Saturday, March 14, 2015

Day 100 it rained

Not much else to say but "it rained" as it did in spectacular fashion - we currently have a rainfall warning for the Elk Valley calling for 40 mm today and another 20mm overnight. It started raining around 7 this morning, it has rained (hard) all day without a break and it is still raining as I look out on the hot tub cover on my back deck. Perhaps it's going to rain forever, it certainly feels like it.

We went to the hill in temps of +8, and in case you didn't pick up on the theme of tonight's symposium, in poring rain. It rained all over the hill from top to bottom. For a brief time up at the top of White Pass we had some intermittent very wet snow. The rain mixed with this wet snow so we got a small accumulation of pure elephant snot which had the effect of stopping you more or less dead when you skied into it. This only affected a very small area at the top of the hill and for the vast majority of the time we were skiing on what had been a firm surface but was now softening under the relentless rain.

Unfortunately I had not checked out my famous plastic rain gear which had kept me so dry during the last big rain cycle about a month ago. The plastic pants were torn beyond repair so I had to rely on my normal ski pants to keep me dry and lets just say they weren't really up to the job. The yellow plastic jacket was ok and kept me dry above the waist and I just had to accept that the gloves were going to get soaked.

We went to the Old Side and poked around Bear, Arrow and other places in Lizard bowl. It was raining but the viz was ok and the skiing surface was nice and soft but the available skiing was disappearing fast. We went out into Cedar Bowl where it was closed from just beyond Cruiser so we ran down Cruiser and Lower Cedar Centre which were both getting thin but the skiing surface was just like elsewhere nice and soft. We ran back through Lower North Ridge and then Cedar Trail to Lower Kodiak to get to the Boom load. This was actually rather like skiing off the glacier when we have been summer skiing - having to pick your way at not much more than walking pace through a myriad of obstructions, actually quite good fun. We went to the New Side.

On the New Side the ski down to White Pass load was via Puff which was soft in the rain and skiing very nicely. I did a White Pass loop and found that it was a little socked in at the top and as described the first few turns were in a thin covering of elephant snot. Gun bowl was still quite firm but taking an edge and by the time I had got to Quite Right it was back to soft easy skiing all the way to the load. I decided to run off via Easter Bowl (which was open) on the grounds that as far as I could see it was the only way to get down without having to walk part of the way other than taking the Timber down load. It was actually quite hard getting out to Easter as the skis (now back on the Sally rock skis) were running very slow in the conditions. Easter was surprisingly firm all the way down but taking an edge and after that I ran to a late lunch.

I was soaked where the rain had come through my pants and gloves so for the first time this year I quit at lunch time. I took advantage of some free time in the afternoon to re-equip myself with appropriate rain gear in case these conditions continue and I certainly don't want to have to cut short a day's skiing again. I went to the warehouse and bought some triple layered and fleece lined heavy duty rubber gloves and some heavy duty rubberised dungarees. The clothing seems to have been designed for working on the rigs up north and is not very trendy ski gear but I bet it keeps me dry.

So it's off to the pub for some good warming food and some beers. Tomorrow looks like it will be more of the same but maybe turning colder tomorrow night to the point where we might get some snow - we can but hope.

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