Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day 105 another great day, in a slightly different way

Over the past two days we have had had great days skiing because of awesome new powder. Today we had no new powder but still had a great day due to the bluebird conditions, some new openings and the great shape that the snow stayed in for the most part.

We had no new snow overnight although the boards were claiming 5 cms in the last 24 hours and a base of 325 cms. It did get cold and was -12 on my deck as we headed off for the hill. The forecast was for a bluebird day which was sort of how it turned out - it was bluebird to start but clouded over around late morning which was good as it preserved the snow from the worst effcts of the sun although things did start to set up. After that it was back to bluebird for late afternoon softening the south facing slopes again in the direct sunlight and of course followed by the inevitable set up towards the end of the day as the sun got lower. As we drove away from the hill even though it was still bluebird the car thermometer showed only +1.

Had you just skied all over the hill you would have got some very varied conditions but as it was we used our heads and as a result had some very good skiing with one or two exceptions. As I predicted a combination of new snow, sunshine and the hill putting on a retro weekend gave us what might well have been the busiest day of the year. That having been said, again if you used your head, you could mitigate the worst effects of the crowds.

We went to the New Side to check things out and found they were still working on Polar Peak and as a result only the low traverse on the far side of Currie Bowl was open. We looped White Pass through the Knot Chutes and Surprise Trees and found that the cold had dried the snow to a soft fluffy texture and a hoar frost gave it a nice surface. As you would expect at cold temps all the sights of high mountain cold skiing were there to be seen - sun dogs, angel dust etc. As I have said before I feel so sorry for people who never come to the mountains and see these sights of nature which are 100 times more awesome than any man made light show could ever be.

Next time up White Pass it was apparent that Polar wasn't going to open soon so we took the low traverse to Easter Bowl (nice soft snow in the trees on the right) and went to the Bear Chair. Snake Ridge area had opened so we hit out and did two loops of Gorby/Steep and Deep (still plenty of untracked lines and deep having been closed for 3 days) Kangaroo (bumpy and hard but skiing as mellow as it ever does) and Boom guts which were tracked soft powder and skiing well. I was amazed how sun affected Steep and Deep had become low down in the direct sun light even though we were only just past mid morning, it was getting very chunky - I guess it's a sign of spring being on the way.

We headed back to the New Side and found Polar Peak had just opened but the line to Polar chair was so long my guess is that it would be 15 minutes to get to the front of the line. We went out on the Reverse Traverse and looked into Corner Pocket and found the tires (tyres to you UK readers) exposed already which must be something of a record. With no great hope I looked in to High Saddle and was amazed to see that it was soft bumps (ok some quite big drop offs) and an easy ski - well, as easy a double black diamond chutes ever get. We had a great drop through the chutes followed by super deep and soft powder which had been untouched for 3 days all the way down the the cat track into Easter.We cut into Easter Bowl (this time trees on the left) and found soft if tracked snow all the way down - the only downside was that Freeway had been groomed, why do they do things like that?

Next time we discovered a singles line on the Polar Chair and skied the chutes twice - Barely Legal now so deep that he exit chutes aren't chutes any more they are just an open snow field. Mamma Bear which was still deep soft snow even if you did have to avoid some blast debris. Route to base was High Saddle and Easter again which were just as good as before. Last loop before a very late lunch to avoid the crowds was Grand Pappa Bear and then Baby Bear off Polar which were tracked but still deep hero snow. Route to base (you guessed) High Saddle and Easter still as good as ever - Lynda remarked that it was the first time she had ever skied High Saddle 3 times in a morning.

After lunch there was very little time but it was back up Polar for a Barely Legal followed by Pappa Bear all the way to the traverse and the skiing remaind good but getting a little chunky and sun affected in the last two turns. Route to base was (all together) High Saddle and Easter with the saddle just getting a little scratchy in the first turn and the drops between bumps getting quite big but to my mind still easy mellow skiing. The snow under the saddles still had deep untracked lines if you were prepared to poke about a bit - it says something about the day when the run of the day is High Saddle and it is still very good after 4 loops.

At the end of the day I tried a repeat of the starter run of Knot Chutes and Surprise Trees and found that they had melted, got chopped up and refrozen - it was whole different experience and not one for the faint hearted. Last run of course was Skydive which was in great shape with the bumps at the top just starting to reform but everything else below soft, un sun affected and very nice skiing. We ripped it in one for a great end to a good day.

Of course with the crowds the chance of any enjoyable apres was zero. They were serving beer in the plazza but there was a big line up for it. As for getting in the Griz, the line was to the bottom of the stairs and I would guess it was a 30 minute wait. I thought to myself "wait half an hour to pay $6.25 a pint for beer - not in this lifetime". Plenty of chance to drink with buddies after skiing tomorrow when things get a bit more sensible - wonder what tomorrow will hold ?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 104 a pretty good day

Of course if it hadn't been for yesterday I would be raving about awesome conditions etc but as it was yesterday put things in perspective and today has to go down as a pretty good Fernie day - of course by the standards of other places it could be said to be better than that but we have to maintain our traditional standards here in Fernie.

It snowed overnight so that the official figures were for 40 cms + in 24 hours and a base of 333 cms. On the way to the hill it was -2 which threatened a warm up but in the event temps stayed at or only just above zero all day at the base and few degrees below on top. The result was that the snow stayed in remarkably good condition and even in the afternoon when the cloud cover was replaced by hazey sunshine and the light flurries ceased.

The real problem today was that Fernie woke up to the fact that we were having a pretty impressive snow cycle - something they missed yesterday and hence the lack of crowds then. Today as I arrived at the hill just before 9 there was a line of cars up the hill and I only just got parked in Lot 2. Add to this that I saw a number of weekend Calgary faces around ( I guess a lot of grand mothers were getting buried in Calgary today) and we had a much busier day than yesterday.

I know this is starting to read like a New Side only blog but we went there and stayed there all day. My reasons were that there would be limited openings on the Old Side, the pay for powder groups would have trashed what was there and there was the possibility of Saddles and Polar Peak on the New Side. In the event we didn't get either the Saddles or Polar Peak on the New Side whilst on the Old Side they got Lizard bowl for the first time in three days - ah well, that's how it goes and after getting everything right yesterday this just balances things up a bit.

We went out and hit Skydive which had about 3 tracks in before us but as the overnight snow on top of yesterdays powder was so deep that you could almost straight line it there was plenty of room for everyone to get fresh super deep tracks which resulted in almost continuous face shots all the way down.

After that the morning was spent skiing Cougar Glades (a few tracks in the top but many untracked lines as you worked your way down particularly on the left) the Brain (well tracked but with so many different lines to choose, we chose right, there were loads of untracked lines jumping in and out of the creek bed) Stag Leap (tracked but the hero quality of the snow giving soft skiing and face shots all the way down) and finally Decline/Window chutes - soft bumps in the top and easy soft skiing in Decline. Window Chutes were deep and untracked through the drop in with chopped up powder through the chute itself. Lunch.

After lunch it was back to the New Side. It's probably worth mentioning here that all our drops from Timber to White Pass Load were either Mitchy chutes (deep and smooth) Lift Line (used most times and skiing very mellow in chopped powder) or Puff Trees right ( skiing very mellow in hero snow).

The afternoon was a repeat of the morning in that it was New Side loops but with variations to keep it interesting. We ran Concussion (chopped but the best it has been all season and the final exit through Gilmar Gully was soft bumps) Skydive Trees right ( tracked but with enough snow to control your speed, just, so that it was great fast tight tree skiing) Secret Chutes/Spinal Tap ( tracked but deep soft snow) - I am sure there were a couple more runs that we did but I can't remember and in any event by late afternoon they would be tracked up but good hero snow wherever they were.

We had time for a quick White Pass rip back to the load to kill time and then headed out to Skydive for the final reckoning. We had a good crowd at the top of Skydive and a great rip top to bottom with no breaks and with the snow chopped up and getting a little chunky but great skiing with face shots as long as you kept your speed up.

Given the conditions and that tomorrow is a Saturday I would imagine the hill will be as ugly as at any time this year with huge line ups everywhere. Time to be philosophical and let this weekend wash past us as we remember just how good the last few days have been and allow the weekenders to have what is left.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 103 I love spring skiing

Of course anyone who knows me knows that I am no great fan of traditional spring skiing with the hard refrozen south facing slopes turning to mush in the afternnon and everyone getting very sweaty in their ski gear. What I do love is what we got today (on the second day of spring) which was full on winter conditions with snow all day, super deep hero snow just getting deeper all the time and possibly the best day of the season so far - at least qualifying for the epithet "awesome".

We woke to find 20 cms of new snow claimed over night and temps only just below zero. It was snowing and after yesterday I was worried about a rising rain line during the day but I need not have been concerned. It stayed cool on on hill all day with temps only getting a little above zero at the base and nearer -5 on the upper mountain. It snowed hard all day and by the close we are reckoned to have had another 20 cms of snow during the day and since that time well over 10 cms to freshen up things for tomorrow.

We went to the New Side and stayed there all day. In the initial stages we only had Heartland guts open off White Pass and after dropping Lift Line which was deep and real hero snow we put several runs through Highline Trees, Gun Bowl, Little Trees etc all of which had many untracked lines in the very light skier traffic that was around today. Just for the record, and to save me typing it over and over again the snow was deep hero snow, mostly untracked and filling in and getting deper so that if you skied a run more than 20 mintutes after the last guy you were skiing untracked powder. Also worth mentioning is the fact that from about mid morning everything was over the head face shots and deep creamy powder wherever you went.

We arrived at the zig zag line just as they dropped the fence and had an awesome rip under the lift line in untracked powder. Next loop we pushed out Knot Chutes which were super deep and Surprise Trees that were not much less. After a few loops of this we suddenly found Anaconda Glades open and had the most fantastic run down the second chute before cutting into Bootleg Glades where in the trees to the left your biggest problem was having to beat out your own slough.

Next time up White Pass we arrived at the top just as they were dropping the fence on Currie Bowl - we must have been very good in a previous life to have the luck we did today. We ripped out to Skydive in time to get third an fourth tracks in although we did get overtaken by a couple of rippers on the way down. It was fantastic untracked deep powder where you could just push your skis further and further into the fall line and pick up speed in the hero powder.

After that we just spent the rest of the day looping off the top of White Pass. Lynda broke 30 minutes for a quick lunch but I couldn't bring myself to do that so it was yet again a 9-4 unbroken full on powder day. The runs were the obvious ones Stag Leap (twice) the Brain (twice) Cougar Glades left in the trees all the way to the disused cat track (twice) Decline, Decline/Window Chutes etc. There is no point in describing any one run - they were all deep, apparently untracked due to the incredible fill in rate of the snow fall, and just fantastic face shots as you skied them faster and faster as the snow deepened.

We found ourselves out of synch for the last loop so had to put in a Knot Chute/Surprise Trees loop off White Pass. Both these areas had been left alone by the skier traffic, such as it was, all day because Currie bowl had been open and as a result we were rolling around in really deep snow at the end of the day with no other tracks in sight. We finished on Skydive where we had the traditional rip and as a result had face shots from top to bottom to finish what may well have been the most awesome day of the season.

In the Griz bar afterwards it was confirmed thathe base had passed 3 metre so the official 3 metre party duely took place. Best of all it snowed hard (and I do mean hard) for at least two hours after the hill closed. Even now with the snow tailing off down here in the valley it still looks pretty snowy as look up the hill from my deck. Put another way, I have a lot of confidence that start up tomorrow could be pretty good - lets see.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 102 first day of spring ? really ?

So, here we are at the official first day of spring and what do we have ? Well, some pretty un bloody spring like conditions in my humble opinion. Overnight temps dropped to -5 and stayed that way on the way to the hill. It was snowing and stayed that way all morning. It had been forecast that as usual we would have a warming trend on the front of a new precip system, cooling towards the end. Well, we haven't seen the end but it certaintly warmed on the front with the rain starting at the base around lunch and with the line moving up the hill steadily all afternoon until we had rain just above White Pass base by close of play. The result was ugly heavy mashed potato snow from mid mountain down to the base by the end of the day when lower mountain temps had got to something like +5.

We went to the Old Side for the first runs of the morning on the basis (correct) that the warming conditions would turn the snow to rain before long. We had time for three runs into Cedar off Cedar Ridge twice and King Fir once. It was all good skiing in the falling snow with  a surprisingly large accumulation of new snow given the modest claims of the official website which I would estimate at around 5 cms in places. I have never seen the Old Side so deserted and at times we would spend several minutes not seeing another soul moving in the whole of Cedar Bowl. The skiing was good on a firm base and as you would expect - untracked.

Our loops to base were through Haul Back trees skiers right ( a nice new tight tree line with no tracks dropping off View Trail) Kangaroo (three times and skiing as mellow as I can remember it with the new snow giving a nice edge) and finally Boomerang which was hardly tracked and soft deep snow - we then went to the New Side to avoid the warming wet snow.

On the New Side it was socked in from anywhere above Timber (I should have mentioned that most of the Old Side was socked in as well) and by the top of White Pass it was really poor viz in the snow which just about stayed white at the top even in the afternoon. We looped Stag Leap and the Brain right just before lunch which were great skiing on the new snow in the top sections but just in the last few turns it was getting mushy as the rain line started to rise - the shape of things to come during the afternoon. Lunch.

After lunch, as things warmed we went to the New Side to get higher and keep cool - it didn't really work. We looped Decline, Stag Leap, Secret Chutes/Spinal Tap and all of them were ok soft snow getting deeper in the continued fall as the afternoon went on but the point at which the mush line arrived was also getting higher all the time. By the end of the afternoon the rain was most of the way up the hill and the mush started less than one third of the way down any of the Big 3.

Somewhere in there we took a loop back through Knot Chutes and Surprise Trees just to stay high and we found yesterday's crust was covered but poor viz and heavy snow made for some pretty average skiing. Towards the end we took a drop through Anaconda which was skiing soft and deep in all the chutes but the lower exit through Bootleg Glades was just getting to be heavy elephant snot.

All this got us back to the top of Skydive just after 4 o'clock for the final run which just about summed up where conditions had got to. It was snowing but the surface was soft even in the top from the warm temps. The first third was just about ok but getting heavy in wet snow. The final two thrids were super heavy elephant snot especially where there had been no skier traffic although on occeasions the rain crust/ice base poked through just to keep you on your toes - a pretty interesting last run.

The forecast is for cooling temps and loads more precip. If this works out and the new snow covers the ugly chopped up stuff that will turn to ice as it cools then we will be ok , if not then we are in for a couple of days of very challenging skiing.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 101 a bit wasted

No, not the day but me having spent the "apres" with my good buddies Rod and Karen who were having their last day on the hill of the season so we went to their condo at Snow Creek for a drink the bar dry session and had a pretty good attempt at it. As a result this report may be subject to errors and other general memory lapses (even more than usual) so be warned.

It was cold overnight and was -12 on my deck as we left for the hill. The official report was for only 1 cm of snow overnight but to be fair that little snow wasn't worth bothering about and in any event was undetectable to the human eye - which is what I am equiped with. The forecast was right and we had near enough a bluebird day so that temps came up quite fast although in the upper mountain they remained cool all day. The problem was direct sunlight which at this time of year is strong and so we had very soft snow in the affected areas which by the end of the day as the sun went down were setting up as pretty stiff sun crust.

We went to the Old Side and had a run down the area fence by Redtree on the grounds that this was as far awy from the sun as you could get. It wasn't a bad decision and we had some deep soft snow with even some untracked lines all the way down the fence. Kangaroo was ugly and ice (now there's a surprise) but Cedar Ridge being north facing had some good soft snow. At the bottom of Cedar I tried something I haven't tried before (no, not that) I took the View Trail exit but dropped left into the trees having crossed the Haul Back T bar and ran to the bottom of that lift through the trees on skiers right. It was nice tight tree skiing and I think will now become my default route to the base of Haul Back. Kangaroo was unchanged and Boomerang was still soft as we headed to the New Side.

It's worth saying here just how deserted the hill felt today. We hardly saw anyone on the Old Side and things weren't much busier when we got to the New. We went up Polar Peak for a couple of runs through Barely Legal and Mamma Bear before cutting down through Stag Leap which was a bit heavier than yesterday but was still pretty good tracked soft snow. Next time up Polar we did Barely Legal again and were about to drop Baby Bear when we were distracted by events on the head wall.

 A boarder had tried what looked to me like a close out line beyond the Wimp Chutes, slid to the big (and I mean big) cliff band, taken his board off, lost it over the cliff and got stuck there. It was obvious that his only hope was a rope out from patrol and we headed down to lunch working on the basis that it would take some time before things got interesting. We dropped via Corner Pocket which was still just about skiable with only a few tires just showing, awesome skiing in deep powder on right cut under the chute and some ok stuff in left side Easter bowl on the exit. Lunch.

After lunch we got up to the top of White Pass just in time to see the boarder making it to the the top of the headwall on the patrol rope. I hope he will be attending the Patrol and Groomers appreciation event on the evening of the 28th March at Corner Pocket ($10 at the door) - in fact everyone who reads this blog should go as a way of saying thanks.

We looped Polar Peak in several ways still finding loads of soft deep snow but also with some hard blue ice in places if you were dumb enough to try and ski it. Barely Legal got a couple of trips as did Grandpappa Bear which needed a bit more caution than usual to avoid the rocks and ice but rewarded you with some great skiing in soft powder on the trees on skiers right. Baby Bear was still full of soft as we dropped down to High Saddle which was in surprisingly good shape in the chute - you could actually ski it. After that it was just like Corner Pocket this morning with great skiing below the chute to base.

I was skiing with red pants Rob and he mentioned that he had never skied Gotta Go so we just had to. I did warn that I didn't know what the snow conditions were like and on balance I am glad I issued that disclaimer. The chute had slid and over the shoulder Google Earth was even worse. We had about four turns on blue ice before the soft snow cut in and then we had some pretty good skiing a long way down eventually to get to the groomed runs below.

We just had time for a quick White Pass loop through the Knot Chutes and Surprise Trees which proved that south facing slopes on a sunny day that were setting up with a crust were not exactly a stroll in the park. Skydive as last run was still in good shape if a little scratchy in the final pitch.

Far too much to drink with friends and now getting ready for a precip cycle which may come down as - who knows what, whatever it is we will ski it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 100 a very good day, but...

And the "but" was that we were expecting an awesome day and it didn't quite materialise. That's not to say that today wasn't a very good day's skiing, in fact in the bar I overheard a vacation skier saying it was the best day of their life but I guess that Fernie just raises the bar in your expectation of skiing conditions. The issue was that after the hill closed last night it puked snow in the town and I would guess that we had a minimum of 15 cms of new snow judging by what I had to clear off my hot tub. When we got to the hill in the morning it was apparent that nothing (or as near as makes no difference ) had fallen on the hill after closing last night so what we got this morning was what we had last night.

Now this wasn't an altogether disasterous situation as we had large areas such as Polar Peak and Snake Ridge that hadn't opened yesterday and were ripe for the picking. Even the stuff that had been open was deep, soft and only partly tracked so there was good skiing to be had in all areas. None the less we didn't get the totally filled in untracked snow all over the hill we town dwellers (the hill dwellers knew the situation) were expecting - blimey, this is starting to sound more and more like a chapter from the Hobbit.

We arrived at the hill to temps of about -5 but it was apparent these were going to rise fast in the broken cloudy conditions. In the event we had everything from warm heavy snow in spring like conditions in lower Steep and Deep in the morning to full on winter conditions up Polar Peak in the afternoon including flurries that hit all parts of the hill at random at any time of the day. I know it sounds strange, particularly if you are trying to work out what is happening on the hill but it has to be said that strange is a very good description if the wild conditons which seem to change from miniute to minute when you are on the hill. Facts for the record are that the base is now 296 cms (could go to 3 metres later this week), temps on the way back from the hill were -1 and flurries have been hitting off and on ever since we got back.

We went to the New Side to find that Currie Bowl was closed while they worked on Polar Peak. We hit Knot Chutes which were deep and filled in before traversing and finding Anaconda Glades open which was a bit of a Surprise as they had been closed most of yesterday. It was super deep soft hardly tracked snow in the chutes. We had some ok skiing in lower Currie before cutting across the Bear Connector to the Bear Chair.

We found that the high traverse across Cedar was open but the sign line at Trillium was shut cutting off the Snake Ridge area. I understand that patrollers had been pulled from preping Snake because of an unexploded shot in Lizard/Polar - just one of those things. We looped Cedar three times getting good lightly tracked lines through the trees while we waited, returning through Kangaroo (pretty ugly but softening as the day went on ) and Boomerang (really nice soft snow with a bit of untracked in places).

Eventually we went back to the New Side and tested Currie which was then open only at the lower traverse level and went out to Secret Chutes and Spinal Tap which were nice and deep but rather more tracked up than we expected. Word came that Snake Ridge had opened and we headed across to Bear and then out on the traverse. First loop was the Gorby/Steep and Deep shoulder which was spectacular and mostly untracked with over the head face shots all the way. The Steep and Deep exit had been skied but was so extensive that untracked lines in knee deep snow were easy to find.

Next loop we hit the ridge between Steep and Deep and Redtree and found again loads of untracked lines between the existing tracks. As we came out of the left hand chutes the snow was getting decidely heavy in the warming sun. Both the above loops were completed through Kangaroo (as before a bit scratchy but softening) and Boomerang ( still good soft easy skiing). It was time for a very late lunch.

After lunch we went to the New Side for a short afternoon and put 4 loops up the recently opened Polar Peak via Barely Legal (twice) Pappa Bear and Spirit Bear. The chutes off the Peak were a mixture of soft deep snow on a blue ice base from last weeks rain storm. It seemed best to me to stay on the soft snow so we did; jumping the ice patches whenever we could. As usual progress up the lift was slowed by morons having to down load as they didn't fancy the skiing they saw - what part of "double black diamond experts only" is hard to understand guys ?

We went to base via Corner Pocket which was skiing surprisingly ok with the tires only just starting to show. As usual the crowds just headed left out of the chute and missed the trick that a sharp right cut opens up great untracked powder for the whole of the Saddles ski area. Easter bowl was pretty good as well.

We just had time for a quick loop of Stag Leap which skied so mellow in chopped powder and gave face shots all the way that I might have been tempted to do it again as last run had tradition not intervened. Last run - Skydive with about half a dozen of the usual suspects. It was great rip and having lost the (not) race yesterday I won it today so I was happy.

We had a good celebration of my 100 days in the Griz - given that I must spend at least 20 bucks a night in there on average I would point out that this represents about 2000 bucks spent there this year, just saying. The forecast is for another weather cyle hitting from Wednesday onwards which as usual should hit with a warm front and possibly rain to start then turning to snow for the next 4 days - bring it on.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Day 99 the luck of the Irish

First of all happy Paddy's Day to all my Irish buddies and everyone else claiming some Irish connection which lets face it is everyone else. The luck comes from the fact that we have just had the most awesome snow cycle which was not predicted giving us one of the best day's skiing of the season.

So, conditions. Well, last night it was raining in the valley but around midnight (so I am told) it changed to snow and was just hosing down snow when the alarm went at 7 this morning. Overnight figure gave us 24 cms of fresh but that was 6 o'clock reading. It snowed all day, easing off a little from time to time but for the most part puking snow all over the hill. Reports conflict but most agree that we had about 50 cms out of the current cycle and as I sit here typing this I am looking out of my window and it it heaving down snow at maybe an even more awesome rate than at any time during the day - tomorrow is looking pretty good.

As you would expect conditions were awesome with loads of fresh snow on the previously hard base obliterating any problems that might have been evident from previous skier activity. To be fair the rain crust could be felt in places but if you skied fast enough the float kept you well above that sort of thing. We went to the New Side on the grounds that the new openings would be on untracked snow and there would just be more terrain available.

Almost straight off the bat we had the I bowl, Knot chutes and Surprise Trees in addition to yesterday's stuff so immediatly the decision on terrain grounds alone looked good. We looped White Pass getting face shots all over in High Line Trees, Surprise Trees, the Gun Bowl and almost anywhere we went. We tended to traverse in to the Knot Chutes and dropped Fraid Knot, Slim and Jim which were all deep and hardly tracked - Tight Knot looked just too scratchy with the rain and avi activity so we left it alone.

As the day wore on we worked our way across Surprise Trees eventually ending up in Triple Trees. Although there were a few tracks in there we found great untracked lines and hit all five sections through to the ski out below Deep Sea. Next time up we found Lift line open so every loop after that included some awesome lines of soft snow under the Timber chair. Arriving at the top we found that Currie Bowl had just opened.

We skied out along Currie Powder looking for the Reverse Traverse or even the Low Traverse to be open but were disappointed. The sign line was just as low as yesterday and we spent the next four loops skiing Currie Powder looking for a change that never happened. This wasn't all bad as the skiing down was pretty good (getting a bit bumpier each time ) and after the last sign a quick cut left gave plenty of great untracked powder skiing just below the exit from Currie Creek.

Here I have to have a quick rant about poachers (skier/riders ducking the sign lines and riding the closed areas) in my opinion these people are human filth that should be publicly hung as an example to others. More importantly patrol have to divert from their main purpose in life (opening parts of the hill for me to trash) to run these morons to ground and so delay me being able to ski untracked powder - on second thoughts hanging is too good for them - rant over.

We had been thinking about a late lunch when they opened the low traverse into the Big 3 and so that was the afternoon gone with a 9-4 non stop day in deep powder. We went out to Skydive,Stag Leap and Cougar Glades. All of these had some tracks in ahead of us but also had fantastic untracked parts with well over 50 cms of accumulated snow giving continuous face shots. This was particularly true in Cougar where the trees on the left in tight sections were almost untouched.

So it was out to Skydive for a final rip with more company than I can ever remember seeing out there at that time. Although well tracked it was great soft snow and we all had face shots all the way down - kudos to Rod who beat me down today (it really isn't a race) as my legs just didn't have it in them to drive the turns in the final section.

As I said I can't believe how hard it is snowing on my deck as I am typing this - tomorrow is in danger of being the most awesome day of the season yet.