Thursday, January 29, 2015

Day 56 Groundhog day come early

For the benefit of my non North American followers Groundhog Day is a real event which takes place on the 2nd of Feb each year so it not due until Monday but you could be forgiven for thinking it was today. For my younger followers Ground Hog Day was a movie where Bill Murray featured as a weather man who went to cover the Ground Hog Day celebrations (more about these on Monday) and had to live the same day over and over again - since then it has become a synonym for any day which just seems to be like the last - lecture over.

For today's report just read yesterday's - end of story. Ok, I guess I had better put a bit of flesh on the bones but there isn't really that much to add. As forecast things were a bit colder over night (-6 on the way to the hill) and stayed a bit colder all day, it was -2 as we drove away and I noticed that nothing got above -1 at the White Pass load all day. I suspect in the direct sunlight we may have had plus temps but there was a little more cloud cover so not so much direct warming sunlight and yet no good cloud cover so no atmospheric warming. The result was that not much (in a practical sense read nothing) warmed up and softened during the day. so what we had was a re run of yesterday but just a bit colder and with no softening surfaces.

We went to the Old Side and poked around although the terrain was limited as Haul Back T Bar was broken down and stayed that way all day. We were on hard packed groomers on Bear, North Ridge, Lower Lynda's and all the associated linked runs. The under surface was still hard blue ice in places. Late in the morning we decided to go over to the New Side and I decided to try Boomerang as it looked like it might have softened in the sun on the skiers left - big mistake, It was hard tracked up bumps all the way down and as ugly as a bear's ass. We even stopped for a hot choccy in the excellent Lost Boys Café as there was so little to tempt us out on the hill.

We dropped to base through Currie Powder which was still slick and hard and eventually through Gilmar Trail which skied marginally better than yesterday (not saying much) because it seemed to me that the grooming had taken place at rather lower temps but then I am no expert in this area. Next loop through White Pass I made my next big mistake by going in to the Gun Bowl which turned out to be boiler plate bumps with tracked up crud and just to make matters more fun the cloud rolled in as I went in and cut the viz to zero - not one of my better runs but ok tough skiing.

Just before lunch we ran to base via Currie Powder and Gilmar which in a vision of things to come were skiing rather worse than the first time round with some very slick blue ice patches. After lunch it was another few rounds of the Old Side still avoiding the Haul Back T Bar which remained "temporarily" out of surface.

I cut back to the New Side where the viz had improved so I looped White Pass and to base through Currie several times. Just for the record Lift Line and everything to skiers left of Currie powder were closed but to be fair I don't think even I would have given them a go today even if they had been open. The drop through Heartland to White Pass base got slicker each time until it was pretty well all blue ice. The run back through the Gun Bowl was tough icy bumps but with good viz it was pretty ok skiing. the drop down Curie and Gilmar just got worse each time so that by the last run it was more or less blue ice all the way down but as this was the stuff I learned to ski on it was no big deal - just not worth getting really excited about.

And so to the bar for beers with buddies and long discussion about the conditions, the hill and what glading was needed and the future price of oil - in fact a fairly normal evening. The bad news is that we still think things will get worse before they get better. We must have snow for things to improve and ahead of that things must get colder, or at least stay as cold as it is with no softening. Maybe we have to take one for the team over the next couple of days until things improve - not that we have much choice.

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