Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Day 28 Shusss don't tell anyone how good today was

Yup, today was so unpromising that there was almost no one on the hill and yet it was some of the best untracked skiing that we have had. It was unpromising because it rained overnight and was raining this morning as we headed for the hill. The official web site for the hill only claimed 5 cms overnight without one of the usual hyped up banners about awesome powder - they must be losing their touch.
One encouraging sign was that it was only +1 on my deck and as we drove to the hill it dropped to -1 at the base of Timber load. The precip was wet snow and continued on and off all day ranging from rain at the base and wet snow on top to wet snow at the base and graupel on top and most conditions in between - we even had some sun albeit briefly in the afternoon. Overall the precip came down white over most of the hill giving us a load of new snow during the day (maybe 10 cms) which filled in tracks and improved skiing everywhere on the hill. By the end of the afternoon there was some pretty deep powder in top which became a bit mushy lower down but still ok skiing.
The most amazing thing was the total lack of people considering that this is spring break in BC. I think the locals stayed away because the conditions down in town were pretty ugly in the rain. The Non-Stop groups were around but I think most of these are working on instructor qualifications so they stay on the groomers or the easy ungroomed. Apart from that we just have a few vacation skiers who don't have a clue where the good skiing is leaving the good skiing to the rest of us, best described as the unemployed and the unemployable plus a few mining folk on their days off.
We went to the New Side as on a day like this that is the only thing that made sense. I am always surprised by the number of regular skiers who seem to be genetically programmed to go to the Old Side first on a day like this. I bumped into a couple who told me that the skiing was pretty crap which was the least surprising thing I heard all day. Actually later in the day I heard the skiing out on Snake Ridge got pretty good but the smart move straight off the bat was always going to be the New Side.
We dropped to White Pass off Timber via Lift Line which was well filled in and all subsequent loops were either Lift Line or the low traverse into Big Bang which both got better and deeper filled in heavy powder all day. It was then a few loops in White Pass to enjoy the untracked powder and then we headed out into Currie Bowl. I was worried that a run to base would take us below the rain line but actually things down below stayed pretty dry all day. The loops were sensational -
Skydive - I had to cut the traverse out and had first tracks all the way down. it was great powder on a firm base for the first two thirds and then some fairly heavy untracked snow in the lower section.
Cougar Glades - first tracks again all the way down. There was a slightly crusty base in the open sections but for the most part it was good snow getting heavier lower down.
Stag Leap - there were two tracks in before me but plenty of room to find untracked powder in the top sections. Again the lower third was heavy.
The Brain - a return to form with untracked skiing all the way through - do I need to say it was heavy at the bottom
Decline - There were two tracks in front of me which disappeared off left pretty quick giving me the main run untracked all the way down as the last run before lunch. It was hard to believe that there was no one skiing in the good places but that was the case.
After lunch I linked up with a few buddies and just went for more of the same.
Currie Creek - no one had gone in there off the traverse so we just had to. We met a few tracks lower down but the upper sections were deep untracked powder.
Secret Chutes/Spinal Tap - yesterday this run had been pretty deep and untracked so that by this afternoon it was really deep and untracked. The lower part of Spinal Tap got a bit heavy but it was good soft snow that you could float around on top as long as you held your speed.
High Saddle/Easter bowl - the run through the saddle was easy edge to edge jumping and the run underneath was just sensational. The new snow had filled in on top of the good stuff from yesterday and it was just maximum speed GS turns in untracked powder all the way into Easter where you had to jump around a bit in soft bumps.
We had some time on our hands at the end of the day in White Pass and proved that a run from the top to the load does take less than two minutes. The final run down Skydive was pretty stellar. The top bumps were soft and the rest of the mid sections were new soft snow that you could rip as maximum speed GS turns. The final section was a bit more technical in the heavier snow but it was a great top to bottom non stop rip to finish the day.
Great beers and chat with buddies in the bar - more new snow in the outlook but don't tell anyone.

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