Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 94 the last good day for a while ?

Today was a great day but we are forecast to get rain for the next two days going pretty well to the top of the hill so today could have been the last good days skiing for some time. That having been said, it's only a forecast so let's wait until tomorrow and see what happens - in the meanwhile we will celebrate a very good days skiing in ever improving conditions.

In total contrast to yesterday which was a bluebird spring day, today started overcast with light snow and temps of -2 on the way to the hill. It stayed overcast all day and the temps fluctuated from +1 to -6 as the new weather systems moved in. The overnight figures were for 3 cms of fresh although it snowed fairly consistently all day so that by the end of the day we must have had almost 10 cms of fresh in places out of the latest cycle.

The impact on the conditions was that the new snow tended to freeze the base which had been softening yesterday to give a very hard and bumpy base. This gave the classic dust on crust conditions to start with. As the day wore on the base didn't soften even though temps got to around zero for most of the hill but the extra snow did start to give a good powder covering on the base. Two further things worth mentioning were the light (very poor and flat all day) and the slabby nature of the snow which broke up and slabbed at the slightest excuse - had there been a bit more snow we would have been facing some very serious stability problems, as it was we had rolling closures as the day went on in Snake, Lizard and the Saddles.

I felt that nothing much would have improved on the Old Side since yesterday so we went to the New Side and spent the whole day there. Our first trip was to Skydive (as Lynda said, we were going to ski it sometime so it might as well be straight off the bat) where we cut the traverse out to the top. It was about 5 cms of good powder on a firm base and nice untracked skiing. Next loop was into Stag Leap which was also untracked and much the same as Skydive but with a little more snow - the ever increasing snow was a feature of the day.

I can't really remember the rest of the morning but somewhere in there was Decline, Secret Chutes, Spinal Tap and Cougar Glades. There was a lot of untracked skiing and I seem to remember some good untracked lines in ST. The only poor skiing was in Cougar Glades where the open areas affected by the sun were chunky and hard but in the trees there were still some very mellow lines. There was probably a run or two more but I can't remember then it was lunch.

After lunch we went back to the New Side and finding the Saddles closed which had been in my plan to ski (Polar Peak remained closed all day due to poor viz) so I had another run down Stag Leap which had filled in, was untracked and even the lower section was getting covered and soft.

In Decline/Window Chutes I was almost knocked over by my own slough in the top but the lower sections held up well. I was tempted to try Decline to the base and found that the lower sections were even better than before. I made my one mistake of the day by trying Currie Creek which looked very tempting with a soft snow covering but which was hard death cookies underneath all the way to the bottom and very hard work to ski.

Again I think there were a couple more runs but I can't remember (curse all this beer in the Griz) but I do recall that everything was just getting better and deeper all day. Last run was down Skydive which by this time was very mellow bumps in the top and so soft in the middle you could almost ignore the terrain and just push out big GS turns. The final pitch was a bit harder but still ok if you were prepared to put in the effort. Interestingly my buddy Stinger hit Decline and declared that he had skied it untracked despite me having already skied it untracked twice in the day - yes, it was filling in that fast.

So we had few beers to celebrate (it shows I know) and then home for an early night. I hope that the forecasters are wrong and that the R word holds off for tomorrow but I fear they will be right and we will have short wet day in some pretty ugly conditions.

No comments:

Post a Comment