Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 95 a pretty crappy day - but much better than expected

Yes, we actually expected a very crappy day as a result of the conditions (of which more later) and the extensive closures (again more later) but in the event the conditions only turned out to be pretty crappy so that by some measures that could be regarded as bit of a result.

The hill were claiming 16 cms of snow in the last 24 hours on their site which must be true or they wouldn't have claimed it. I guess what happened is that we got that amount of new snow yesterday before the rain started in the evening. What the report didn't say was that after the snow stopped it hosed down rain all night right up to the top of the hill so what we had was either groomed soft rain affected snow or pure elephant snot where it hadn't been groomed.

Due to avi risks the New Side was closed all day. On the Old Side the runs under the Deer were open but the only upper mountain runs open were Bear, North Ridge, Lower Linda's, Emily's, Kangaroo, Kodiak and Bear cub. Closed runs were Bear chutes, Boom Bowl, Lizard Bowl, Cedar Bowl, Boom Ridge and Linda's. This is not a complete list on either side but it gives an idea that we only had a very limited opening on a small part of the Old Side today.

When we got to the hill the temp was +3 and rising (it got to +7 during the day) and raining. The rain came and went during the morning but it was enough for me to put on my super expensive rain suit - yellow plastic pants and jacket from Canadian Tire costing 20 bucks. People may laugh but I was dry and toastie all morning when quite a lot of others appeared to be giving up due to the rain. By the afternoon the rain had eased off so I was back in normal gear and for the last couple of runs we actually had graupel coming down white from about half way up Boom and above.

We looped around the groomers on Bear, Emily's and North Ridge finding soft slushy snow on a firm base giving an ok skiing surface. When things became a bit boring we extended to loops to cover Kodiak which was ungroomed in the top and very hard work in the elephant snot. We also started to loop Kangaroo which was initially hard work with only our tracks in but becoming easier during the day as it became more tracked up. We did three Kangaroo loops in the morning combining with Kodiak/North Ridge/Emily's to extend each loop before lunch.

After lunch the top of the hill cleared a bit and we could see the spectacular avies that had come down off the Lizard Head Wall and Cedar Nob covering the high traverses in both bowls - that's why they were closed. The rest of the afternoon was spent as with the morning doing North Ridge /Emily's /Kangaroo /Bear /Kodiak etc loops. The groomed parts remained firm underneath but slushy on top, Kangaroo in particular benefited from the skier traffic turning it into soft and quite mellow bumps. Four more loops in the afternoon gave a total 7 Kangaroos tody which on a day like today was no bad tally.

The short term outlook is not good although some snow is called for over the weekend and beyond. My worry is that if it freezes the ugly death cookies that we can see everywhere will become a real hazard. I have no idea what the New Side may hold when it opens.

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