Saturday, March 9, 2013

Day 91 a new Polar Peak record ?

The reason I have put a question mark in the heading is that I am not sure that the 16 times we skied Polar peak today was a record for us but as far as I can remember it was. Before the usual suspects who try to work out my motivation in skiing get started and decide that I am trying to prove some stupid point by skiing the Peak so much today let me say that my sole motivation was that I thought that was where the best snow would be so that is where I went - nothing I heard in the bar after skiing convinced me that it was a bad decision.

We had no new snow over night and on the way to the hill it was sunny through broken cloud with a temp of -5. It was clear that it was going to get a lot warmer during the day and sure enough by the end we were seeing temps of +6 or even more at the base. Another good reason for skiing the Peak was that off and on all day it was shrouded in cloud/mist so that the snow stayed in good condition and the skiing had a certain mystical feel as you dropped in the variable light. The base is now back down to 283 cms and I have a horrible feeling that this could be the first season in about 20 years when the base never gets to 3 metres.

The ticket checkers were all in animal suits today for reasons well beyond my understanding. That having been said they looked good and everyone was having fun so what was there to object to - great show guys.

We went to the New Side on the grounds that the best skiing yesterday was in the chutes off Polar Peak and there was nothing to suggest that things would start any different today. When we got to the top of White Pass we were surprised to see that Polar was not yet open so we dropped Concussion. This was very nice soft skiing, getting softer in the sun and was ok as far as the Gilmar Gully which got a bit chunky in the sides lower down.

Next time round Polar was open and just like yesterday we found that the snow hadn't been swept out of Grand Pappa Bear and Barely Legal so we had many lines we could take through various variations in the front side chutes to get back to the chair and just loop. We did three loops back, the best of which was Barely Legal before dropping Mamma Bear (via my chute) and taking Stag Leap to base. Stag Leap was ok powdery bumps all the way to the final pitch which was a bit scratchy.

We went back to Polar and did six loops off the front side trying variations of the main runs and tight chutes between the rock bands. As before all the skiing was deep and soft with easy bumps where the traffic had been high. Best run remained Barely Legal. The final run before lunch was Spirit Bear which was rather chunky and skied out before we went to Secret Chutes/Easter Bowl/Freeway which were very good and deep north facing skiing.

After lunch as I linked up with buddies Rob and Katie I had a quick Mamma Bear chute via my chute (all Polar skiing was deep and soft tracked powder unless stated to the contrary) and then a Decline which was ok and soft but getting very hard work and heavy in the lower section.

I was then up Polar Peak for the rest of the afternoon try variations in all of the chutes, all soft and deep. For a change I hit out to lookers left just once off the Peak and hit the Clown Chutes. I took the second one (Side Show Bob ?) which was very interesting with huge snow chunks but great skiing none the less.

Having to get to base to loop back for Skydive I took Baby Bear chute which was good call as it was good skiing even at that time of day. The next decision was my worst of the day as I dropped in to Currie Creek. It was hard refrozen chunks of crud as far as the eye could see. As soon as I dropped it I realised my mistake but with nowhere else to go it was just a case of "suck it up princess" and bang out a long series of jump turns all the way to the bottom just to get you through the crud - just what you want towards the end of the day.

Last run of course was Skydive which had been affected by 2 or 3 snow boarders who had side slipped it from top to bottom. Given that it must have been hard work for them to traverse out there you have to ask - why would they have done that ? We had a good rip and were surprised by how good things were in the lower section with only the last half dozen turns being in real crud.

We are in for another cold night so lets see how the snow reacts to that. Unofficial reports tell me that the snow cycle forecast for Monday is now starting to look a bit reduced from what they thought - I hope not.

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