Sunday, December 14, 2014

Day 10 and I'm getting worried

Now, normally when we get early season set backs I am the optimist and will dismiss any pessimists by saying "it's only early season things will get better" for some reason this year I just don't feel that confident. It comes down to two things, current conditions and future prospects both of which fill me with fear.

We have probably had the worst start to a season for 10 years which can't be good. Those of us who can remember the dreadful season of 10 years ago will remember that at least it was cold (-25 or lower) when we didn't have snow so at least any moisture that came our way came as snow which it did eventually over the Christmas period. This time it has been warm and although things are cooling down we are nowhere near the cold temps which will guarantee snow and just as importantly allow the hill to make snow.

Turning to the outlook the 14 day forecast from the Weather Network does not show any significant snow. Now, no one needs to lecture me on the shortcomings of the Weather Network forecasts (I have slated them here often enough myself) but in the long term/big picture scenario they do get it mostly right. The most worrying thing is about 7 days out where they are calling for a warm up and snow. On every occasion they have done that this year we have ended up with the temps being increased as the day approaches until we get a full on rain event and temps way up in the plus figures. I just don't think the hill could take another beating like that just before Christmas and that is why I am worried.

Today we had some rain over night but on the way to the hill temps dropped to -1 which was the first minus temp I had seen for a week. On arriving at the hill we had -1 going to +1 at the base and up the hill temps of -4 going to -2 all of which played out just about as anticipated. The overnight precip had come down as a couple of cms of fresh from about half hill height and above. which gave a wintery look to the hill but no more. the base was recorded at 91 cms at the weather plot which is fair enough but has little or nothing to do with the snow (or rather lack of) that we are skiing on over the rest of the hill.

We went to the New Side and in summary found that the conditions were hard re-frozen crud which was ok in the lightly skied areas when the new snow did make a little difference but was no good in the area's where we had tracked up the soft snow yesterday and which had now refrozen,

Morning runs were mostly White Pass core through Highline, Heartland, Gun Bowl, and the I bowl all of which were ok on a hard and sketchy base. After elevenses ( for Lynda as she had a cold) we tried Anaconda which was great soft snow in the top and refrozen death cookies in the bottom. With the exit from Currie still closed we had to return to White Pass via Trespass Trail which worked remarkably well as the surface was frozen hard and slick running.

For the rest of the morning we looped Currie Glades which skied very well and back via Trespass. Just before late lunch we went out to Corner Pocket which was much more icy than yesterday but quite ok and with some sensational untracked skiing along the closure line out to the hard left in Lizard bowl - Dancer ski out was twiggy and still sucked.

In the afternoon we went back to the New Side and watched them cut Knot Chutes (not going to open soon) and cut the cat track up to Polar Peak. Polar itself looked ok although the smooth surface in the chutes could cover a multitude of sins. I think we might get Polar this side of Christmas with a bit of luck.

We looped Curried Glades many times taking various lines all of which were good tree skiing. We broke up the routine with a couple of trips back down White Pass core so that for the last run we had a difficult choice. The best skiing had to be Corner Pocket but patroller buddies warned it was very icy. In the event it was ok with a few hard edge to edge jumps but with the starting signs of a tire appearing in the chute. The skiing underneath was just as good as before and easily the best on the hill.

Well we had a few beers in the bar with buddies and a good hot tub with more beer. Temps are cooling so that they may be able to make some snow on the lower mountain which we will need, because if I understand things correctly Timber Chair will be closed tomorrow and we will only have the Old Side. I make no comment on this whatsoever and report it simply as a fact.

So lets see what the last full week before Christmas brings - I deserve a nice present in the form of a snow dump. As I type this the sky is clear (stars to been seen while lounging in the hot tub) and temps down to -5 so at least it feels like winter,

No comments:

Post a Comment