Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Day 21 new powder and new openings

Yes, today we had snow all day which unsurprisingly improved skiing everywhere but more importantly a number of areas that had previous been closed for a couple of weeks were open. The result was some very good untracked skiing.
There hadn't been any significant snow overnight or if there had what was laying around on the cars in the neighbourhood suggested dust on crust at best. On the way to the hill it was -1 and started to snow with wetish snow. It snowed all day on the hill from top to bottom with temps of +1 at the base and -4 up the mountain and as we drove away the snow was really starting to get heavy with valley temps of -1/zero. The up shot was that snow accumulated everywhere ( a bit wet and heavy down low and lighter on top) and the skiing improved exactly as you would have expected.
I went to the New Side and had a few White Pass loops just to get the legs in place and found Gun bowl, Heartland and Highline all good but particularly Lift Line was very mellow in the top getting a little crunchy low down. I had heard that the Saddles were open and went to check. Corner Pocket was closed but High Saddle was open and I got what appeared to be first tracks through the chute which was good deep powder skiing. The viz was pretty bad but the skiing under the chutes was wonderful deep powder between the avi debris trails.
Next loop I was amazed to see that Polar Peak was open in the poor viz and even more amazed when I got up there to find that the Coaster side was closed but the Chutes were open for the first time in two weeks. The viz was about the worst I have every seen and we groped a run down Papa Bear and back to the chair in zero viz but awesome deep, soft and most importantly flat snow. We looped Papa again ( for some strange reason no one else was doing this) and then headed out the High Saddle for another good run through the chute which was still filled with soft snow and then untracked powder on the slopes below.
After that it was two more Polar Loops doing Mamma Bear and then Low Saddle (the chutes to skiers right were spectacular untracked powder) and the Baby Bear and the Lone Fir. The Polar chutes were all deep untracked flat snow in very poor viz. Lone Fir was the site of my avi experience a couple of days ago and I was surprised to see how much snow was still left under the fan to give some great soft snow skiing into the lower part of Easter bowl. Lunch.
After lunch I went back to the New Side but things weren't quite so good - for a start they had closed Polar Peak. I had to smile at lunch to hear the usual day lodge crowd holding forth about how bad things were on Polar Peak when they hadn't been up there - true to form they were not interested in the opinion of someone like me who had skied it four times - funny or what?
I went to High Saddle and what a difference from the morning, the chute was a strip of blue ice scraped bare by not very good skiers and boarders who had side slipped it. Underneath it was still pretty good powder. I did a few White Pass loops which were ok but made a mistake when after Knot Chutes (which were ok) I tried Surprise Trees and was greeted by ugly breakable crust. This was the only place on the hill I experience breakable crust all day and I can't work out why it was there and no where else but it was ugly. I ran another loop to the base through Low Saddle which was also badly scraped out but again with great skiing in the chutes to skiers right.
As we got to the end of the day we looped White Pass through the Gun Bowl and the Pillows and the new snow was really starting to build up. Last run was Skydive which skied beautifully in the top part in deep soft snow. From about half way down things got worse with the new snow only partially cushioning the hard bumpy under surface. It was, on balance, better than yesterday but then that is setting the bar pretty low.
After a few beers with loads of buddies I went down town to try and get a demo pair of DPS hybrids but Straight Line was closed - their loss. The snow started to come down very heavy in just minus temps and has been hosing down ever since. Forecast is for about 30 cms overnight but if the current fall rate on my deck keeps up that looks like a low estimate. looks like an early night tonight and an early start tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment