Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Day 14 a bluebird day with acold wind.

Today dawned clear and blue and stayed that way all day with the exception of a little ridge line cloud driven by a strong wind and blowing ridge line snow. This meant that the temp pattern on the hill was pretty standard in that it got colder the higher you went and things warmed slowly during the day. This morning it was about -4 at the base on the way to the hill and colder on top. By evening it was +7 at the base and about +2 on top, possibly warmer in the direct sunlight and cooler in the shade.
We went to the Old Side and found that there had been even more grooming in the form that all the runs across Lizard Bowl were groomed (Arrow, Bow, Cascade and Dancer) as were a couple of the runs in Cedar including Cedar Centre. All the ungroomed remained closed as it was ugly icy bumps and avi debris, these included Boom and Boom Ridge, Linda's, Cedar Ridge, Bear chutes, and Kangaroo. Needless to say all of Snake Ridge and beyond was closed and very ugly.
We skied around the Old Side on all the groomers which were hard and icy but as a way of touring the hill on a sunny day were very enjoyable. Anyone who knows me knows that skiing around on groomers is not really my thing and so after about half of the morning we decided to head to the New Side with a view to getting some more interesting skiing in over there on such ungroomed as we could find.
The New Side was cold in a fresh wind and there was no sign of  any softening. We looped White Pass with a very crunchy Gun Bowl and hard bumps in Highline, Highline Trees and particularly in Puff Trees on the drop from Timber Top to White Pass base  each time. We then had a couple of runs to base through Currie Bowl which was very hard and crunchy all the way down and even Gilmar Trail was harder and icier than yesterday - it was the Meadow before things began to soften.
We looped White Pass a few more times as things began to soften and then headed down for a late lunch through Falling Star which was soft and taking a nice edge. I don't often ski Falling Star as it is so mellow but I wanted to see the avies that had come out of Hells Gate and right across the track down by Fall Out as everyone had said they were pretty spectacular. Everyone was right and the sight of the debris was well worth a mellow run off the hill for the benefit of the view.
In the afternoon we went back up the New Side and looped White Pass through the Gun Bowl and Highline which were becoming soft bumps in the warm sunshine. We ran to base through Currie bowl and had some ok skiing through Curried Glades on the untracked blow in. Polar Peak was not running but the cat track had been cut to the top so an opening in the next couple of days is a distinct possibility. On the run down Currie we noticed that the Currie Chutes were open so we headed back up for a final run.
Last run of the day was in to Currie Bowl in the hope that the Reverse Traverse had been opened. It hadn't but a few turns down Currie powder revealed that the low traverse had been opened so we took it. We were faced with a dilemma, if Skydive could be accessed we had to do it (tradition demands) although the skiing would have been marginal but if it couldn't be accessed then a drop early in the Currie Chutes would be the best bet to get the best snow. We gambled and dropped early at around Toms run and had good untracked soft snow all the way down. To make things better, as we skied off the hill we looked up into Currie Creek and saw that the sign line was still in place so an attempt on Skydive would not have worked - result.
Beers with friends in the Griz and then a quiet night in. The next couple of days look like a repeat of ioday with maybe Polar Peak opening - not a bad prospect.

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