Monday, March 11, 2013

Day 93 a new experience at my time of life

I had attempted to put a pic of me standing under the Wimp Chutes on the blog but I seem to be having trouble with the technology so here is the report - the pic may, or may not follow.

Well, it's not often I put a pic in my blog so when I do you can be pretty certain that it is down to something rather special. In this case it was skiing the Currie Head Wall through the Wimp Chutes (who said Canadians don't have a sense of humour) which are just above and to the left of my head in the picture. They are the first triple black diamond chutes I have ever skied and although they look pretty mellow in the picture the truth is that the first few turns in the top were the steepest skiing I have ever done and for the first time this season actually got my pulse rate way up - but more of that later.

We went to the hill in -2 temps with bluebird skies which became variable cloud later. Although it got quite warm (maybe +5) lower down by the end of the day it remained cool on top so that the snow stayed in great shape all day even on the south facing slopes. The base had drifted down to about 260 cms which is around 1 metre below where I would expect it at this time of year and does not bode well if the dry warm conditions forecast for the next 14 days actually come to pass.

We went to the Old Side to test Cedar Ridge which was not as good as yesterday but was just about ok North facing skiing. We had a couple of loops off the ridge in variable soft snow with some slightly deeper stuff in the gully and gulch. Two returns through Kangaroo were enough to convince me that even for the Roo this was ugly icey bumpy skiing and twice was quite enough. We tried a run back down Boom Ridge which had been groomed the previous day and found it predictably slick and had to stay to the sides to get some acceptable soft snow. This convinced us that the Old Side had very little to offer so we dropped Boomerang which was ok firm bumps and headed for the New Side.

We got suckered in to a bluebird day looping Polar Peak in the soft smooth snow that had blown in to all the chutes. I lost count of the number of loops but Grand Pappa Bear, Barely Legal, the Clown Chutes (Krusty and Side Show Bob) and Pappa Bear featured over and over again - as I said the snow was soft and in many places lightly tracked. Another thing that kept us looping was watching Patrol having to rescue a skier who had dropped into Hot Spot (I think they thought it was the Wimp Chutes) and got cliffed out in the lower section. The rescue which eventually required a rope down took almost two hours and provided endless entertainment as we rode the chair up and then skiied down our chosen route which some times took us quite close to the incident.

Just before lunch we decided to hit out along the ridge line to try the Wimp Chutes which were the first triple black diamond head wall chutes I have ever skied. Actually they were super steep in the first few turns which really got the heart going but after that settled down to a pitch not much more that the chutes at the bottom of Barely Legal and as a result were almost a let down. We came to base for lunch through Alpha Centauri which was nice and packed in firm bumps and the Gilmar Gully which was much the same.

We couldn't believe how long we had skied in the morning or how late lunch was. As a result we just had time for a couple of afternoon Polar loops through Grand Pappa and my chute into Mamma before dropping Decline which was ok soft bumps in the top, but just like yesterday very chunky in the lower sections. Almost makes you wish we skied groomers sometimes - no, seriously.

Next lap we worked out that there was just time to go up Polar if we did a fast run down. Rob and I took Polar to the Timber chair via Pappa Bear, Alpha Cebtauri, Gilmar Trail and the Meadow in one from top to bottom at speed. A real Peak to Pint run with a whole range of conditions on the snow which we just had to deal with as went down - this was real skiing.

The last run of course was Skydive which was bumpy in the top, ok soft terain in most of the middle section and a bit scratchy in the last pitch, but much better than Decline in my view. Totally pumped after a day like this even if the conditions weren't stellar so far too much beer drunk in the Griz in celebration tonight - it will be an early night.

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