Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 42 a day of two halves

And the two halves were the Old Side where we had harder and bumpier skiing than ever and then the New Side where we had some great new wind sift albeit in some rather variable visibility.

On the way to the hill it was -6 and on the way back it was -3 with up the mountain temps hanging in at -5 for most of the day. It was weird weather with sun in the valley but ridge line clouds with some quite strong ridgeline wind. this meant socked in conditions on top but good viz below in the sun although in the shadows the defused white light from the sun gave some very flat poor light conditions. By evening cloud was starting to roll in and ridgeline winds had come down the mountain so that quite a lot of wind sift was being blown around in the gusts.

As we had guests we decided to do our host bit and went to the Bear which was groomed - no comment. After that we tried New Lift Line which had poor light but was ok hard bumps. Boom Ridge looked like it might have been nice in view of the fact that it was in sun light but it was harder and icier bumps than yesterday all the way down. We tried Linda's and Cedar Ridge which were all hard and bumpy with not soft before heading over to the New Side late morning.

We immediately discovered that the wind sift off the ridge had started to build so Lift Line and Big Bang were ok after the first couple of turns and stayed that way all day. We looped White Pass a couple of times and found the sift in the Gun Bowl was super soft and smooth. I had a couple of drops through the Knot chutes and was amazed to find other people there. It was actually a non stop group (stopped of course) but they had the good manners to get off the traverse and let me drop Tight Knot which was really rather good, if a little slabby, so that was ok.

I ran out to High Saddle and had a good edge to edge jumping session of about 10 turns before I got through the chute. After that the light rather deserted me but the skiing underneath was very good with the sift covering the crust of last week. Last run before a late lunch and it was up Polar peak which was socked in with only the Coaster open but if you cut hard skiers left from the cat track you could get some good soft turns by the fence down to the Reverse Traverse. I ran out through Decline which had a little sift in but basically skied rather harder and tougher than yesterday particularly in the lower section.

After lunch I picked up one of my guests and took him up Polar Peak which by now was really, really socked in. We cut out to the fence in Grand Pappa Bear and had some ok skiing in very poor viz. We then dropped via the steep skiers left chute into Concussion which was run of the day. The light improved and the snow had sifted in to a good depth giving some great skiing - I know where I will be going tomorrow morning.

We did a Decline loop and it was as before, some new soft snow but mostly bumpy and hard. With some time to kill we took a trip down the Gun Bowl (awesome windsift) and then out to Surprise Trees to see if they were any good. They weren't - some ok sift in the open sections but hard refrozen crud under the trees.

And so we got to Skydive for the final run and decided to take it top to bottom in one for the first time as a day's final run this year. Kudos to me, Brad and Dave for making it in one with some very hot thighs. Great beers in the bar with buddies and nice chat with some ticket checkers who were drinking there and are really nice bunch of people - best in years.

The forecast is for new snow but how much and when is the debate. We will be getting up in the night to check on this as we really need some more snow.

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