Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 79 ugly busy and lots of idiots

The day was the busiest of the year in my view with major lift line ups at Timber and White Pass but then I guess that on the Sunday of Alberta family weekend clashing with Presidents weekend in America and the first new snow (ok only 5 cms) if it wasn't busy then the hill would be going out of business. The idiots of course refer to the amazing number of people who decided to stand around on the traverses causing normal traverse users to have to take some pretty radical lines in order to avoid them.

It was about -1 on the way to the hill and at the base it got up to around +3 during the day. On top it was -4 to start and maybe hung around zero for most of the day. The hill called 5 cms of fresh overnight which felt about right and the snow stayed in good shape on top and only became rain crust at the the very bottom of the Big Three.

We went to to the New Side on the grounds that with the rain/snow line somewhere on the lower mountain the higher we could go the better it would be. Polar Peak wasn't open straight off the bat but did open later and in any event the runs off the Big Three and Currie chutes were good enough for me.

With the huge line ups the number of runs you could get during the day were much more limited than normal but because the skiing population of the hill were not all that experienced in the Fernie Factor it was still possible to find fresh tracks albeit with a much fewer number of runs than usual. The way it panned out was -
Cougar Glades - we had these untracked all the way down to the disused cat track and it was really nice skiing.
The Brain right side - again untracked but you had to cut out to Skydive half way down the final section because of the rain crust in the lower section.
Skydive Trees right side - not quite untracked but pretty lightly tracked in the top section and totally untracked low down but again rain crust made it all a bit challenging in that lower section.
Polar Peak/Secret Chutes/ Spinal Tap -  Polar peak had opened and the light was just about ok so we skied Mamma Bear which was good deep blow in. The snow was ok in the chutes and really quite amazingly good in Spinal Tap itself.
Polar Peak/Decline/Window Chutes - this time the light in Polar was a lot worse and after a bit of slithering around we found Baby Bear which was also soft and deep blow in. The bumps in the top of Decline were very lively but after turning left into Window chutes it became very soft and was great skiing all the way down to lunch.

After lunch we were a bit short of time but did Cougar Glades which was still untracked and then did The Brain left side which still had a few untracked lines.  After that it was Skydive which is getting decidedly lumpy in the top and then smooth bumps but ok lower down.

It was off to the hockey tonight (hence this late report) where the Riders won 2-1 with the winner coming 9 seconds from time. As we left the hill it was snowing and it has been been snowing off and on all evening, I am optimistic of another powder day with a few less people around tomorrow.

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