Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 41 full on Summer Skiing

If yesterday was spring skiing then today was summer skiing with no kind of qualification whatsoever. Overnight we heard that the temps on the upper mountain got no colder than +3 even at the top. On the way to the hill it was +12 and was even +9 when we arrived at the Timber load. During the morning it was overcast  but the temps continued to rise and as things became bluebird in the afternoon and I noticed that at the Polar load mid afternoon it was +11. After skiing we went down town to take advantage of the great Tuesday offer of 10 bucks for a beer and a burger at the Northern, and even now at 8 at night it is still +14 on the deck. In summary today was super hot all over the hill and the snow was softening like you have never seen all day.
We went to the Old Side to see what had softened and the answer was pretty well everything. We found that the groomers were ok with a very soft and quite deep surface that took an easy edge which made for slow slushy skiing. The real fun was when you tried anything off piste. The comparative lack of sunlight in the overcast conditions made no difference and the fact that the snow had been subject to plus temps for well over 24 hours meant that it was all boot deep slush. We poked around most of the Old Side looking for improvements and found none so late morning we decamped to the New Side.
Even Puff was super soft as was the Gun Bowl and Heartland, although not quite as bad as the Old Side. After a couple of very slushy White Pass loops we went up Polar Peak on the grounds that this might have been the only part of the hill not totally gone to slush. We had three loops down Papa Bear which got softer every time so that last time round the whole surface was moving under your feet but at least felt ok on the firmer base underneath. We went to lunch down Currie Powder and found that although nominally a groomer it was in fact heavily chopped up soft bumps but at least on a firm base. This was true for Gilmar Trail down to Timber Chair and remained true all afternoon which is significant as these were the favoured routes to base all afternoon.
Polar Peak had shut down over lunch due to high winds but restarted as I arrived after lunch only to shut with me on the last chair for the rest of the day due to the returning very high winds. The final run down Papa Bear was very slithery and as a result the traverse under the chutes closed straight away.
The rest of the afternoon was spent looping Lift Line (soft but bumpy) White Pass (very soft in the Gun Bowl) and Currie Bowl ( slush bump skiing in Currie Powder) until last lift at 4. We couldn't get out to Skydive because of a sign line just beyond the Polar Chutes and so finished with a final rip down Currie.
In summary it was a rather better day than we could have possibly have hoped for when we got to the hill this morning. Slush skiing isn't my favourite but as things go, today was pretty good. We can't decide at the moment whether we want it to freeze over night which would firm up the base but give us ugly crud or whether we want it to stay warm and give us the heavy elephant snot that we had today. Nothing looks like it will turn out that good.

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