Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Day 83 back to spring skiing

As I have said before I have no problem with spring skiing but I do rather like it to come after a winter of skiing but it looks like I am going to be flat out of luck on that one. Over the past 10 days we have been having an all too stable weather situation where we have no snow, bluebird days and minus temps all over the hill which meant that the ungroomed slopes were bullet hard ugly ice. Well, today things changed so that at least we had softening in the afternoon which allowed us to ski a variety of different ungroomed slopes in the softer conditions and this was way better skiing than we have had for a number of days.

On the way to the hill today it was -5 just as it has been for the past few days and of course there was no new snow. Conditions were bluebird just like in the previous days but around lunch time the temps up the mountain started to rise so that by mid afternoon we had +5 at the White Pass and Polar Peak loads. This meant that for the first time in ages everything in the direct sunlight started to soften although everything out of the sun remained very hard and as soon as the sun went off any slope it started to set up pretty quick.

We went to the Old Side and poked around looking for good stuff but as this was still the morning everything off the groomers was still rock hard. We ran around Bear, Arrow (some soft stuff in the gully) Cascade (and even a newly groomed area between Cascade and Bow which we called Cow or Bascade) and then into Cedar Bowl where Cedar Centre actually skied quite well for a change. After a few more loops through North Ridge, Lower Linda's and other such places we decided it was time to try the New Side.

As soon as we got up it was apparent that things were getting warm and the south facing slopes were softening. We started to run back through the Gun Bowl which for the first time in days was skiing ok if not great. The I bowl was also just about ok but like the Gun Bowl still a little on the icy side. It did look like Knot Chutes were going to open but it was getting on for lunch and we headed up Polar Peak where the Coaster was open and soft, We did two loops always cutting back under the lift which was still quite firm before dropping Currie Powder (slick but ok) Trespass Trail (fast) Diamond Back (slick and twiggy) and Summer Road and Lower Sib Ridge both of which were very easy and fast.

After lunch I headed back up White Pass with a view to skiing the Knot Chutes which had been opened but when I got to the top I noticed that Shale Slope off Polar Peak had been opened so I pressed on to that. On the Polar Chair things got even better as it became apparent that the sign line on lookers right had been pushed back so that after a few turns in Shale Slope you could traverse into Grandpapa Bear just below the cliffs and take the higher chute for the first time this year. First time round I missed the traverse and just had to ski down but after that it was 5 loops of Grandpapa Bear and then down the lift line which skied very nicely even in the very steep pitches. Of course there were a few top to bottom fallers but from what I could se no one was hurt too badly.

I ran to base the usual way just to make a change and then was back up Polar for 3 more loops which were getting stiffer all the time as the sun was going away from the slopes. There was just time for a run back round Trespass Trail the White Pass and then a loop through the Gun Bowl which had really firmed up before it was time for last run.  This was another rip through Down Right and then a run off through all the usual places to end the best day's skiing for quite some time.

Over beers in the Griz we discussed the future. The downside of today is that we have trashed up more of the hill so that if we get a freeze up means that we will have more unskiable ungroomed terrain to cope with - on the other hand we had a good day and if it softens tomorrow then we will be no worse off. Some snow is in the forecast, and looking down the valley today there was certainly some weather about. In a year like this we will just take whatever we get.

No comments:

Post a Comment