Friday, February 27, 2015

Day 85 a bad case of deja vu (all over again)

So here is the explanation of the title - when I look back over the last few days I realise that I made a mistake yesterday in titling it as day 85, it should have actually been day 84. In order to get things back on track today is now titled as Day 85 which should give everyone a sense of deja vu in more than just the obvious sense in that the skiing was pretty much the same as yesterday and many days we have seen in February. The "all over again" part is a direct quote from a football (soccer) manager (coach) famous for his foot in mouth saying who did actually say - it's deja vu all over again.

On the way to the hill it was -5 (as usual) but at least this time they were calling 1 cm of new snow (I understand the actual measure was 0.7 cms but what the hell) and with the base reduced to 139 cms which has to be getting near an all time record low for the end of February. It was hazy and overcast and although it cleared a little by the end of the day there was no real warmth in the sun so everything remained hard and icy, particularly off the groomers. We had been promised flurries which never materialised and by the end of the day the disturbed weather which had been evident all around from the top of Polar Peak had dissipated and we were back in clear stable conditions with temps of -4 and forecast to go way lower during the night.

We went to the Old Side for out usual poke round and found everything off the groomers bullet hard and ugly ice with a 1 cm dust covering. Groomers had been very busy grooming in all the avi debris which has been lying around for a week of two and as a result there is almost unbroken grooming from Dancer in the Lizard bowl to Trillium In Cedar Bowl, in fact I have never seen so much flat groomed acreage in all my time in Fernie. We drifted around Bear, Arrow, Dancer, Cascade, Cruiser, Cedar Centre, North Ridge, Lower North Ridge, Lower Linda's etc. All the grooming was very good but with some hard icy patches but with no chance of any off groomer skiing we went to the New Side.

The White Pass loops were very fast and slick through Highline and Quite Right. We debated the fact that we seemed to be skiing the ice much better but concluded that after so many weeks of these conditions we were just pointing our skis straight down the fall line and skiing about twice as fast as we used to so the ice simply doesn't affect us. Polar Peak was open and we had a couple of loops up there with the Coaster skiing a lot better and a lot less slick than yesterday as result of the up draft wind which strengthened all day and blew new soft snow in all the time. The run down under the Polar Chair was just as icy and ugly as it has been all week and was therefore great fun. We tracked out across the County Line to ski under the Polar Chutes in the groomed avi debris before running down to lunch. Yesterday I saw a guy pull a very cool manoeuvre on Summer Road by jumping onto a 20 ft log lying alongside the trail, skiing the log and then airing it back on to the trail. It just had to be done but unfortunately I stacked it on landing and landed on my buttock - later in the day it did work but everything you learn comes at a price.

In the afternoon it was just back up the New Side to try White Pass loops. I did cut first tracks out along the Idiot Traverse mid afternoon to try the I bowl which proved to be ugly ice, not having softened at all and explained why I was able to get first tracks. We went back up Polar for a few more loops and then three runs to base via County Line/Currie Powder, then Down Right and finally back to County Line/ Currie Powder. this was all good fast skiing on slick groomers which we did as fast as I think I have ever skied. The run off through Trespass Trail, Diamond Back, Summer Road and Lower Sib Ridge which was the route we always took remained smooth and very fast all day.

So in summary another day when nothing softened, no new snow, only hard icy groomers to ski and those very quickly. I have a strange feeling that nothing much is going to change tomorrow.

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