Monday, April 15, 2013

Day 127 an awesome final day - maybe the best ever

First of all apologies for the late report on the final day, not only was the skiing awesome but so was the end of season party and hence the rather late report. I am now sitting down at the breakfast table wracking my brains to try and remember what happened just 24 hours ago - as I said it was a good party.

Over Saturday night the snow coninued off and on and temps got down to about -6 which stabalized the snow and dried out a lot of what had come down wet in the previous 24 hours. The result was that what had been open on Saturday was filled in and soft powder and what hadn't been skied (and bear in mind that with White Pass chair closed all day this was most of upper Timber bowl, all of Currie bowl and the Reverse Traverse with Currie chutes and the Big 3) was deep untracked powder to a new depth of about 67 cms. If things opened we were clearly in for a big day.

We went to the New Side on the grounds that offered the most previously unopened area and immediatly found Lift Line open and soft deep lightly tracked powder down to White Pass load. As we rode up White Pass they dropped the fence on the Zig Zag and we were getting excited planning our route down. We needn't have bothered as when we were about three chairs off White Pass top we heard a cheer and unloaded to find they had just dropped the fence on Currie Bowl.

We raced out to Stag Leap which we had seen untracked from the Timber chair and got about third tracks in. It was one of the best runs of the season and in the deep hero snow we pretty much straight lined down as far as the final roll when things got just a little heavier. Conditions were bluebird so things were softening fast in the direct sunlight although later in the day it did cloud over keeping what hadn't melted in great shape (hero powder) and what had softened just started to set up again.

Next loop we looked at the Saddles which were closed and remained so all day due to avi risk over in Lizard Bowl. We looked down Skydive which seemed a bit tracked and so hit the Brain where there werer a couple of tracks in front of us but they soon disappeared in the trees and it was awesome deep powder in the trees on the right shoulder of the creek bed. Next was Cougar Glades which pulled it's usual bluff on the inexperienced. It was tracked in the top but if you cut left early in trees there were untracked lines all the way down. The lower section on the disused cat track was rather claggy and I managed a good stack on some hidden deadfall but no harm done.

To get away from the sun I hit Decline/Window Chutes and found Decline soft tracked deep powder and Window Chutes with some untracked lines through the trees at the top. To keep north facing next I traversed the top of the Knot Chutes which looked quite tempting but a bit soft and pieced my way into the top of Gotta Go. I hit the left chute (Goolge Earth) and found it totally untracked and super deep powder - even lower down in the top of 3's things were pretty good. Bootleg Glades had been closed for several days and the signs at the top were ambiguous, well we thought they were, and so we dropped in for some spectacular deep powder face shots.

Last run before lunch I hiked up to Lone Fir and got my only disappointment of the day. I think patrol must have thrown a shot in Lone Fir as it was pretty scratchy but the fan below was as good as I have ever seen it, or to be more accurate as I haven't seen it as I couldn't see anything with the over the head face shots. I did think about traversing hard left to get under the Saddles but it looked like there was a ton of debrise under them so I guess even if they had been open the skiing wouldn't have been any better than what we had. I ran to lunch through Spinal Tap which was deep and soft with a few suckers holes into the creek bed itself to catch the unwary.

I had notcied how good Easter Bowl had looked when I crossed it before lunch to get to Spinal Tap so first run after lunch was Easter and it was deep tracked powder on the north facing slope. Next, it seemed to me tha Anaconda might be a good bet and I was right. The second Chute was great and the biggest problem was your own slough which as it was closing day I just decided to let rip and surf it out - awesome. It occured to me that I hadn't done Decline all the way down so off I went. The top section was as good as ever but lower down it was a tricky mix of chopped up melted powder and harder set up.

Of course the final run of the day/year had to be Skydive. Although it was tracked up it was still great skiing in the top, then setting up a little, then going soft for most of the lower section, then setting up for the last two turns - I have no idea why we had that mixed bag but it was great way to finish.

I can't recall a better closing day, or one when I have been able to ski one of the serious runs, let alone all of them. Skiing was so good that I totally ignored the Slope Soaker pond skimming event which I am told was good. The band in the Plazza was the fantastic Shred Kelly and the booze flowed.

So that's it, a couple of weeks of sorting out "stuff" and then back to the UK. Watch this space for my season report in a day or two when I have gathered my thoughts.

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