Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 97 just getting a bit better

Yes, lets not get carried away by today, it wasn't awesome or fantastic or good (or legendary to use the official jargon) it was just better than yesterday and just about ok skiing for this time of year.

During the night it rained hard again in the valley and on the way to the hill it was +3. The good news was that the forecast for today had been revised so that we had no precip in the forecast and were even supposed to get some sun (which we did) with clouds and and temps going up to +7. We also had a 1 cm dusting of snow on the upper mountain which is obviously what occured towards the end of the precip cycle at some early hour of the morning.

We went to the New Side and found that only Heartland/Highline guts were open just like yesterday. The difference today was that off the groomers the snow seemed to have firmed up under that 1 cm covering. My own theory is that the rain soaked way down into the snow yesterday so when it cooled we effectively had a rain crust but about a metre thick so that you always skied in the crust. The result was that the ungroomed stuff was soft and floaty even when it was obviously only covered with the lightest of dustings. The whole thing had the strange feeling of skiing powder which quite clearly it wasn't

For a couple of hours or more we looped variations and different lines of Highline Trees, Milky Way Trees, Puff Trees right and all the interlinking runs. They were all as described above - soft and floaty on this rather strange base. As the morning progressed things seemed to get softer which was not surprising as most of what was open on the New Side was south facing. We decided to cross to the Old Side via Deep Sea which like yesterday was skiing pretty well at that time as soft bumps.

On the Old Side we found that Lizard Bowl across as far as Easter was open but Emily's was closed for racing so no recreational skier could actually get to the bottom of Haul Back - a strange decision given how little terrain was actually open. We had a couple of runs in the steeper parts of Bow and found the snow soft but chunky. Before lunch we took a quick run down Kangaroo which was soft but with the right exit on to the cat track now completely bare.

After lunch we had a few runs around the Arrow/Bow areas in Lizard together with the lower chutes which were starting to get quite soft and heavy. After that I just went for loops (a further 7 in all) of North Ridge which was ok on the surface and hard underneath and Kangaroo which just got more mellow as the afternoon wore on. By the end of the day I was taking Kangaroo as a series of fast GS turns with no need to take account of the bumps which had been flattened by the temps and in any event were so soft they could be ignored.

Tomorrow may well be a different story and if things cool down as forecast the Roo could well take it's revenge for the lack of respect shown during the course of this afternoon. Beers in the Griz and a hot tub were the order of the day.

Forecasts are for cooling temps and snow (perhaps in significant amounts) before the weekend is over. I have my hopes but when you have lived in Fernie as long as I have you learn to treat these forecasts as no more that a best guess by the forecasters - about as accurate as when they choose their lottery numbers. Tomorrow is another day.

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