Saturday, March 29, 2014

Day 31 over 4 metres of snow and a mixed day

So how is it that with 28 cms of snow over night and probably about another 20 during the morning I am not raving about a totally awesome day. The reasons are -
Crowds - the weekend crowds were ugly big so big line ups and all the snow tracked up fast.
Limited Terrain - on the New Side we only got the White Pass core to begin with and then Knot Chutes out to Surprise Trees and that was it for the day.
Changing Conditions - the snow got heavy and hard very quickly and stayed that way for most of the day.
Still, it was a pretty good day and the base rose to 410 cms which means that the 4 metre party is on for tonight.
There is not much to say about where we skied all today as we skied Knot Chutes and Surprise Trees all day. We worked our way across the Knot Chutes from the Cheese Grater to Simon's Crack and back again several times. In Surprise Trees we went from the near chutes to Diamond Back ridge and all lines in between looping back down Trespass Trail to White Pass chair. It is worth talking about the changing conditions.
Last night as we left the restaurant it was raining hard in the valley but the deck temp was zero. We figured that it would be snowing quite low down on the hill and as we drove to the hill this was confirmed with the temp dropping to -1 and the precip coming down white but wet. Obviously the best skiing was going to be high so we went to White Pass and although quite a lot was closed we grabbed the rolling openings and had some awesome skiing. The snow was super knee deep powder and although it was a little heavy it was great skiing.
As the morning developed we went into the newly opened areas and had awesome untracked powder. This was some of the best skiing of the season so far. As the snow became more tracked up the skiing remained good as the heavy snow was almost as good to ski as when it was untracked. Later in the morning the snow which had been hosing down stopped and the sun came out. The snow immediately became heavy and within two runs everything had become hard and chunked up.
That was the story for the rest of the day. The Knot Chutes remained in ok shape with tufted snow on a firm base. The Surprise Trees area was very tough hard chunky skiing and just got harder all afternoon. We lurked around hoping for Anaconda Glades to open but we were out of luck.
With only so many ways to ski Knot Chutes and Surprise Trees we had enough by about 3:30 and headed for the bar to celebrate the 4 metre party.
In summary we had a load of wet snow, awesome morning skiing on limited terrain and then tougher skiing on the same terrain as the day wore on. As we left the hill we were still getting mixed precip in temps of +3 so it looks like we could be getting even more snow tomorrow. What we get open is another matter as there are reports of significant slides all over hill from patrollers who were caught when trying to ski cut the terrain for us. Lets see.

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