Thursday, December 4, 2014

T minus 1 and exciting

Yes, only one day to go and this is what it is like to be a kid on the night before Christmas. We have taken all our gear to the hill (eventually) and stowed it in our lockers which is kind of the equivalent of hanging up your stockings and writing an note for Santa  and now it's just one more sleep and we will be there. No matter how many seasons I ski this feeling is always the same and always fantastic.

On the subject of Christmas we have got ourselves ready on that front - after all you don't want to miss out on skiing doing stuff that can be dome outside of the ski season. When it comes to Christmas I have strong opinions which is just another way of saying I am a grumpy old man. Actually Lynda says I have been a grumpy old man for the last 35 years that she has known me and the only difference now is that I look the part. I am of the firm opinion that no Christmas decorations, lights, parades, adverts, markets, fairs (and don't even get me on the subject of organisations that spell it with a "y") etc should take place before December 1st. So we now have the lights and decorations up and are ready for the festivities and doing it at the proper time.

Of course with no skiing we have had to amuse ourselves and it makes you realise just how boring life would be if you couldn't get out and do something in the open summer and winter. Most days we get to the Aquatic Centre for a swim otherwise it is to the Pub to see buddies or have a meal, hockey to watch the Riders or to the movie house - saw the latest Madagascar Penguins movie this week in 3D which should tell you all you need to know about our intellectual pretentions.

At home we have done all the odd jobs and of course there is always snow shovelling. The hot tub would usually be a source of entertainment but it still awaiting some warmer conditions to allow it to be fired up. There is the TV but with only TCM showing classic movies worth watching we don't watch much. The public library lends DVDs at one buck for 7 days which has to be the best value ever and most of their stuff is quality movies or TV so we do use that facility. I have managed to link an old lap top of mine up to the TV and arranged for it to access my UK Netflix account so I can get good quality TV and movies up to a point. Because of the age of the lap top I had to do this by way of a VGA cable and audio link rather than HDMI still it's ok and not a bad effort for an old luddite like me.

So what are the prospects for opening day. Well when I last reported we were in the middle of a big freeze up but with a warming trend in the forecast. Whilst it is true to say that things have got a bit warmer than the -30 temps of a few days ago (it was -13 as I drove back from the hill this afternoon) it is nowhere near as warm as it was forecast to get. They are now calling for temps of around zero daytime highs for the next 7 days with night time temps down to about -8 which allowing for the fact that it will be a degree or two colder at the hill will make for pretty much ideal skiing conditions.

We haven't had any real snow but to be fair none was forecast. That having been said when I look out on my decks which were cleared after the last big storm there appears to be about 3 or 4 cms of new snow laying about which has had the effect of making everything look really nice and Christmasy. This was particularly needed as, although we had a big dump of snow in the last storm the wind swept all the soft snow away and things looked pretty bare.

Today we went to the hill for a final look round before kick off and to put the last of our gear in the lockers. We are running a day behind schedule on this as the roads out of town were shut two days ago due to some very serious accidents on the highway which cut the hill off for most of Tuesday. On the way to the hill we could see a mist drifting in the air which could only mean one thing, pretty well every snow making machine was running full blast on the lower hill. The -13 temps were ideal for this as warmer than -4 makes snow making difficult and lower than -20 and it comes out so light it just blows away.

The hill looked in good shape for early season so I think we will have an ok opening day. A lot of the hill seems to have coverage although the whole of Snake Ridge seems to be swept clean. Most of the runs look like they have coverage and even the big three look as if they might be skiable with a bit of bush whacking if we are allowed out that far across Currie bowl. The web site says all the lifts except Polar Peak will be running but then the same web site is giving a count down to opening which ends at midnight tonight, wonder what would happen if I turned up at midnight and demanded that they open the hill. We just hung out, met a few buddies and played hunt the transceivers in the snow. I am always amazed at how many people strap on their transceivers each year without testing them or indeed testing themselves to see if they know how to undertake a transceiver search in the event of a burial.

So now it's just a case of have a few beers at the pub and pick up any gossip about opening day before coming home for an early night and an early start. No need to set the alarm as just like kids on Christmas morning we will be up early and ready to go. First report due tomorrow evening.

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