Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 107 my biggest day ever

I'm sorry but today was not about the hill and what it was like but was about me and what I skied, if that causes anyone a problem then now is the time to exit the site. In summary today was 8 Polar Peaks through the chutes, 2 Currie Head Walls through different chutes and 3 High Saddles. Any one of these in the past would have justified the title "a big day" but when you put them together I am sure they justify the title of the biggest days skiing I have ever had. Let us try and put all of this in context.

It was cold again overnight with deck temps this morning of -12 and still -10 when we got to the hill. It was the first pure bluebird day we have had for sometime (although the forecasters say not the last) so temps rose steadily all day in the warm sunny conditions. By late morning it was +4 at the base, zero at the White Pass load and -5 at the Polar Peak load. By early afternoon the temps were +7, +2 and zero respectively and after that I just gave up counting. The result was that anything south facing got soft fast if it was low down and even high up it was getting a bit mellow by late afternoon. North facing remained crisp and taking a nice edge all day.

We had decided on a New Side day just because we had and went up to White Pass feeling rather lethargic for reasons I don't fully understand. We had quick trip back down through the Gun Bowl and Highline Trees which seemed to get things in place and headed for Polar Peak. The view from the top was just stunning in the bluebird conditions and we looped Barely Legal and Pappa Bear which were both firm bumps taking and edge before going out to try High Saddle. I think the sign in the top of High Saddle warning of marginal conditions and saying that the skiing wasn't recommended was a great help - it kept poeple out and preserved the chute in very good soft snow conditions. Route to base under the saddle was soft if chunky powder and Easter bowl was getting to be soft bumps but very mellow.

Next loop was just Mamma Bear off Polar and then Stag Leap which was skiing remarkably soft although with some hard underlying bumps. Next Polar expedition was a return trip through Grand Pappa Bear to the load which was as everywhere hard and chunky bumps and then Baby Bear which was much the same followed by the usual drop through High Saddle and Easter which were much as before but with some sign of boards having side slipped the Saddled - a hanging offence in my view.

Before lunch we just had time for a quick loop through Easter which was still firm but taking and edge. I cut right into Spinal Tap which was tracked up through the higher chute but ok - lower down it was all a bit scratchy in the creek bed and actually pretty hard work. Lunch.

After lunch it was back up Polar Peak for some practice on Barely Legal which was still skiing ok on a hard base. Next time up I worked my way over to the Clown Chutes to get a good look at the Head Wall. Luckily (?) my buddy Rob appeared along with my other buddy Randy and they had both just skied the Head Wall. We hiked up to the Wimp Chutes and dropped in. It was super steep in the top and a bit icey (you really have to see it to understand just how steep it is) but then nice ordinary steep skiing through the rest of the chute.

Next time to the Head Wall we hiked on to Up Right chute on the grounds that Randy said is was more mellow than Wimp Chutes. I can only wish I had a bottle of what Randy was on as it was a tight slide over a cliff drop before having two tight icey turns in a very gnarly chute just to get started. After that it opened up into some nice deep powder skiing for the rest of the way.

After that I went up Polar and had a Pappa Bear/High Saddle/Easter drop which actually seemed like a bunny run after the Head Wall and was just as good as it had been in the morning. I just had time for a quick White Pass loop through the Gun Bowl and Highline Trees (still seeming so easy) before heading out to Skydive for the last run. Skydive was bumpy in the top and quite hard but softened in the mid section before becoming a little scratchy at the end. I skied it in one although my legs were pretty shot from the Head Wall ridge hiking but it was a bit slower than usual.

After a day like today it was a huge beer evening on the locals deck as the sun went down - a perfect day. Just a reminder of the Patrol and Groomer appreciation evening on Thursday at the Corner Pocket at 6. It should be great evening (it usually is) and it is also a good way of showing appreciation to the staff that make our skiing safe or even possible - go if you can, no excuses.

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