Friday, January 16, 2015

Day 43 way better than we thought we were going to get

So what happened ? Well. overnight we had about 6 cms of fresh snow and I estimate that we got maybe another 3-4 cms in the day before it stopped, so why is this minor accumulation so exciting. My own view as to what happened is this - about 2 weeks ago we had a big snow dump which we trashed, about 10 days ago we had a 10 cm accumulation which then went hard with a rain crust on top. Since that time no one has skied the potentially deep crust and today' 8 cms of quite heavy hero snow meant we could. This gave us access to up to 30 cms of untracked snow albeit through several layers and a bit crusty at times but skiing way better than a first glance at the snow statistics would suggest.

On the way to the hill it was -6 and -2 as we drove away so the warm up continues. They were calling 6 cms of snow which feels about right and there was considerable wind sift around. All day the wind was blowing strongly in socked in conditions on top which gave great wind sift which not everyone could find to ski in the poor viz. It snowed off and on all morning and we enjoyed some ever changing conditions in the wind although viz on White Pass was universally poor.

We caught one of the first chairs up from Timber  and got a bad start to the day when it stopped for a long, long time. The end result was that we arrived at Timber top at 9:25 having started an 8 minute lift ride at 9 - not a good start to the day. Things were all covered with new snow and in places much deeper blow in so that skiing all over the upper mountain was great but the viz was somewhat variable.

We just looped the New Side all day and I skied from 9 to 4 with only the briefest of yellow snow breaks which must make this my biggest day of the year. Conditions were very good made all the better by the absence of anything we could have reasonably described as snow for at least 10 days. It panned out like this -
Lift Line (eventually) - first tracks which were great wind sift.
Cougar Glades/ Stag leap - totally untracked so just awesome.  We had to cut the traverse out to the Big 3 which was hard work in slabby snow but that's what you have to do to get first tracks. The snow between the trees in Cougar was still a little crunchy but untracked it was just awesome. Stag Leap was totally untracked free riding.
Skydive - Lynda and I grabbed third and fourth tracks in there and they were just as good as we expected Great untracked lines.
Decline as with Skydive there were only two tracks in front of us, I surprised myself by seeing how long I could hold my skis in the fall line and as a result doing the first pitch in about 4 turns, awesome.
Stag Leap - beautiful soft powder through the trees at the top and this extended into the main run. Stag Leap run was still lightly tracked with the alders down low just starting to disappear.
Not So Secret Chutes - we had intended to cut into Spinal Tap but missed the traverse. Run of the day with super deep wind groomed snow and only two tracks in front. Amazing straight line skiing.
NSSC/ Spinal Tap - the snow as just as good in the chute as before and the snow was of such hero quality that any tight situations could be dealt with by just pushing your skis in the fall line. Spinal Tap had one track in and was super deep snow when allowing for all the previous layers of snow.
Lone Fir - totally amazing deep untracked snow which again was skied with fall line skiing and maybe two turns in the choke.
Decline/Window chutes - Decline a little more tracked out but Window Chutes hardly tracked great powder.
NSSC/Spinal Tap - Lynda came back from lunch with a buddy so we did this once again and it was just as good but with a couple more tracks.
Currie Creek - everyone seemed to have ignored this and is was awesome and deep with only a couple of tracks in even at the end of the day.
Knot Chutes/ Surprise Trees - a quick White Pass loop where the chutes were very deep and the trees were a bit variable but ok.
Skydive - the final top to bottom rip which was skiing great all the way down with many untracked areas.

After 7 hours non stop skiing we had rather more beers than we should have had and as Lynda had skied bell to bell including a couple of Skydives it's a case of Boston Pizza order out tonight for us after a long soak in the hot tub. Wonder what the weekend holds.

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