Sunday, February 1, 2015

Day 59 Super Sunday

No, I am not referring to the skiing conditions (I wish), it is just that today things got quieter on the hill as that strange piece of Americana known as Super Bowl kicked off at 4 o'clock and as far as I can make out isn't likely to finish for several hours. It seems to me a game where the entertainment is much improved by drinking beer to the point that even a total lack of understanding of the game doesn't seem to be spoiling our enjoyment.

On the way to the hill it was -6 and on the way back -3. It was overcast and from late morning onwards we had snow which was light and pretty dry but was at least adding to the base and making things look prettier. Unfortunately given the brutally icy underlying conditions it will take a lot more snow of this kind to actually make things better. They are currently calling for 3-6 cms over night and more snow later in the week but as I said last night, let's just take one day at a time.

We went to the Old Side for our usual roll round Bear, North Ridge, Lower Linda's, Cruiser, Cedar Centre etc. The light was rather flat but the groomed surfaces were taking and edge in most places although in the usual previously sun affected areas we were down to boiler plate pretty quick. With everything off the groomers not even remotely skiable we headed to the New Side to see if we could find anything to ski.

Our arrival at the New Side coincided with the snow starting but as I said it didn't amount to enough to improve any of the skiing surfaces. We looped White Pass which was very socked in and we took a line down the Gun bowl which was just ugly invisible bumps. We ran to base through Currie Powder which was slick but with some new snow and Gilmar Trail which seems to have acquired more snow and is actually skiing really nicely on the left shoulder.

Next loop we tried Puff for the first time in days and found more hard tracked up icy bumps. We had noticed on the previous lap that Polar Peak had been open so last run before lunch we gave it a go. We discovered three golden rules that should warn you off Polar Peak - firstly if you can't see the load from White Pass top that is a bad sign, secondly if the lifty says just as you load "the winch cat broke down last night so everything up there is ungroomed" then you probably are in for a bad time and finally, if on the ride up you are passed by a member of staff and a Patroller down loading on the chair then things are really ugly. At the top there was no viz and ugly ungroomed ice all the way down the Coaster but hey - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. The run through Currie Powder and Gilmar Trail to lunch just seemed like a stroll in the park after that.

After lunch we had a few more trips round the Old Side to see if it had changed (it hadn't) and then we headed back to the New Side. All afternoon drops to White Pass were through Puff although I can't imagine why we did it as it was just as ugly as before. We found Polar Peak had been closed, no surprise there as it had been on the edge of dangerous when we had skied it and I doubt more than half a dozen of us had been up there all day. We just looped Currie Powder/Gilmar twice but this time took a slight detour down the Reverse Traverse to the sign line (very close in) before dropping to Currie Powder giving about 6 untracked dust on crust turns.

Last run was a quick White Pass loop through Highline which was just as icy and bumpy as before and then a run to base through Reverse Traverse/Currie Powder/Gilmar Trail. Whether of not it was actually skiing better or we were becoming better at these conditions after a few days practice I am not sure but it skied very mellow all the way to the bottom. In summary not a bad day's skiing considering the conditions but we really need the snow which is still falling off and on this evening - fingers still crossed.

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