Monday, February 4, 2013

Day 66 Pity Groundhog day was on Saturday

The reason it is a pity is that today felt just like yesterday and looking at the forecast I have a feeling that the next few days are going to be just the same. Where is Ground Hog day when you need it?

On the way to the hill it was about +1 and overcast on the ridge lines. During the day temps rose at the the base to maybe +5 but stayed about -2 on top with the snow protected by ridge line clouds and wind (particularly on the New Side) so that for most of the mountain the snow stayed in good shape. Of course the south facing slopes that had been mushed on Saturday never softened and continued to be ugly and icey if you were dumb enough to try them which on a couple of occasions we were.

We went to the Old Side and made the first dumb decision of the day to ski Sunny Side shoulder on the basis that temps were so warm that maybe ambiant temperature would have softened the surface - wrong, it was rock hard and ugly. Next we dropped Cedar Ridge left side which was firm and crisp but taking a nice edge.

We did another loop through Cedar Ridge right which was just as nice and firm and each time returned through Kangaroo which was predictably icey, and ugly and as  a result (in my opinion) was great fun. There are only so many north facing slopes on the Old Side and only so many ways you can ski Cedar Ridge so we took Boomerang (super smooth and easy skiing) to get to the New Side. There was also the issue that there were so few people around (it being a Monday) if anything had happened to us we might not have been found until the spring !

On the New Side we went straight to Skydive which like last night was great fall line bumps in the top, firm easy bumps lower down and the great free riding terrain all the way down. Next loop we tried Anaconda/Bootleg Glades/Gilmar Gully. This was very good with a bit of sift having come in over the ridge line in Anaconda. Bootleg was skiing firm but good and the gully was nice fun terrain but the light was a bit flat.

Last run before lunch was a trip through Stag Leap which like yesterday was a bit slick in the trees but very good firm free riding from the trees to the bottom. After lunch we went back to the New Side and I cracked up the pace with -
Decline/Window Chutes - Nice firm bumps in Decline with still nice vertical lines to be had in the drop into the chute in some quite soft snow. The chute itself was firm but skied ok if a little twiggy on the exit.
The Brain - a little slick where it had been tracked but still loads of untracked lines in the trees to the right of the creek bed. Just starting to mush due to the ambiant temp in the last few turns before cutting out into Skydive.
Secret Chutes/Spinal Tap - both amazingly good with some soft snow all the way down. Jumping in and out of the creek bed to exit just gets more fun each time you do it although the drop from the log is getting big enough to be exciting.
Currie Creek - I was short of time so took a loop down the creek hoping for some soft snow. Last big mistake of the day, it was just that bit south facing and was hard crunch with slick sections all the way through to the exit. Not quite ugly, but not far off.

And so to Skydive with just three of us there but enough to have a fun rip. As before it was bumps in the top becoming easy bumps lower down and by the end we were just throwing down GS turns and pretty much ignoring the bumps even at speed. We went to the bar and had a great night with our buddies before coming home for a hot tub, dinner and bed - life in Fernie is very simple and good.

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