Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Day 20 an awesome day right up there in the top 20 of all time

Overnight we had snow. By snow I mean we had 30 cms of heavy hero snow at about -1 in the valley and maybe -4 up high. During the day due to a semi inversion we had temps about the same in the valley getting up to around zero on top. The snow which had puked down all night stopped when we got to the hill and only came back in light flurries during the day. It was overcast but around mid day the cloud descended so we had fog over the top of the hill and this came and went all the way through to last turn.

At 8:45 we were lined up for the New Side ( see my past remarks for how upset I get to go to the Old Side only to see it trashed by the pay for powder groups on big powder days) and the Timber Chair started on time. I have to say that I was impressed today by how quickly everything got opened considering the amount of snow. I am also very happy to have rolling openings as the average vacation skier simply doesn't have 7 hour legs so we get the openings later in the day to ourselves.

With just White Pass Centre open we looped waiting for Currie bowl. We must have done about 8 loops, always taking the Knot Chute further out (Slim, Thin and Jim were particularly good) and then dropping back through a wide variety of Surprise Trees lines which were all good and all deep, lightly tracked powder and totally awesome skiing. By late morning the traverse into the far Knot chutes was starting to get a bit sketchy.

They opened Anaconda and we had an awesome drop through the second chute and then Bootleg Glades via the early chutes where there was a few pieces of deadfall which made things pretty exciting. Next time round we found Currie was open so took the loop out to Skydive which was untracked on the right and totally awesome.

We then looped Cougar Glades (untracked deep powder once you got in) and then cut into Stag Leap to take the majority of the run lightly tracked although the bottom was a bit twiggy. Next was  Decline with a drop into Window Chutes which were totally awesome deep untracked snow in the top. Here is today's lesson. My buddy Miles stacked it in Window Chutes and punched a hole about one inch round in his helmet and almost all the way through to his head with the foam disintegrating. My estimate is that without a helmet he would have had a two inch hole in his head and been dead. He is a good skier and pretty sensible except in that he skis with me. If you ski or ride without a helmet just think about it - when you fall you are out of control, and we all fall.

After that I got some good intel from patroller buddies that Lone Fir had just opened - they also said they were calling it Bill's Pocket after I got caught in an avi there last year but I think they were just kidding. The trip through the chute was ok but with some ice and hard edge to edge jumping in the bottom. The fan below and all the skiing in Easter was just awesome and probably the best on the hill, with the possible exception of Cougar Glades.

I got stuck on Timber Chair for 10 minutes next time up and word filtered through that Timber was closing for the afternoon. I stayed up in White Pass and looped Mitchy's (still great snow but getting a bit technical in the choke) Knot Chutes twice (still very good) Surprise Trees ( still lots of soft deep snow) and Anaconda ( super deep in the chutes further in that no on skis.).

Time for last run out to Skydive which was still good snow with untracked lines on the right - super fast fall line skiing. Beers in the Griz and then back for a hot tub - Christmas starts here. The most awesome Christmas Eve Day I have ever skied and the first time this season I have made it from first bell to last bell with no break at all - Merry Christmas.

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