Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 54 will it ever snow again

Today we had a confident forecast from all sources that it would be cloudy with flurries turning to snow overnight. This was to follow the collapse of the high pressure ridge that has dominated our weather for what seems like forever and the consequential loss of the temperature inversion. What happened was that the inversion hung on late into the afternoon and we skied in bluebird conditions for most of the day with some clouding over towards the end. With temps up at -2 and cloud cover far from heavy something has clearly changed and it must throw the supposed forecast snow cycle into some doubt.

It was -7 and as I said bluebird on the way to the hill and temps rose a bit during the day but at the top of White Pass it was almost spring like with the snow softening. It may have been even warmer up Polar Peak but as they were not allowing us into the chutes for the second day running I didn't go up as skiing an icey groomer off the top has little or no appeal.

We had a New Side day and as Lynda was heading back to the UK for 10 days to sort out family stuff it left me to play ski instructor with Simon who is visiting us from Ireland. The conditions were much as they have been for the past few days with everything smooth but hard with only the slightest sift. Where there had been skier traffic things had bumped up but whilst the bumps cold be hard they were taking and edge and not at all icey.

We went all over the New Side including Lift Line (many times) Knot Chutes (a couple of times) Skydive, Lone Fir, Stag Leap, Anaconda Glades, Bootleg Glades, The Brain, Cougar Glades/lower Stag Leap, Decline, Window Chutes, Secret Chutes, Spinal Tap, Skydive (in one top to bottom) and Skydive again (top to bottom in one again) as it was so good.

Highlights of the day in no particular order were -
Lone Fir Chute - although hard it took a nice edge and made the edge to edge jumping all the way through almost a pleasure. Pity was that the fan below which usually makes the hard work worth while was still icey and chunky.
Window Chutes - the snow in the trees as you drop from Decline was the only really soft snow I found all day.
Secret Chutes - I really expected these to be scratchy but there was a kind of uneven crinkly surface that took a great edge.
The Brain - more a low light really. The skiing was tough in the tight trees and all the debris blown down from the branches made it very difficult to work out what was a real obstruction and what could be ignored, super hard work but nice when you got a rhythm going.
Spinal Tap - my revenge. Having got hurt there a couple of days ago I went in super agressive and ripped down the chute to the choke. Got the line dead right through the trees that got me and even had time to whack one of the trees with my pole in revenge.
Skydive - having taken a run through early in the day and found the bumps quite soft in the upper section and the skier traffic having improved the lower it was an obvious choice to go back later. As a buddy was leaving the hill early (for me) I had a final run with him down top to bottom without stopping and it was so mellow. Looping back there were no takers for the final Skydive run so it was top to bottom without stopping again and it was just as much fun as before.

It was a much better day than I would have expected but we do need snow. In the answer to the many times I have been asked this question today - no I will not be at the hill at 4 tomorrow morning to see them filming for Canada AM - my bed looks pretty good at that hour and even the chance of a draw for cat skiing doesn't change that. Hoping for more snow.

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