Friday, February 22, 2013

Day 84 the new snow cycle begins

We had some contradictory wether signs today (when aren't they) regarding the next weather front moving in. Some reports said that it would arrive as snow while others said it would be a snow/rain mix or even rain. In the event we seem to have got over the warm leading edge of the weather front with no more than snow with a high moisture content and things look set to give us loads of snow for the next couple of days.

On the way to the hill it was -1 and overcast. Fairly early on in the day it started to snow and by the end of the day we had probably had another 10 cms pushing the base up to around 240 cms. Temps rose to around +2 at the base but the precip kept coming down white even if it landed a bit mushy.

We went to the New Side deciding to risk the closures relating to and supporters of the Junior Free Ski comp as being the lesser evil when set against the damage that some pay for powder groups would have inflicted on the Old Side. In the end I think it was  a pretty good call.

Without Lift Line being available as the drop from Timber top to White Pass bottom as it was part of the freeski course we had to find different ways down which were Puff and Puff trees, right and left. All these were soft bumps even in the trees getting softer all day as the snow accumulated.

We had a day of New Side loops with Polar very much closed in the snow which became heavy in the afternoon. The loops were -

Secret Chutes/Spinal Tap - the snow was not yet building from today but even last night's and yesterday afternoon's accumulation was very nice and soft and untracked.
Stag Leap - very mellow through the trees and in the run the snow was starting to get deep.
Cougar Glades - getting deeper still and untracked in the tight trees on the left and the lower section to the disused cat track.
The Brain right - by this time the snow was really starting to build and the lines in all sections of the Brain were super soft and deep. There may have been a few tracks in there before us but as I have said before there are so many ways down that you can always find fresh lines. The final section had filled in so well that you could pretty much get to the cat track.
Decline/Window Chutes - there were many untracked lines in Decline but perhaps surprisingly Window Chutes was tracked but still with soft snow.

We broke for lunch and then went back to the New Side. Most of our group decided to just keep rolling through Cougar Glades which seemed a bit odd to me as they were the same individuals who argued yesterday that four tracks in that run and it was trashed - people can be strange. My buddy Steve who arrived last night from the States and myself decided that re running easy lines wasn't for us so we headed for where the big waves were.

Triple Trees - really great skiing all the way down taking in all 5 sections. This run gets ignored and as a result the old snow plus the new snow gave us some really deep untracked lines.
Skydive Trees right - these don't get much traffic at the best of time so the new snow on top gave some very deep powder. Even the tight exit through the deadfall was starting to show signs of mellowing.
The Brain left side - the top section had completely filled in from our morning visit and the roller just before the creek had somehow acquired about 1 metre of snow to blast through. The left side trees were as always tight and as such untracked in what was becoming quite deep snow.

We had intended a White Pass loop but on arriving at the chair with about 25 mins to go we were told that it was broken down and would not run again. As we were about to turn away we were told that there was a chance it would run and a few moments later we loaded. The journey was rather erratic with stops and speed changes so we decided not to risk a trip back to the White Pass base but skied on and got to Skydive about 10 minutes early - sorry Dan and Rod for not waiting for you.

Skydive last time down was just starting to turn back into a powder run. The bumps at the top had smoothed out and for most of the run you could ride the powder ridges almost fall line skiing and getting genuine face shots in the process.

The forecast is for at least 40 cms in the next 48 hours and it was puking snow as we sat in the hot tub a few moments ago. This could be a good one.

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