Saturday, March 15, 2014

Day 17 a very full on day

Yes, today was right back to where winter should normally be with new snow, rolling openings of most of the hill and top to bottom rips through the big three from first to last bell.
On the way to the hill it was -3 and we had reports of 17 cms of snow in the last 24 hours and the snow base back up to around 320 cms all of which seemed about right from what we could see. Temps rose at the base during the day to maybe +2 but stayed well below zero up the mountain so that when conditions changed from the overcast morning to precip in the afternoon that precip came down as snow from top to bottom. Ok, it was a bit wet lower down but the softening of the lower hill late in the day was no bad thing.
As we looked up the hill we could see yesterday's rain line about a third of the way up the hill and that decided us to go to the New Side. I apologise the Old Side fans but at this time of the year when there is a decided rain line on the hill so that most of the Old Side is below it and most of the New Side is above it then the decision as to where to ski seems a no brainer to me unless you want to ski groomers which everyone knows I don't count as skiing. In any event my buddies who did go to the Old Side tell me that with Snake, Boom, Linda's and Cedar Ridge closed there wasn't much to get excited about.
First run off Timber found Lift Line open low down for the first time in days so great soft lightly tracked powder with a hard base. In fact the theme of the day was that the new snow was great and got better with this afternoon's addition but there was always a hard icy uneven base that you found from time to time. Currie wasn't open so we looped back through Surprise Trees and found great untracked lines.
Next time to White Pass top Currie Bowl was open as was the traverse into the chutes from about half way between the Reverse Traverse and the usual low traverse. I suspected the sign line was still down at Currie Creek so we did 3 loops - Alpha Centauri, Concussion and Tom's. All of these were soft snow mostly untracked up top and getting a little chunky low down. Somewhere in there they opened Lift Line and the Traverse into Big Bang off Timber top so these were the runs down to White Pass every lap and were pretty good heavy chopped up powder.
Next lap I tried to get to the Big Three and found that the Currie Creek sign line had been dropped and so hit Skydive as third track in - I suspect the other two were Patrol. The top two thirds of Skydive was great untracked powder although the mid section did have a hard bumpy base. The bottom third was pay the bill time with the ugliest crust on mush I have ever skied, a real challenge. There was just time for two more loops before lunch and both of these were in Cougar Glades. My logic was that Cougar would be mostly untracked and as it finishes higher up than the Big Three there would be less crud to negotiate at the bottom and there was always the option to bail right. My guesses were dead right plus as there had been a slide in the lower section so the crust was broken up by softening debris which was a big improvement if not great skiing.
After lunch we were back to New Side loops and did -
Barracuda - still untracked lines but a hard base and bit crusty in the last couple of turns.
Cougar Glades - as before but with untracked lines a bit harder to find but the soft debris really skiing quite nicely.
Easter Bowl - probably some of the best soft snow of the day but of course by this time it was snowing again. Some buddies who took a slightly different line found a lot of avi debris but I guess I was just lucky and had great soft snow all the way down and even Freeway was skiing ok on the exit.
Of course we had to do the final rip down Skydive which was great. The upper parts were chopped up soft snow where you could stay off the hard base by riding the berms. The lower section was much improved from a combination of skier traffic, new snow and softening conditions - not great but way better that first time round.
No line up at the bar and a chance to catch up with some of my weekender buddies. This was a very full on day in far from easy conditions so it's an early night in the hope that the overnight snow in the forecast materialises.

No comments:

Post a Comment