Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Day 18 two out of three aint bad

This of course was a hit for Meat Loaf off their Bat out of Hell album back in the 70's but today it applies to our hopes for openings at the hill. We had hoped for openings on Polar Peak, The Saddles, and Knot Chutes. As it was we didn't get the Saddles but we got the other two so, as I said two out of three aint bad.

Before going any further I must apologise for the lateness of this report but we had some friends over after many beers in the Griz and then many more in the hot tub and finally more still as the pizzas were delivered. So at late report and maybe not a very coherent one

On the way to the hill it was -4 with no new snow. The conditions were not exactly bluebird but we did have clear skis and significant periods of no cloud cover so that the viz was way better than we have had recently. Temps stayed well below zero all over the hill all day.

We decided to go to the New Side partly because we thought the Old Side being lower would have more damage low down due to the refreezing conditions but mostly because we thought that the New Side would be where all the action was on opening new areas and we were right. The drop from Timber Top to White Pass load was initially through Puff which was ok but later in the day they opened up Lift Line for the first time this season and the skiing in there was good soft snow but with lots of obstructions.

We looped White Pass a few times in snow which was chunky from the overnight freeze but ok ungroomed skiing. I noticed the Knot Chute sign line had dropped and did two hikes up. The entrance was rather tricky with a big drop and some rocks but Reef Knot and then Tight Knot were very good deep snow even if it was a bit slabby in Tight Knot.

We looped Concussion/Alpha Centauri a few times and as everywhere else found tracked  chunky snow but ok given the conditions. Polar Peak opened and we looped several times. Still no chutes but the ski down to the Coaster was big soft friendly bumps resulting from windrows that had not been groomed. We cut across the Shale Slope and had several runs down Pappa/ Grand papa chutes which were ok nut not quite as deep and soft as I had suspected.

For lunch I looped out to Decline and at the halfway point decided to drop the Window Chutes. In the top the snow was deep and super soft but as I worked my way down I got a bit lost and got in Spinal Tap. The snow was thin with a rain crust and the stream bed was still exposed. It was a very technical ski out which had me working hard.

After lunch I went up Polar Peak and the bumps in the top were tougher and the lower down skiing no better. We went out to Decline which provided some spectacular tracked powder but I managed a big time stack in the rain crust on the ski out. We just had time for a trip into Knot Chutes (this time from the side traverse) and a drop of Tight Knot which was still only lightly skied, Anaconda Glades were good tracked powder and we still had time for a return through Trespass trail and then a very quick White Pass loop before heading out for the Skydive 4 o'clock drop.

In view of the conditions, the role of honour has to be called and me, Kevin, Glen and Rob made the final run. Conditions were good soft semi tracked powder until the last 10 turns where we got ugly refrozen crud and ice crust. After that we all figured we deserved lots of beer.

Maybe some snow tomorrow and temps staying low.

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