Saturday, January 10, 2015

Day 37 a little powder goes a long way

We had no new snow overnight but were promised flurries today which did turn up. It was -12 on the way to the hill and -6 on the way back. Things warmed up steadily during the day although I don't remember seeing anything much above -8 anywhere on the hill at any time during the day. As we got to the hill it started snowing and continued with light snow all day up until mid afternoon during which time I estimate we got about 3 cms of snow although it could have been a couple more. It was still pretty chilly and needless to say conditions remained overcast all day.

We went to the Old Side to se what it was like and had a couple of runs down the bumps on the side of Bear just to get the legs going and these were quite hard but taking and edge. We poked around Boomerang (hard ugly icy bumps) New Lift Line (some ok skiing on top but hard bumps below) Boom Ridge (lots of breakable crust which made me glad I had skied so much crust yesterday to tighten up the technique) and Boomerang again (just like before) before I decided to try my luck on the New Side. In fairness this was early in the day before the snow had started to accumulate so maybe later on all these Old Side Runs were much better.

A White Pass loop on the New Side confirmed that Lift Line, Gun Bowl and Highline were all skiing a little better in the accumulating snow. Polar Peak was open so we went up and found the viz pretty desperate and the only good skiing by the sign line under Grand Pappa Bear. As usual the Chutes were closed and only the Coaster was open which was now reduced to hard ice with some little wind sift. We ran to Base via Alph Centauri and found the crust all but gone in the new snow and some really nice soft skiing.

Next White Pass loop was much as before and we dropped Concussion which like Alpha Centauri was getting soft in the new snow. Last run before a pretty late lunch and we took another trip up Polar Peak - big mistake. The light had now totally socked in and the first break in the light was about where you hit the Reverse Traverse which rather takes away the point of going up Polar Peak in first place. I ran to base through Decline which was of course breakable crust but now with about 3 cms of snow on. Whether it was the new snow or my last 4 days practice on the crust but it just skied very easy with a breakable, hardly tracked crust on top.

After lunch it was back up the New Side and a drop into Stag Leap. I had intended Cougar Glades but two turns showed that under the trees the rain affected snow that had fallen from the branches 3 days ago had reformed into refrozen crud on a breakable crust layer and made for some very technical skiing - I bailed into Stag Leap which was good untracked snow covered crust all the way down with some twigs in the lower section as always. Next was Decline which if anything skied a little better than before lunch. We just had time for a couple of White Pass loops in all the usual places which by now had become rather mellow in the new snow.

Last run of course was Skydive and all of those who I would have expected to see there were in attendance. It was nice snow covered crusty rip which we skied not much slower than usual. The Griz was crowded but a good apr├Ęs ski atmosphere so we had quite had quite a few beers. Now for a quiet night in with our guests and Jameson's Whiskey that they brought so tomorrow could be a slow start. maybe more snow in the forecast, who knows.

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