Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day 88 a pretty good way to take a 7 day break

Today was my last day before I head back to the UK to do some grown up stuff for 7 days and then coming back to Fernie to attend to the important things like skiing every day until the end of the season - it looks like it will be about 128 days this year. I was talking to some guys from the UK today out here with Non Stop who amazed me by saying that they took days off when they were not being instructed despite the fact that they are only out here for 11 weeks. They didn't seem to appreciate just how few ski days we are all going to get in our lives and just how valuable they are. I guess I will just go on skiing every day from 9-4 (except for the next 7 days) and leave others to work out what is important in their own lives.

The snow that puked down yesterday stopped early evening so the the 15 cms claimed by the hill in the last 24 hrs mostly fell during skiing yesterday but a combination of the fall after closing yesterday and the windsift meant that we had some nice untracked snow on a very soft base although there was wind slab around.

It was -3 on the way to the hill and overcast. During the morning temps rose at the base to +3 with the snow softening before falling in the afternoon to around zero with everything starting to set up. At times we had sun and at others it was socked in (usually just when I was heading up Polar Peak) and a couple of times we had snow/graupel showers in convective cells. All in all it was a pretty mixed day but with a great starting position of soft untracked snow.

We went to the New Side on the grounds that the Cedar High Traverse remained closed so the Old Side would remain limited. Currie Bowl was closed so we headed out to Anaconda and had an amazing first track run down the second chute. The trees to the left of Bootleg Glades were also untracked and deep but the Gilmar Gully had obviously been very wind affected and was super slabby.

As we were skiing out of Currie it was apparent that the fence had been dropped and we had got our timing 100% wrong for a change. We headed back up as quick as possible and started to do Currie loops -
Stag Leap - tracked but still with some untracked lines. Nice and deep with face shots at speed in the mid section.
The Brain right - a couple of tracks in the top section but untracked lower down and great powder tree skiing.
Polar/Lone Fir/Spinal Tap - Viz wasn't great in Polar so we hit Pappa Bear all the way down and found really good deep untracked snow in the bottom half. We hike up to Lone Fir which was a bit chunky but the fan to the avi trees was super soft deep powder. Spinal Tap had been tracked but the heavy snow gave good support all the way down.
Gotta Go - We hit left into the chute known a Google Earth and found deep untracked snow although you had to cut right as you got to the top of 3's to avoid the blast avi debris. After this I dropped the trees between Bootleg and Diamond Back which I don't even think have a name but after the initial death cookies pushed off the cat track but some pretty random grooming they skied very well with deep untracked lines to just above Gilmar Trail.
Polar/Cougar Glades - as a last run before a very late lunch we tried Mamma Bear via my chute. This was ok in the top but you had a lot of blasting debris to avoid the further you went down. Cougar was tracked but you could still get untracked lines by holding the trees tight left.

After lunch we went back up Polar Peak and did another Pappa Bear in improving light and with the snow still soft and deep. We then tried the Brain left side which was still mostly untracked but the lines in the trees didn't seem to be working as well as before - could be just me getting tired.

Polar Peak again and this time in much improved light we went out to Spirit Bear and after skirting the rocks in the top (perish the thought that we would duck the fence to do this) we had a super nice drop in lightly tracked powder. The return to base was through Decline and Window chutes which were skiing well but I was starting to feel my legs a bit at this stage and was tending to check and push snow rather than drive the skis into the fall line.

We had time for a White Pass loop so took the Knot Chutes out to Jim which was still full of soft snow before hitting Surprise Trees far side which again were skiing very well and deep even at the end of the day.

The final rip down Skydive was just as good as ever and in the upper sections it was possible to pick up the speed so that you were floating on top of everything, getting face shots, and hoping that a big bump wasn't going to come up any time soon.

So that's it. Back to the UK for a week and then the blog will start again.

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