Saturday, February 28, 2015

Day 86 copy and paste

Well, it's not quite fair to say that you could copy and paste almost any of my posts over the past 10 days to cover what happened today but on the other hand you wouldn't be all that far from the truth.

First off my usual apology for the late time of day for posting this report. In case you didn't know this weekend is the weekend of Griz Days when we pay homage to our local snow god The Griz. The celebrations include axe throwing, log tossing, a parade down town and drinking stacks of beer. As soon as we got back from the hill tonight it was straight back down town for the parade and then some chilli and beer while watching log chopping competitions and some fire works. We would have stayed later for some live music but temps were down to -8 and falling fast so sitting at home in the warm did have it's appeal.

Once again we had no snow overnight and a bluebird day. Overnight temps had fallen to -14 and were still -10 as we drove to the hill. Even though we had uninterrupted direct sunlight on the hill all day nothing melted or softened. The warmest temps I saw were at the White Pass load at about 2 o'clock when it was -3 and for the most part it was nearer -6 all over the New Side. As we drove away from the hill it was -3 and as stated above the temps even in town tonight were -8 and falling fast. As I said, the result was that everything off the groomers remained bullet hard and near enough unskiable.

We went to the New Side and stayed there all day as is my habit on a Saturday when I tend to feel that the Old Side just gets too busy although I was told today that it was very quiet so maybe I should rethink this strategy. We looped White Pass through Quite Right and Highline (now using the trail map definitions of these runs) and found they were groomed rather better than over the past few days as was lower Heartland. Polar peak was open so we put 4 loops through the Coaster which was ok with cut backs under the chair which were the only ungroomed skiing to be had as far as I could see - sketchy but ok.

We ran to base  through the usual Currie Powder, Trespass Trail, Diamond Back, Summer Road and Lower Sib Ridge all of which skied very firm and slick but ok to a greater or lesser extent. Finding ourselves half way through the morning there seemed to be only one logical thing to do and that was to do it all over again exactly as before and that is precisely what we did with the same results. The only variations were a speculative deviation into Gun Bowl on one lap and I bowl on the next in the hope that things were softening - they weren't and the skiing in both places was as ugly as a bear's ass. Time for lunch via the usual run off.

The morning had taken longer than expected so we were faced with a pretty short afternoon. We looped White Pass just like the morning trying just one trip into the I bowl hoping for some soft snow and coming away seriously disappointed. After that it was 4 or 5 loops of Polar Peak where the Coaster had become a very slick ice slope and not for the faint hearted. The run under the lift was always interesting with conditions varying from slick ice to refrozen crud to some quite soft snow depending on what line you took. Another run to base in increasingly slick conditions.

Just time for a couple of very fast White Pass loops through Quite Right before the traditional top to bottom rip through Down Right which was skiing very well even at the end of the day. Not too crowded in the Griz and good beers with buddies followed by the Griz Parade down town. Lets hope all the fuss we have made of the Griz has it's effect and he relents and gives us the snow that we need so badly.

During the day we did reflect that if you were to wind the clock back to our European vacation skiing in the 80's today would have ranked as great day. Groomers were fast and well groomed, bluebird skis, cold temps keeping the snow in good shape no crowds etc. Our problem is that having lived in Fernie all we want is soft snow freeriding and were aren't getting any of that but it's worth bearing in mind that any vacation skiers with our old expectations must be having a great time.

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