Friday, January 2, 2015

Day 29 warmer but still pretty brutal

Yes, today the long awaited warm up started (and lets be honest we are not actually talking that warm) but conditions on the hill remained brutal due to the very high winds which close a lot of the hill for a considerable part of the day.

We got to the hill on time today but were delayed because Lynda needed to go to Quest to discuss a problem with the heel bindings on her skis that she bought there at the close of the season last year. They were fantastic, they replaced the binding straight away with no fuss and we were heading for the hill within 20 minutes of walking in the door. This is an outstanding example of excellent customer service and needless to say we will be buying loads more gear there as a result - judge for yourselves.

On the way to the hill it had warmed up to -8 and on the way home tonight it was -7 so it looks like the big freeze is over. We noticed that the Elk Chair was not running as we went to Quest and found out that the whole of the Old Side was closed due to 80 kph winds. The surprising thing was that the New Side was open as there is usually more wind over there and both Timber and White Pass chairs were running albeit in some very high winds.

During the day we had flurries off and on although it was difficult to tell what was coming down from above and what was coming in sideways on the wind. Viz was challenging to put it mildly and sometimes off White Pass you could hardly see the track into Currie bowl which didn't matter much as the wind held you back to not much more than a walking pace - get the picture ?

With only the New Side open we just did Currie loops -
Decline - wind affected but some ok sift in between the bumps on top but getting very soft in the lower section.
Skydive - as the wind had been left to right on Decline we figured that it would be better in Skydive and we were right, rather more sift in the run.
Stag Leap - using the same logic as before we tried Stag Leap and scored a bulls eye in the top with some great soft snow. Lower down it was just as twiggy and sketchy as it has been all season but then that's the price you pay for good skiing.
Cougar Glades - loads of sift dropped in between the trees as anticipated. Because we didn't need to shred close to the trees to get fresh snow we tried the more open right hand lines for the first time this season which were soft and mellow. For the first time this year I dropped the bottom section which was twiggy and just about on the right side of ok.

It is worth mentioning that even though only half of the hill was open this morning and there were some minor hold ups at the lifts, the places we were skiing were deserted. I may have seen a couple of people on the Reverse Traverse but on the actual runs I didn't see a sole all day except the buddies that I was skiing with.

In the afternoon we got word that some, and then all of the Old Side was open but we decided to stick with the New Side -
Decline/Window Chutes - Decline was filling in even more. Window chutes are now best accessed from the drop off down Megasaurus  trail and then a cut right into the creek bed, some great soft blow in snow.
Not so Secret Chutes/Spinal Tap - a straight drop off the top of Skydive into some great soft snow which got a bit tighter and a bit steeper as you went down. The right cut into Spinal Tap is still hard to find but worth it as the chute is getting more filled in with soft snow every day. even the creek bed is almost full of snow.
Siberia Ridge - just like before, wind affected in the top, crappy in the choke and wonderful soft terrain free skiing lower down.

The final rip was Skydive with 4 of us showing up for the party. Even more snow had blown in and it was predictably good in the top two sections but distinctly twiggy in the bottom third. One of the best rips of the season followed by beer.

On the way back from the hill it had started to snow quite hard and it is still coming down on the deck as I type this - a sign of things to come I hope.

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