Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 81 call that a snow fall

Last night we were all getting excited about an overnight dump and in the event it came out at 3 cms. For today we had a forecast of overcast with flurries turning to snow and it turned out as a bluebird day with a bit of late afternoon haze. It's true what they say " a weather forecaster is the only person who can get things wrong 80 % of the time and keep their job". This little skiff of snow pushed the base to around 225 cms which is about a metre shy of where I would expect it at this time of year.

On the way to the hill it was -6 but in the direct sunlight it must have got to nearer +4 during the day at the base. On top it stayed below zero but again in the direct sunlight the snow was getting heavy if it wasn't quite melting. So in summary it wasn't quite spring skiing but it got quite close at times.

We went to the Old Side just as yesterday and poked around looking for good stuff. Cedar Ridge two different ways was ok on a firm base with a light covering of new snow. King Fir seemed to have a bit more in it but was still scratchy on the exit. They groomed Boom Ridge a couple of days ago and have now discovered (what the dogs in the street could have told you) that if you groom a steep slope and then leave it you will end up with an ugly slick slope. The answer of course is don't groom good steep runs but then who listens to me on this subject. There were warning signs on Boom Ridge for long slides so we just held the left shoulder which was good soft snow all the way through. We even exited via the trees on the lower right of Boomerang which were ok and lightly tracked.

All three loops were linked by Kangaroo which is skiing very mellow in the top section and bear ass ugly on icey bumps in the lower. Somewhere in there we took a run back on Haul Back in the trees on skiers right of the lift. After some tight lines in the top to get through some dead fall it was great tree skiing in soft powder back to the bottom of the lift. We decided that we had seen all that the Old Side had to offer and headed over to the new.

Polar Peak was open so we hit Mamma Bear (soft wind sift) and then traversed out to Stag Leap which skied ok with very few bumps but a few more in the final pitch. Next time round we looped Polar Peak in Grand Pappa Bear which was rather wind affected in the upper sections but nice soft blow in on the way back to the lift. Next chute was Baby Bear which was full of soft snow before heading out the Skydive. The bumps in the top of Skydive are getting very interesting with steep sides and tricky lines and even lower down you had to pay attention to the terrain. We had a very late lunch after a full morning.

In the afternoon time was limited so we were up Polar again this time for a drop through my chute in the cliffs on the near side of Mamma Bear which was untracked. We went to Cougar Glades which still had soft untracked if you held the tight trees hard to the left and we went all the way to the disused cat track by Stag Leap which is fast becoming a favourite line of mine.

One last Polar loop was through Baby Bear which remained soft and deep. During the day we only had cause once to alert patrol to a slider in the chutes and I don't think he was too badly hurt so not a bad day. Secret Chutes and Spinal Tap hadn't been hit hard and were in great shape with new snow on top of the old.

We did have a high speed loop on White Pass through Heartland to kill time and got the final chair with four minutes to go. Skydive was just as before with steep tricky bumps in the top and bumpy terrain all the way down. They are calling for more snow tonight but given the forecasters track record I am not holding my breath. To be fair from the top of Polar you could see a number of convective cells and if one of those hit us then the snow could be very good.

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