45 Happy Birthday to Polar Peak chair

Yes, it was one year ago to the day that Polar Peak chair opened for the first time so today is it's first birthday. It was a pity they couldn't get it open to celebrate but to be fair it was cold with brutal winds and the windchill on the top doesn't bear thinking about. First loop through I stood under the chair and sang Happy Birthday - two guys came over to ask what I was doing and when I explained they moved off pretty quick. I didn't have time to explain that we are small town and have to make our own entertainment.

It wasn't as cold as yesterday (-9 as we arrived at the hill and warming a few degrees during the day) but with the socked in moisture in the air and quite strong winds it felt a lot colder than the mercury was reading all day. It was snowing as we arrived and with the windsift we seemed to get a new covering of snow that skied rather better than the 4 cms or so that had to be the true measure.

When I say "we" I am using it in the Royal sense as everyone had deserted me today so I was on my own - I actually quite enjoy a day pleasing no one but myself. Even for a Monday in January with cold temps today was quiet. There were time when I found myself skiing for 20 minutes or more without seeing a sole - of course I mean soul, after all you wouldn't expect to see that many fishes on a ski hill.

I decided to have a New Side day playing in the few cms of new snow and windsift. Having arrived at the hill about half an hour late due to some over celebrating last night I ran straight through to last bell with no break.  A special mention has to go to Lift Line which was full of soft new snow and was my route from Timber Top to White Pass base every time and was some of the best snow on the hill. Other than that it played out as -

Currie Creek - although late I cut the first tracks out that way. I never intended to ski the creek but I was tempted as I skied over it and as Oscar Wilde said "the only way to rid oneself of temptation is to yield to it" - Dropped in and had a great rip to the bottom on new snow on a soft base.
Cougar Glades - where I had been going in the first place and where I had to cut first tracks beyond my own at the top of Currie Creek from the previous time. Great new snow on a soft base (I'll stop saying that now as that was how it was everywhere) and the exit was above the rain crunch line.
Stag Leap - a bit slick in the trees but after that great until the crunch in the last third.
Lone Fir - still deep snow in the chute and the new snow had improved the fans beyond recognition. The exit in Easter still had some fresh lines.
Anaconda/Bootleg Glades - The widsift had come over the ridge and was deep and soft. Trees to the left of Bootleg still have untracked lines.
The Brain - most of the way down it was seriously good powder and untracked with tight lines in the trees. The final few turns were in the rain cruch and a bit technical but fun to test yourself.
Decline/Window Chutes - Really nice rolling terrain in Decline and soft untracked into Window chutes through the trees. The log drop is now just about 4 foot and so easy with the only problem being the rain crunch starting just as you hit the choke on the exit - what fun.
Secret Chutes/Spinal Tap - more good soft snow with the rain crunch in Spinal Tap only starting about as you are negotiation the tight deadfall sections on the exit - more fun.
Gotta Go - as usual fairly untracked as most people don't fancy traversing across the top of the Knot Chutes. A bit scratchy in the choke but great soft snow below.
Siberia Ridge - as always almost ignored by the skier traffic so good snow and the lower section is now like a great terrain park with air to be had off all the logging trail berms.

After a quick hike up for a very sweet Big Bang it was out the Skydive for the final run. Only three of us today and no crazy racing but still a nice fairly fast rip down. As with all of the Big 3 the bottom third was chunky but ok if you kept your speed up.

Wonder what tomorrow will hold ?

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