Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Day 12 and we get Polar Peak and some very good skiing

Overnight we had no new snow but the temps did stay low. It was -5 on the way to the hill and the same on the way back although it might have warmed a degree or two during the day. Up top temps were -7 at mid mountain and -10 on Polar Peak and didn't really warm much but by the same token, with no wind we did not get the brutal conditions that we can get on the Polar Chair.

We arrived at the hill to be told that the base was somewhere in the mid 80's cms ( all the boards had a slightly different figure) and that Polar Peak was due to open. Actually the hosts were saying that Polar peak was open and the lefties were saying it was on standby and the latter proved to be correct.

For obvious reasons we went to the New Side and found thick valley cloud covering the hill. In White Pass just about at the base of the Knot Chutes things cleared so we had bluebird skies above a heavy valley cloud base. The view was fantastic and the only thing that would have improved it would have been if we had angel dust glittering as we came out of the top of the clouds but I guess we need things a good 10 degrees colder for that to happen. The cloud base rose during the day so that by afternoon we very little valley cloud and overcast conditions on the hill itself.

At the top of White Pass the signs said Polar Peak was closed but we could see the chair turning. We took a couple of runs back down White Pass and found the Gun Bowl and Highline hard but ok skiing. We dropped Currie to the Polar load to make enquiries and were told that things were looking good for an opening so we looped Currie Glades and Trespass Trail which were much harder than last time but just about ok. We did one more Currie loop and then decided to line up for Polar Chair.

After a 5 minute wait the chair loaded and we were on the third chair up with only 4 boarders in front of us. As they had to strap in at the top we jumped them and I (followed by Brad and Lynda) put the first tracks by a fare paying customer down Polar Peak this season - autographs are available later. The main chutes were closed but we could take the Coaster to the cat track and cut hard left to get into lower Grand Papa and Papa Bear before heading back to the lift. Conditions were slick in the Coaster and about 4 cms of ok ungroomed snow on a hard ice base in the chutes.

We spent the whole of the rest of the morning looping Polar Peak about 6 or 7 times each time finding new and untracked lines as the word had not really got out that Polar was open. For lunch we took a final traverse all the way out into lower Mamma Bear and had untracked snow all the way down to Currie Powder. With the Reverse Traverse and Saddles closed due to ice the only way off the hill was Currie Glades, Trespass Trail and Summer Road which was a mixed bunch of conditions. For lunch we tried the new Big Bang Bagels outlet which was excellent quality and value and will be on the agenda  as a regular feature.

In the afternoon it was back for more of the same. By now the chutes were getting a lot of blue ice showing through but there was still plenty of soft snow. Just to mix things us we sometime ran to Currie Powder and White Pass via Trespass Trail and sometimes just ran back to the Polar load. To make things more exciting we jumped into the Clown Chutes a few times rather than taking the Polar Coaster but with the exception of the big drop off onto the cat track this was pretty mellow skiing - for icy chutes at least.

We finished the day with a Mama Bear run to Currie Powder and there was still quite a lot of untracked snow although the blue ice was showing through. We had some good beers in the Griz and a long hot tub when we got home. Best of all the Weather Network is starting to call for some snow and even allowing for the fact that it is only the Weather Network it is definitely a reason to be cheerful - lets see what tomorrow brings.

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