Monday, January 12, 2015

Day 39 and today was a bit worse and a bit tougher

After a few days when things have been getting better we inevitably had to come to a day when things got a bit worse and a bit tougher and today was that day. I have to say that I am not quite sure why things got as they did as we had no new snow overnight and it didn't get that cold with starting temps of around -7 at the base and a bit colder on top. What ever the reason the snow was just harder and bumpier than yesterday with most of the soft stuff which made skiing pretty easy yesterday was somehow packed in hard to the existing base.

We went to the New Side with a view to skiing some soft stuff from yesterday but found that it just wasn't there. Buddies reported that the Old Side was no better so we thought "what the hell" and just stayed there all day. During the day it was overcast at times, at other times we had socked in cloud and in the afternoon blue skies which gave flat light in the shadows - in other words it was very variable. Temps up the hill never got very warm and I noticed it was -8 at the Polar peak load most of the day and towards the end it was -11 with some significant wind chill on the chair, in fact wind was becoming a bit of a feature by late afternoon.

We looped White Pass and found Gun bowl almost zero viz and Highline hard and bumpy - wait for later in this report for frequent use of these words. We hoped Alpha Centauri might be soft like yesterday but it wasn't - hard and bumpy.

After that it was three Polar loops to base -
Polar/Decline - Polar was totally socked in with no viz of any kind and the only saving grace was the final pitch down Grand Pappa was hard wind sift and very flat. Decline was very nice softening crust most of the way down but with some hard crust in the final few turns.
Polar/Stag Leap - Polar as before and Stag Leap much more crusty through the trees and in the top section. The bottom was very twiggy and hard and bumpy where it wasn't crusty.
Polar/Skydive - Polar the same and Skydive about half way between Decline and Stag Leap. Ok skiing but a but crusty and of course hard and bumpy.

In the afternoon after an awesome bagel lunch at Big Bang Bagels it was more of the same -
Polar/Not So Secret Chutes - Polar as before and having tried it 4 times in one day without great results I decided to can it for the rest of the day. NSSC were great skiing all the way down getting crustier as you went. I had thought of cutting into Spinal Tap but at the entrance level it was getting very crusty and not wanting to ski a very crusty tight chute I bailed into lower Easter bowl which skied ok in the high traffic areas.
Decline - Really very good skiing, very nice if a bit crunchy lower down.

At this point I have to mention that my buddy Brad had shown me a nice drop off in Big Bang as an alternative to lower Lift Line and I skied it all afternoon taking a bigger drop each time - great fun. It was 4 o'clock, time for Skydive, and tonight 6 of us turned up. Just like earlier in the day it skied very mellowing the top and middle sections but as before was very crunchy in the last pitch. Still a nice tough finish to the day.

Lots of beers and a welcome back to Rob, Katie and little Joseph who Lynda picked up from Cranbrook airport tonight having spent about 2 month with the in laws in Oz. Looking forward to getting Rob back on the hill and in the bar. Finished the evening doing a film shoot as part of a Kokanee advert on the locals deck where I had to give my views to cam on the Griz - can't wait to see how it all turns out.

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