Sunday, January 4, 2015

Day 31 and a surprisingly good day

Overnight the hill claimed 10 cms of fresh and a reduced base of 137 cms - lets be charitable and say that a lot of it blew away. There didn't seem to be much new stuff down in the town but when we got to the hill the boards were claiming 7 cms and looking around this seemed about right for the upper mountain.

It was -17 as we pulled up in the parking lot and -15 as we drove away in the evening and half way through the day a temp of -20 was reported at the top of the Elk - in other words it was another very cold day. As a result the new snow came down very light with about a zero moisture content and no resistance as you skied it. I have always found that this means that no matter how hard you try not to pull back a little out of the turns (assuming some resistance from the snow) you always do. This  means that you get back seated rather more than you want (at least for the first couple of runs) and have to spend your time dragging your sorry ass into the front seat - today was no exception.

The forecast called for occasional flurries increasing from time to time which is weather forecaster speak for  - we don't really have much of a clue. As it was  it snowed off and on all day, always harder up on top so that we must have had about another 4 cms of light fresh during the day. It was snowing as we left this evening and as we drank beers in the hot tub and at the moment looks like we could get a pretty good accumulation over night, maybe up to 20 cms.

I was trying out my new boot gloves today (purchased by Lynda yesterday from Ski Base) as my feet had been getting cold. They were awesome, not only did they keep my feet nice and toastie they stopped any snow getting into the boots keeping them dry. As a result I could ski all day with only one half hour break and with 5 layers under the jacket, two pairs of thermals. woollen gloves inside the mits and a cotton balaclava I was just the right temp all day and could have gone on for hours more.

This is how the day went from first bell to last and it was all New Side -

Decline - third track in on soft fluff but the tracks went off left so I had first tracks in the bottom section. Good fluff skiing on a hard base.
Skydive - Top two sections just great with the new stuff covering the sort deep snow that was there. Icy bumps in the top and twiggy in the bottom but great.
Knot Chutes/Anaconda/ Bootleg Glades - a bit firm under foot in the Tight Knot and a big slough. An even bigger slough in the first chute over the hump in Anaconda but by pulling the trigger I just beat my own slough out in nice deep untracked snow. Bootleg was soft in the trees but very twiggy down low.
Stag Leap - very nice and deep in the trees at the top and the top two sections which were great free riding, Last pitch was very twiggy.
Cougar Glades/ Stag Leap - the glades were really filling in by this time and I chickened out on the last pitch which looked very full of dead fall and cut out into Stag Leap for the lower part again.
White Pass loop - we just had to try this through the Gun Bowl and Pillow talk which by this time was getting quite deep in the new snow.
Decline/Window Chutes - special mention to Deb and Annie my trail crew buddies who were doing some great shovelling on the traverse into Skydive which is now much improved but still tough enough to keep the crowds away. Decline was as before and Window Chutes were starting to fill up with new snow.
Lone Fir sort of/Spinal Tap - I hiked to Lone Fir but took the chute further on that I call One Step Beyond but I think is officially Easter Meadow. First time this year the adrenaline got going in the very steep tight chute with a rock band waiting for you if you made a mistake. An awesome rip through with soft snow on the fan underneath. Cut right across Easter bowl to Spinal Tap and had another good deep snow filled in creek bed run down, which got a bit tight and technical in the bottom.
The Brain - had to be done but still not really worth it because of all the dead fall, I couldn't manage more than about 8 turns (albeit in deep untracked powder) before I had to hop out into a new pitch and start again.
Skydive - where else would we be a 4 o'clock. The snow in the top two sections was by now good new stuff on old powder and on the DPS Wailers I could just rip it with big GS turns. In the final section I took one for the team and tried to ski the less skied and alder cover right side to beat them down. It was mostly successful but I did get a bit aldered out at one point so lets call it a draw. The very last bit was big GS turns on soft snow.

So in the Griz tonight it was back to a normal Sunday i.e. us and ski patrol. It is still puking snow on the deck as I type this and with all the crowds gone home tomorrow could be a great day for those prepared to spend 7 hours in the cold to get their fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment