Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 61 a slabby Old Side, ok New and cold.

Ok, an expalanation, it was slabby on the Old Side but improved as we moved to the New. The cold refers not to the temps but the fact that I am suffering day 4 of a cold (usually my worst) with low energy levels. As luck would have it I seemed to pick up a bit in the afternoon although that could be due to linking up with my buddy Rob who always pushes me hard and just having to suck it up for the rest of the day. I do actually feel that the worst is past and we can get back to some stupid skiing over the next few days.

It was -7 on the way to the hill with overcast conditions on top, Polar Peak stayed closed all day due to viz. Temps fluctuated but generally stayed cold until we left the bar tonight and found ourselves in a +1 air mass. The outlook is very uncertain, we could have some precip, or maybe not and it could come down as very white or very wet, or anything in between - welcome to the joys of living in Fernie. The base remains good at just over 250 cms.

We went to the Old Side and had a pretty white run back down Sunny Side shoulder (badly named today) just to get ourselves in shape and found that although no snow was reported overnight there had been a wind event and the surface was pretty slabby. After that we went out to Gorby Bowl which was quite deep but slabby all the way down and as you would have expected untracked. .The left, right shuffle round the cliff band is now well established

Kangaroo was pretty ugly and icey but no worse than expected. Boom Ridge was slabby in between the bumps and it was good idea to keep up speed to stay on top. We exited via Boom guts which was just like the Ridge and headed for the New Side. We noticed straight off from our first drop of Lift Line that the snow had blown in here but was a bit softer.

There was just time for three quick loops of the New Side before lunch bearing in mind I was suffering. First off was drop of Stag Leap which was remarkably untracked on the blow in all the way down. Next I hit High Saddle if only because it looked quite tough. I did manage a good entrance by high siding it to the left but it just became edge to edge jumping in the lower section. The bad news was that the light went very flat so I had to grope my way down to Easter Bowl on what was probably ok powder without ever seeing it, ah well, that's how it goes sometimes.

Last run before lunch was Cougar Glades which was tracked but had fresh blow in to play on and the left hand lower exit chutes are getting quite deep.

After lunch Rob and I hit -
Decline/Window Chutes - ok skiing in Decline and of course untracked lines above the chute. Skiing was deep and good down to the choke which was bit scratchy.
Secret Chutes/Spinal Tap - great soft snow still in the chutes and amazingly we got first tracks in Spinal Tap which is filling in but still pretty challenging in the lower deadfall areas, the log drop into the creek bed seems to be getting bigger every day.
Gotta Go/Bootleg Glades - as always Gotta Go was only lightly tracked and Rob found a new way through the choke with soft snow which I intend to exploit over the next few days. Bootleg was a bit chunky but ok.
Knot Chutes/Surprise Trees - a quick White Pass loop which gave us a nice drop of Reef Knot and some surprisingly deep lines in Surprise Trees if you were prepared to cut things fine.

Skydive of course ended the day and a special mention goes to the two blog followers I met there (sorry guys didn't get your names) from Lethbridge. Great to see you and glad you enjoy the blog - spread the good word. Skydive skied very mellow with bumps in the top flattening out a bit lower down but with plenty of soft snow.

Where the weather is going is a total crap shoot so the next few days should be interesting to put it mildly.

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