Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day 36 Ok, so don't believe me

My remarks are addressed to all those people I told this morning about where there was some awesome powder to ski and who simply refused to believe me. One of the more interesting traits of some Fernie winter locals is their absolute conviction that they know more about runs that they haven't skied than people who have actually skied them. There has to be a scientific name for this interesting phenomena other than stupidity.
First of I have to apologise for yesterday's report which was bit brief and a bit unfocussed. This was due entirely to the huge amounts of alcohol consumed during the course of Hot Dog day. I have to make it clear that at no time did we break the signed rules displayed on the hill saying that drinking while skiing was prohibited. This is a very sensible rule as you might spill some if you tried this and for that reason we didn't.
Today dawned mostly clear with some scattered cloud which increased during the day to the point where we had some very light snow flurries on top during the course of the morning but with no accumulation. It was -5 on the way to the hill and seemed to be a fairly consistent temp all the way up the hill. During the day temps rose to about +3 at the White Pass top and there was general softening of snow on the lower mountain but with no great mush down due to the lack of direct sunlight.
I decided to go to the New Side as I had an idea that with all the action on the Old Side yesterday there might be some good stuff to be had. Polar Peak was closed as were the Knot chutes, I guess because the south facing slopes had mushed up yesterday and were bullet hard ugly refrozen crud. Knot chutes opened in the afternoon although they were still pretty scratchy but Polar remained closed all day which was probably a pretty good call given the conditions.
I headed out on the Reverse Traverse and found it was the most ugly I have ever seen it with ruts, ice, crud, death cookies etc. I was really nervous as when I crossed Currie Creek the conditions were the same and I thought I had really made a bum call. Only when I arrived at the top of Skydive did things change and the bumps were smooth and soft, the mid section was deep tracked powder and the lower section skied with good powder on a hard base. It was so good I did it again with same effect and just could not believe I was getting such good deep powder skiing after the ugly traverse, After that the morning was -
Decline - even better than Skydive as the lower section was more north facing and it was less tracked.
Stag Leap - nice through the trees and then soft tracked powder all the way down. There was a little sun affected snow mid section but after that it went back to powder on a firm base.
High Saddle - nice edge to edge turns in the chute and then powder down to the turn into lower Easter where it got bit chunky.
Decline/Window chutes - great soft deep snow and just a little scratchy in the exit which is pretty much what you would expect.
A fantastic morning's powder skiing with the best part being I could tell everyone how good it was with no fear of them trashing the powder as they simply didn't believe me. In the afternoon I went back and things had started to deteriorate in the warming conditions so that lower down we had heavy mush. That having been said the traverse remained ugly and showed no real signs of softening until last run of the day. This is how it played -
The Brain - great powder tree skiing in the top which got heavy half way down rather sooner than I expected. After the cut out into lower Skydive things became very heavy.
Google Earth - where I hear you say. They had opened the Knot Chute Traverse which was still rather sketchy so I headed out to Gotta Go. That run looked a little skied out in the choke so I jumped the left hand shoulder into the next chute which is Google Earth and had the deep powder run of the day until I hit the tracks in the top of 3 of 1-2-3.
Secret Chute /Spinal Tap - nice lightly tracked powder until I cut into the stream bed where it became super heavy slow motion skiing in elephant snot.
White Pass loop - just to kill time through the Gun Bowl and Highline Trees which skied ok on crud which had melted but was starting to set up.
Final run of course was Skydive which skied just like this morning to about half way down and then just became heavier and heavier the further you went. It was a real leg buster down to the groomed trail at the base but we did manage to do it in a single shot albeit rather slowly.
In the bar tonight they were getting ready for the Monster Enemy Lines event over the next couple of days - see the official website for full details. Precip in the forecast but with temps where they are we could be measuring it in mm's rather than cm's but lets hope not.

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