Monday, April 1, 2013

Day 114 yet another bluebird day

I have to say first of all that this is no April Fools Day gag and yes, we had yet another bluebird day breaking some kind of record for sunny skiing in Fernie. Over night temps were only -1 and again things got hot fast in the direct sunlight. By mid afternoon I noticed it was + 10 at the Polat load and that was in the shade. On the way back from the hill it was +17 and against this background I am amazed to see that the base is still holding at just above 250 cms.

The effect on the hill was just as before, in the morning significant area were closed due to ugly icey conditions. During the day some areas were open but as the day wore on even more significant areas were closed due to the snow becoming isothermic - the snow temp below the surface rising to zero all the way to the base so that the snow structure had no integrety to support skier traffic or hold itself together.

We went to the Old Side a poked around the Bear, Arrow and in fact all of Lizard bowl across to Dancer. Arrow hadn't been groomed so acted as good indicator as to when the rest of the hill would become skiable. It took about half a dozen runs in increasing mush before we became adventurous.

I decided to drop the chutes off the top of Bear into Alpine Way to test north facing slopes and found it as hard and ugly as I could have possibly imagined it.We diverted into Cruiser which was soft and groomed and then into Cedar Centre which was by no means so soft and certainly not groomed but ok challenging skiing. Kangaroo remained closed so the best route to Boom load was through Lower Linda's.

Boom and Boom Ridge were closed but looking in we felt that they had to be opened soon. After one abortive run down North Ridge that was still pretty hard they dropped the signs on Boom Ridge and we had three loops down it, first a little firm, second just perfect bumps and third starting to get to soft. The bumps were getting pretty rutted and coming at you at irregular intervals but I guess that's skiing.

It was time to go to the New Side so we did. Getting to Polar Peak we found that everything except Polar Coaster was closed due to the isothermic conditions. We looped the Coaster 3 times taking different lines left or right where we could and it was getting mushy and bumpy even then. The route to base for lunch was Currie Powder as the County Line was closed and it skied as soft bumped up snow on a firm base. Best part was Gilmar Gully which had become steep soft bumps and was great fall line bumps skiing.

After Lunch it was just a replay, we were up Polar for 3 Coasters and then the Currie Powder Gilmar Gully bumps which were all just as before. The rest of the afternoon was spent looping Polar Coaster in a light fleece, thin gloves and all in all rather less than I would wear on a typical summers day back in the UK. Final run was Currie Powder and Gilmar Gully where the bumps had got even bigger and softer and as result much more fun to ski fall line.

After a couple of beers I headed off the Ski Base to bindings put on my new Shoguns which I bought there in September. I have no intention of using the skis with the rocks starting to poke through but with bindings 30% off now is the time to have them mounted up. Still more sun in the forecast for tomorrow- now I am getting used to it this spring routine is not as bad as I thought it was a couple of days ago but still nowhere near what real skiing should be like.

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