Saturday, January 17, 2015

Day 44 not quite so good and weekend crowds but an ok day

After yesterday today was bound to be a bit of a let down but in the event we had some ok skiing. The official web site claimed 10 cms I the last 24 hours which of course is true but it all came yesterday so we had no new snow overnight and although there had obviously been over night wind events in places there was little of no wind sift in the places I skied.

It was -2 on the way to the hill and +1 on the way back. At the various points that I saw thermometers on the hill today temps seemed to be about -1 or zero. Of course this doesn't include Polar Peak which was not open and I guess a few degrees colder. It was overcast on the ridge lines but with some sun across the valley but during the day the weather socked in more with a forecast of precip (more of this later) over night and into tomorrow. There was no real snow of any kind during the day.

With the weekend crowds driving in and after a very big day yesterday I decided to have a relaxing day in comparison. I hit out to the Old Side and had a warm up through Sunny Side shoulder which was ok with a bit of sift blown in between the alders. China Wall was not much better, in fact it was worse as there was no real sift.

I then did three big Old Side loops heading out to Steep and Deep, Snake Ridge and the Poppa Chutes in Fish bowl. Steep and Deep had a little wind crust but was good packed powder skiing although the exit chute to the right was very twiggy and you had to bushwhack your way back in to Lower Gorby bowl. Snake was much better with loads of untracked lines although the exit was bit sketchy as I got lost trying to cut into Lower Gorby and ended up skiing some very technical chutes in the KC area. Poppa Chutes were soft and very largely untracked snow. I had considered taking the Fish bowl all the way down and hiking out but half way down the surface had been wind swept back to blue ice so I bailed into Redtree which was some very mellow soft snow skiing.

Each of the three loops back (bear in mind that each loop requires a trip up Haul Back, Boomerang and Bear) we dropped to Boom load via Lower Kangaroo which is skiing ok if a bit twiggy. I did look in upper Kangaroo but decided against it not because it was closed but because it still looks too twiggy and crusty to be much fun. The run down Boomerang to the Goat Trail each time was very mellow soft snow particularly on the skiers right. I then just had time for two Loops down Boom Ridge which was skiing very soft and mellow before having a crowded lunch in the day lodge. As I have said before these Snake ridge loops do take a lot of time what with the three lifts and having to work your way out there so this was my first day when I have done loops in this way.

In the afternoon I went to the New side and immediately hit Tight Knot (awesome soft snow) Anaconda Glades over the hump (best snow of the day) and Bootleg Glades also great snow in the near chute through the trees but very twiggy low down. My next loop was my only real mistake. High Saddle had opened that morning and I figured that even weekend boarder traffic could not trash it in a morning - wrong. There was a gully just bit shorter than my skies gouged down the middle of the chute with a blue ice base. I worked my way down and found some pretty good powder but the light failed just about as I arrived so even that wasn't as good as it should have been. After that I just took a regular loop through Decline which skied very well although it was much more bumpy in the top section with a big bit of wood showing.

As we were getting short on time I did a couple of White pass loops, both times through the Tight Knot which still had some great snow in the chute The drops were trough the I bowl (an easy ski out on ok powder) or the Surprise Chute just before the trees which skied about as soft and mellow as I can remember and ran Anaconda a close second for run of the day. And so 4 of us assembled at the top of Skydive at 4 and unsurprisingly found - Hard bumps in the top, great free riding in the next section, easy GS turns in the mid section and some hard twiggy skiing in the final pitch.

Our guests left today and I don't pick up our next one until Tuesday evening from Cranbrook Airport. As I have often remarked "you would be amazed how many friends you have when you own a house in Fernie". Had my first beers tonight in the Griz Bar with my buddy Rob, just back from Australia but somehow I suspect they won't be our last. The forecast is call for a ton of snow but with temps staying warm, we have to hope this is going to come down white but there has to be a danger of what the hill describes a "mixed precipitation" and the rest of us call rain. Let us pray to the Griz that it come down white.

No comments:

Post a Comment