Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 12 Free skiing from now on

Today was the day that my seasons pass paid for itself so every day for the rest of the season (which could be about 33 by my calculations) is free. Of course this all depends on how much you paid for your pass and how much you value a days skiing at. I got my pass at super cheap early bird prices in May and I am assuming the cost of skiing will be at high season daily prices so the math works out.
The rain stopped last night and starting temps on the way to the hill were zero so everything was super slick on the roads and bullet hard on the hill. During the day the base temps rose a couple of degrees but the mountain temps remained at or below zero so the upper mountain conditions did not soften during the day. Conditions were overcast with snow flurries all day which got a bit wet at the base during the afternoon but up the mountain provided some fine covering of new snow which went a long way to improving the boiler plate and providing a bit of a cushion on the breakable crust lower down.
We went to the New Side and found Currie closed, only the Highline/Heartland core open and only about half of that groomed. The warning boards suggested that only the groomers were skiable which was true even if they were rock hard. Off the groomers we found that the Gun Bowl was ok slick bumps smoothed out by rain and challenging in the poor light. Highline was the only ungroomed run skiable and even then it turned to breakable crust half way down which did cause me to blow off a ski and stack it right in front of some ski patrol buddies which caused much hilarity.
We spent most of the morning up and down White Pass skiing the above open areas and found that the light flurries did improve the surface but not much. Generally speaking the morning was spent skiing dust on crust in slightly improving conditions all over the Highline/Heartland core.
We had a hot choccy break and went to the Old side just to see what it was like. There was more open than yesterday but not much. We had Bear and Lizard bowl below Tower 6 and Kodiak down to the Boom chair but with all the top of Boom fenced off so you had to run back to the Bear. It was groomers all the way and some of the grooming was pretty random obviously due to the very wet snow when grooming started last night. Lower down things were softening a little but off piste looked ugly and chunky as we looped around the Old Side on hard icy groomers. Once we tried Power Trip which was ungroomed and was ugly, bumpy, icy and just ugly hard work so it was back to the groomers and then a late lunch.
After lunch I was back to the New Side for more loops on the Gun Bowl and Highline. The Gun bowl skied better as the snow accumulated a little on the hard base and I took steeper and tighter lines as the afternoon wore on. The real reason for dropping Highline every time was that because I had broken through the crust, lost a ski and stacked it in there in the morning I felt I had something to prove if only to myself. In the afternoon runs I was driving it much harder off the tail of the skis and had great runs with none of the morning's problems although that may have been because of a little new snow or some skier traffic on the surface - I like to tell myself it was due to better technique from me but who knows the truth.
For the last run I cam back through the Deep Sea central core and found that the cloud had socked in a viz was really poor. This was strange as sitting in the Griz things brightened up and we had clear skies and +3 as we drove away from the hill. Forecasts suggest we may have some snow in the out look but I am not so sure - in any event I intend to take one (free) day at a time.

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