Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Day 6 Could this be the last really good day in the current cycle ?

 The question posed in the title is a fair one. Today was an awesome day (of which more later) but with the warm up forecast for tomorrow what will the future hold? Optimists are saying that it will be good in the morning deteriorating in the afternoon a more pessimistic view was taken by a ski patrol buddy of mine in the Griz bar tonight who told Darcy ( the manager) that he should take on more staff for tomorrow as they would probably have more areas open in the bar tomorrow than on the hill - what will be will be.
We woke this morning and had another reported 23 cms of new snow although some of that came down yesterday. The base was up at about 280 cms which is still a bit low for this time of year. Temps at the base areas on the hill were +1 and about -1 up the mountain. They stayed much the same during the day but a strong cold wind kept everything in good shape and provided a bit of blow in on north facing slopes. It was overcast with the upper mountain completely socked in with poor viz and some rain/ice pellets in the afternoon which fell as rain down in the town.
We went to the New Side to avoid the upset that I feel when I see that the first tracks that you are looking for have been grabbed by various pay for powder groups as always happens on the Old Side - for my views on this reprehensible practice see my (many) previous posts. On the New Side there was a slight delay on opening White Pass and then we had the whole White Pass area minus the zig zag to trash up the new powder. We had a great time with many runs through the Gun bowl and Highline/Heartland trees floating on the powder which at the higher temps kept us floating on top all over the hill all day.
Eventually they opened the zig zag and the Idiot Traverse out to Surprise Trees and we had more great untracked powder as we looped these areas although Currie Bowl and Anaconda Glades remained closed due to problems with stability in Polar Chutes. Anaconda opened and we had the most awesome rip through the Glades in Deep snow and some even better skiing in the trees to the left of Bootleg Glades on the way out. I forgot to mention that during the morning we took a few traverses into the Knot Chutes and found plenty of soft untracked snow but also some gnarly ice - well they are double black diamonds so what do you expect ?
Currie opened and we spent the rest of the day looping out along the reverse traverse and then taking the front runs as Polar Peak and the Saddles remained closed. Among others -
Cougar Glades - run of the day with deep untracked powder tight through the trees all the way down.
The Brain - a few tracks in the top but untracked in the lower section and really deep powder to the right of the creek bed.
Decline Trees/Spinal Tap - we had intended to ski off the left of Decline and hit Window Chutes but the trees just seemed to open up and we had some amazing untracked fall line skiing in the trees down to Spinal Tap which was tracked but with loads of soft snow.
Skydive Trees right - we are not even sure if this area has a name but it is in the trees to the right of Skydive but not going in as far as  the opening in the trees. Great soft deep skiing all the way down until we bailed left into Skydive just before the bottom.
Worth mentioning here that many of our drops from Timber top were done by traversing out towards Big Bang in an area that is often rocky and cliffed out but at the moment is tough but ok. The snow just underneath the traverse was flat soft untracked blow in and we made the most of it.
We did a White Pass loop to fill in time which was Knot Chutes through Jim chute and then Surprise Trees which were still in good shape.
Last run of course was Skydive where we arrive about 10 minutes early so apologies to any regulars who I missed. Skydive skied like a dream after the top section of bumps which were much improved by the new snow. Loads of soft snow and sweeping GS turns on top all the way down were the order of the day - just awesome.
So tomorrow may be good, may be bad - who knows. Whatever it is I will be out in it and writing about it here tomorrow night.

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