Sunday, December 28, 2014

Day 24 not qute awesome but still very very good

Yesterday we were hoping for a big dump over night but it didn't quite happen. We had some snow overnight and the 24 hour fall figure was given as 37 cms of which I would estimate about 5 was fresh overnight. This still gave very good powder on yesterday's deep base and a mid mountain base figure of around 170 cms.

On the way to the hill today it was -6 and on the way back -9 with temps a good few degrees lower up the mountain. There was some wind adding to the chill and obviously there had been wind last night judging by the wind affected snow in places and the wind slab on the ridge lines at the top of most runs. Polar Peak chair remained closed due to  the wind chill and given the fact that conditions up there were brutal over the past couple of days and an arctic outflow is forecast I don't see us getting the Peak for several days.

As first full day of the winter break it was very busy and we only just managed to get parked in lot 2 at 8:30. Just like yesterday most of the crowds seemed to gather in the core areas or in the day lodge so that where we wanted to ski was not much busier than a normal weekend. The day lodge was ugly busy but then this is just a week when we have to suck it up and look forward to a quiet January. Lift lines were pretty big but by riding single you could keep delays at the loads down to reasonable numbers.

We went to the New Side where once again I figured the big waves would be. Don't panic Old Side fans, we intend to have at least a morning there tomorrow and will report. Riding singles to get up quicker we got to the top of White Pass in time to have early tracks back down Gun Bowl and Highline which were good deep snow and all that was available as everything else was closed. Next time Knot Chutes opened and I put first tracks in a soft and deep Tight Knot before heading over to Anaconda where the fence dropped and we had super deep powder in the second chute. The return to base was via Bootleg Glades which had deep powder in the near trees and was a bit twiggy lower down.

The rest of the morning was spent looping Currie with some very good results -
Cougar Glades - third track in which meant untracked skiing in the trees to the left. An exit into Stag Leap where there were a couple of tracks gave some really good powder as well.
Lone Fir/ Spinal Tap - a bit scrappy in the lower chute but good soft snow other than that and the fan was just awesome. Traversed Easter and hit Spinal tap which was very good in the creek bed and nice technical skiing on the shoulder of the creek lower down.
Decline/Window Chutes - Nice tracked powder in Decline and loads of untracked stuff in the Window Chutes, almost got taken out by my own slough in the choke.
Decline - great skiing with very few tracks in the lower section which is now pretty treeless.
The Brain - a few tracks in the top section and some places that needed big jumps into soft snow to get through. The lower section had some great pitches of deep untracked snow but after about 8 turns you had to stop and pick your way out of the deadfall before starting again.
Skydive - a last rip before a late lunch and it was very icy bumps at the top but becoming awesome soft snow freeriding for the most part and some rather technical jumping through alders in the lower section.

After lunch I skied with a buddy who wanted to try Lone Fir/Spinal Tap so we did again and it was just as good as before with very few additional tracks. We then dashed back from the top of White Pass when we got there to the top of Timber and then hit Siberia Ridge. The skiing was surprisingly good with a slightly sketchy area in the choke but no worse than usual and then some great terrain driven free riding in the lower section in soft deep tracked powder.

We got back up just in time for the final rip down Skydive. Things were just a bit more tracked but it was still really nice soft deep snow until the final section when it all became rather technical. That was one good day on the hill skiing fresh snow on a soft base with first tracks in many areas. The forecast is for maybe a little more snow then an arctic freeze down below -25. This will make the skiing very chunky and tough but with any luck will keep the crowds off the hill. More snow called for at the end of the week.

So some very good skiing in rather less crowded conditions than I anticipated.

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