Monday, December 15, 2014

Day 11 back to the old side

Well, as I accurately predicted on Friday the New Side was closed today so we had to make do with just the Old Side. I make no comment on the circumstances surrounding this and report it simply as a matter of indisputable fact. When I say we had the Old Side this is rather overstating things as what we had was limited openings in Lizard bowl and Cedar bowl and North Ridge and that was about it.

The good news was that temps fell last night as predicted so that on the way to the hill it was -4 and at the top -8. Things warmed a couple of degrees during the day but stayed so cold that at least they were able to make snow on the lower mountain run outs for most of the day. No new snow fell but the base was reported at 88cms which as I have said before relates to the snow at the weather plot which has been allowed to lie undisturbed and had little or nothing to do with the snow depths available in the skiing terrain that has be subjected to 11 days of skier traffic. Most of the runs had significant bare patches or early season obstructions.

I was intrigued at this mornings snow report which gave upper mountain temps at about -8 (correct) but described the snow conditions as "wet snow". You don't have to be a genius to work out that if upper mountain temps drop to -8 over night the snow may be many things but none of them would be wet. In the event my own investigation showed the snow to be a mix of boiler plate, death cookies, refrozen crud, and a number of other icy phenomena, but not wet - perhaps I just wasn't looking hard enough.

I have to admit that I was late to the hill today as I had to make a dental appointment (toothache again) so that I was half an hour after first turn before I got on my skis. We just looped around the groomers on Bear, North Ridge, Emily's, Lower North Ridge and Cruiser. These ranged from just about ok groomers to ugly sheet ice with some very varied conditions even on the same run. The only "off piste" we even tried was the stuff to skiers right of Cruiser which was pretty challenging refrozen crud.

Because of Lynda's cold we had an elevenses break and then went back for more of the same. With nothing else to do we got into some good old ski school exercises on edge control which is always good to practice. After a very late lunch I had time for a couple more laps of the same before calling it a day. What can you say, we skied the same stuff which was very average hard pack over and over again - it was better than not skiing.

In the evening we headed out to some buddies for a few drinks and a great time trying to convince each other it has to get better. Now settled down with much too much beer for an early night and a prayer to the Griz for more snow.

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