Friday, February 28, 2014

Day 2 Getting tougher

And just to get the record straight things aren't getting tougher just because I am on day 2 legs which are always a bit weaker than day 1 legs. The conditions toughened up over night due to the big drop in temps and a wind which dried out the snow. The result was what ever had been skied into bumps became really hard but at least not icy. What hadn't been skied and previously had been soft snow became very chunky hard untracked "powder" which was really hard work to make the skies go where you wanted and was overall very hard work. Ok, day 2 legs didn't help.

We had a dusting overnight but no significant accumulation so the base hung in at around 250 cms. Avid readers will recall that I was worried about rising temps but I need not have worried. Overnight temps dropped to about -13 in the valley and a dry cold wind did the damage to the hill described above. When we arrived at the hill it was overcast with flurries so the viz wasn't anything to write home about but as the day wore on things brightened up which improved the viz and raised the temps at the base a little but not up the hill. All day mid mountain temps were around -16 with a wind chill adding 5/10 degrees so over all a rather brisk day.

We went to the New Side as Lynda had missed this yesterday but after a couple of loops on White Pass we were very cold and with the snow chunky and the viz poor we decamped to the Old Side via the Bear connector. The run down through Currie Glades was ok but like everywhere today it was hard bumps and chunky tufts. We did a few Old Side loops on Boomerang, Cedar Ridge, new Lift line, Gully, Gulch, in fact all the Old Side stuff you would expect. Do I need to say that the bumps were hard but taking an edge and the soft snow was by no means soft.

We needed a mid morning break as the cold was getting to us and after a refreshing hot choccy we went back and did loops in Linda's, Bear chutes, Cedar Ridge again and Cedar centre left - conditions were exactly as before but not quite so cold as we approached the mid day "high". Three trips down Kangaroo confirmed just what I said yesterday which was that for Kangaroo it was ok (which makes it pretty tough compared with anywhere else) and compared with the rest of the hill it was certainly no worse.

So it was a late lunch and Lynda headed for home as the chemo has left her a bit behind the 8 ball and probably will do for the rest of the season. I headed to the New Side for some loops which excluded Polar Peak on the grounds that it was closed. This was a good call as the wind chill on White Pass must have been down around -25 and I wouldn't even want to think what it was on the peak. The afternoon runs were -
The Gun bowl - nice blow in but firm
Anaconda Glades - very chunky snow and just hard work in the steep sections.
Bootleg Glades - well skied in hard bumps and as such pretty easy.
Highline trees - nice hard bumps.
Surprise - a bit like Anaconda but not so steep, the exit was surprisingly hard to find.
Decline - still skiing good hard bumps with soft snow on top.
Window Chutes - Chunky snow in the very top section but once in the stream bed it skied firm but nice and the log drop has more or less disappeared.

After all that it was time for the final rip down Skydive. Today I reverted to my more normal approach of ripping hard GS turns through the upper sections which had me almost back to normal run speed. TThe bad news was that this was brutal on the legs with the hard bumps so I had to take on break before the final pitch which I skied  little more gently, give me a couple of days and I will be back in the game.

So a tough but good day with an interesting outlook. The forecast is for some really cold weather over the next few days like a wind chill -43 tonight and not much better for tomorrow. There is talk that the New Side won't open at all tomorrow if the forecast is correct. Looking into next week we are due a warm up to zero/low plus temps and quite a bit of snow - it's a forecast so anything could be right, who knows. I don't care as long as we are here skiing it and tonight is a classic for a warm night at home ignoring the weather.

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