Sunday, February 10, 2013

Day 72 in really good shape considering

And what I am talking about is the hill and not me, although I am in better shape than usual at this stage of the season. No, considering we haven't had any significant snow for over a week and we are coming out of a weekend of high skier traffic it has to be said that the hill is holding up in better shape than we have a right to expect, although not the awesome conditions that the official site would have you believe. New good snow is very hard to find but ok firm and crisp skiing is the order of the day all over the hill.

There was no new snow to speak of overnight and the mid mountain base was drifting below 230 cms which is low for this time in the season. On the way to the hill it was -6 and overcast but with the hint of light coming through the clouds which suggested maybe an inversion was up there. The hint was right and we went to the New Side and straight up Polar Peak which was on top of a cloud base with the most fantastic view of peaks in all directions pushing up through the clouds.

During the day the clouds slowly cleared so that temps asserted themselves in a more normal pattern and by the end of the day it was about zero at the base and -5 on top. Even in the direct sunlight the snow was staying in pretty good shape.

We looped Polar with a run down Grand Pappa Bear (scratchy but ok) and then a drop down the tight chute between Pappa and Mamma Bear which my patroller buddies tell me hasn't got a name but I am calling Bill's chute as no one else seems to ski it much - it is steep with great untracked snow. Cougar Glades/Stag Leap was good soft snow in the trees and the just nice soft bumps skiing in Stag Leap.

Next time up Polar I took my chute then cut out to the The Brain. Of course there had been tracks in there but there are so many routes through that good untracked tree skiing could be had in many places. Another Polar loop through my chute then a traverse out to try Stag Leap. It was a bit slick through the trees in the top but after that the run was very nice skiing with some soft bumps in the upper section.

Last run before lunch and we did a Spirit Bear run off Polar although I will admit I ducked the fence to avoid the rocks before cutting back into the top of the run. We exited via Secret Chutes (still loads of untracked snow) and and Spinal Tap (hero snow in the upper chute and just great lines in and out of the creek bed lower down) - lunch.

After lunch it was -
Gotta Go/Bootleg Glades/Gilmar Gully - we had a good traverse out to Gotta Go to get a pic of Simon in front of the Simons Crack sign. The left chute of Gotta Go (which my patroller buddies tell me is called Google Earth) was untracked and just fantastic. Bootleg and the gully were hard packed but taking a nice edge.
Polar/Decline/Window Chutes - Mamma Bear was good skiing off Polar and Decline was soft bumps all the way down. The drop into Window Chutes still had some soft in the top and the chute itself was good creek bed skiing taking a nice edge.
Polar/Lone Fir/Spinal Tap - my chute again still mostly untracked. Lone Fir was a bit firm but great for edge to edge jumping through the chute and the fan was super soft. As before Spinal Tap was hero snow and great creek bed skiing.

I just had time for a quick loop on White Pass to kill time. I had a fit of indecision on the shoulder between Fraid Knot and Tight Knot in the Knot chutes trying to decide which would be the best. In the event I reversed into Tight Knot which was a mistake as it was scratchy and gnarly all the way down, so much for experience and judgement. Surprise Trees were ok skiing wherever the sun hadn't got to the surface.

Skydive was a lonely experience as no one else turned up. In true keeping with the faith I ripped it top to bottom in one and quite enjoyed myself in the process. No new snow for a day or two so I guess we are going to have to make our own fun until it comes.

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