Monday, February 11, 2013

Day 73 the snow drought continues

It is now a week since we had any significant snow an after a very promising start to the season it is turning into a pretty sketchy year. The base is down to 229 cms and although we still have coverage from fence to to fence it is getting hard and bumpy with fresh snow very difficult to find. I make this comment as a counter balance to all the advertising hype I hear on the radio about the awesome conditions that we are supposed to be enjoying. Things are ok given the lack of snow but no better than that.

Today started as -9 and was overcast with anything around White Pass or above totally socked in. During the day base temps rose to plus figures but on top it remained a good -5 and was not only socked in but windy. This should have indicated the start of a weather front but by the end of the day temps were on the rise with the wind dropping off which would suggest to me that the snow we have been promised is not going to show up.

We went to the Old Side and Traversed out to the Gorby/Steep and Deep shoulder which was ok but tracked and then cut into Steep and Deep itself which was very chunky and crusty, to be honest the juice just wasn't worth the squeeze. We came back via and icey and bumpy Kangaroo which was tough and ugly and as such great fun. During the morning we had two more returns through Kangaroo which were just the same and just as much fun. I still find it strange how many people try to drop on to the cat track half way down from the right which is gnarly rather than from the left which is comparatively mellow.

Cedar Ridge, King Fir and Boom Ridge were all firm and taking a nice edge but with nothing that could be described as soft. We went to the New Side via Boom Guts which had some wind grooming but in most places was firm bumps.

On the New Side we were amazed to find Polar Peak open given that it was totally socked in and the winds even at the base were howling. There is no greater fan of Polar than me but even I couldn't see much advantage in giving it a try and after a few hours during which only a handful of people went up they closed it - better luck tomorrow.

Cougar Glades was tracked but there were still a few soft lines tight to the trees on the left. We cut out into Stag Leap and found it ok, soft bump skiing. Last run before lunch was the Brain which still had some genuine untracked lines in it if only because there is about a million different ways down it and no matter how much it gets skied there will always be some soft somewhere.

The afternoon on the New Side panned out as -
Lone Fir/Spinal Tap - getting a little sparse in the chute so at least your own slough isn't a worry any more but the fan and through the avi trees is still great soft snow. Spinal Tap is getting a bit firm in places but as it was all taking an edge you could have loads of fun jumping in and out of the creek bed particularly in the lower section.
Decline/Window Chutes - Decline is pretty bumpy in the top getting to just undulating in the mid section. Window chutes remain super soft in the drop through the trees but are starting to get a bit firm and tracked in the chute itself.
Stag Leap - still slick in the trees but still probably the least skied and least bumped up of the big 3. A really nice run from top to bottom in easy conditions.
Triple Trees - having a bit of time on our hands we went out to Triple Trees and dropped the first section to Trespass Trail before cutting back to White Pass. Although there were some tracks in there I was surprise by just how much untracked there was in the trees and on the final drop to the trail - maybe a good starting point tomorrow.

We finished on Skydive but first it is just worth mentioning Big Bang, Lift Line, Puff Trees and Big Bang/Lift Line Trees which were used all day to get from Timber top to White Pass base and were all firm but good skiing taking a nice edge. Skydive was big bumps in the top, smoothing out in the mid section but bumps coming back again in the final pitch with the surface tracked but ok all the way through.

Maybe snow tonight, maybe not, who knows, what ever it is we will be skiing it tomorrow.

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