Saturday, March 22, 2014

Day 24 not as ugly busy as we had feared - in fact quite good.

Today was the day when we feared that the hill would resemble an ant hill but in fact it was pretty ok. We were slightly delayed as the new skis had to be picked up from Straight Line and  they weren't ready until 9 o'clock. It was pretty crowded and we had to park in Lot 3 but considering that we were a bit late (for us) this was not unexpected. The combination of a weekend, loads of new snow and spring break starting in parts of Alberta meant that we expected huge crowds and whilst it was busy things were no way as ugly as we had anticipated.
There was no new snow over night but temps kept low and it was -12 on the way to the hill. During the day we had a cloud sun mix but temps stayed well below zero all over the hill with only a little softening in the direct sunlight which set up with a slight crust by the close. There were a few very light flurries during the day but no accumulation and the cold temps kept the snow from the past few days in pretty good shape. As we drove away from the hill it was -3 and starting to snow and the snow has continued into the evening so tomorrow may be rather good.
Having got the new DPS Wailers I couldn't wait to try them but arriving late I just felt the scrum to go to the New Side would be too much so we went to the Old Side instead. We found that Snake Ridge was open and we had an awesome rip in lightly tracked snow all the way down Snake before cutting right into KC chutes which had been skied a bit more but were still full of soft deep snow. The return to Boom was via Kangaroo which I wanted to try as the icy bumps were about the worst conditions that I could think of to test the new skis. They are no bump skis but performed as well as you would expect some 184 cm long skis with 112 under foot to do - actually quite well.
We returned to Bear via Boom which was super soft bumps and then took another loop through Steep and Deep (soft deep and lightly tracked) and then Kangaroo again which was still skiing ok. We then took a couple of loops on Boom Ridge to avoid the huge line up at Haul Back and the bumps on Boom Ridge were skiing soft and very easy for straight line bump skiing.
People have asked me how Lynda is doing after her chemo. Well, she has complained of lacking energy and having taken yesterday off because she was so tired she swore to take things a bit easier. Up to this point in the day she had skied all the above runs with me which are a collection of single and double black diamonds which is not most peoples idea of taking things easy but she is determined to get back on her game - she is doing great. We went across to the New Side via the Bear Chutes only to find that Timber Chair had broken down for an hour so we took a lunch break.
In the afternoon we went up the New Side and just like yesterday Big Bang was soft and deep and the low traverse in was not too gnarly. Polar Peak had been open in the morning but had not been skied too hard because of the Timber break down. We had 4 runs through the chutes, Papa Bear, Grand Papa twice and Mama Bear. They were all great soft bumped up chutes with easy (if steep) skiing all the way down - even managed to get few face shots. After Mama Bear I ran to base through Corner Pocket which skied ok with no tires showing. Under the Saddles there was a lot of debris from blasting but there were still a few untracked lines in between the avi trails.
Next time up Polar it was three more loops of Grand Papa Bear and then having got the very last chair it was a rip down Papa Bear (still soft and deep) and Currie Powder (groomed but covered in soft) to get back to White Pass via Trespass Trail - the only trail on the hill that is uphill in both directions. This gave us just the right amount of time to work our way back to Skydive for the last run of the day. We managed a subdued top to bottom non stop run with Skydive proving to be soft bumps of various size all the way down.
It was super busy weekend so there was no chance of getting in the Griz without lining up and I never line up to have a drink. We went the Kelseys and had a couple of beers which were ok and then headed home for an early night. It has been puking snow ever since we got in and I am actually getting quite optimistic about tomorrow - lets see.

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