Sunday, March 15, 2015

Day 101 if you don't go you don't know

Tonight's blog is dedicated to all those people who could have skied today but didn't - by my estimation about 99.9% of the potential Fernie skiing community. Based on yesterday's report (rain) and today's forecast (more rain) I can't say that I blame anyone for not coming to the hill today but as we have said so many times you should always go and check things out as they may prove to be way better than you expected and today proved this in spades. Today we had a great day's skiing in some new snow which fell all day and although there was no way you could describe the heavy wet snow as power it was ok and we were able to leave fresh tracks all over the hill.

It rained all night in the valley and was raining on the way to the hill. the clue that we were in for a rather different day lay in the temps where we had +4 on the way to the hill - a good 4 degrees cooler than yesterday. I was also way better prepared with my boot gloves (neoprene keeps water out) new rubber gloves ( totally water proof and warm and dry) rubber dungarees ( again totally water proof and warm) and plastic yellow rain jacket which was as water proof as you would expect. I was able to ski all day while keeping warm, dry and toastie, and that is exactly what I did.

During the day it stayed cold on the hill with temps at the Bear load maybe making +1 early on but back to zero or below by the afternoon. The temps I saw at White Pass load were very similar. We went to the Old Side and found the Snow line (it rained/ snowed all over the hill all day) was just above the Bear's Den although it drifted down to the base during the day but had lifted a little by the time we left tonight. Above the snow line it just puked snow all day. Ok, it wasn't champagne powder but it was white and although it was rather heavy and wet it was new snow to track up which this year has been about as rare as hen's teeth. By the close the Griz cam was showing 20 cms today which felt about right and the forecast is for at least that again overnight,

In my super dry plastic/rubber rain gear we arrived at the hill and went to the Old Side. We had expected a day like yesterday with rain all over the hill but it was snowing hard from the Bear's Den and up and as the snow line dropped during the day we just got more soft snow where ever we went. We looped Bear, and Arrow expecting the new snow to be skiing soft and we weren't disappointed. There were so few people on the hill we were getting fresh tracks everywhere we went and the snow was getting deeper all the time. Two patroller buddies told us that they had just opened Cedar Ridge and it was good. We went there and found it closed but with the info we had we skied it anyway (twice) and it was great. We later found out that it was open but they had just forgotten to flip the signs.

We then took another Cedar loop through New Lift Line from the chutes at the top of Bear and these all skied soft and deep in not very good viz. Returns were always to Boom Chair which was getting to be a bit of a nightmare to get to with most of lower Cedar Bowl unskiable and then through Boom bowl which was skiing just fine, All the skiing at this stage was soft snow where you pushed a million wet snow balls down the hill as you skied it. We went to lunch with  it snowing on top, raining below and the ski off the hill was very sticky as a result.

After lunch we skied the New Side and had a lovely soft run down through Puff as the new snow started to build. We had been told that Corner Pocket was open and this proved to be right - it was just 4 big edge to edge jumps through the chute with no tires showing and we had some great untracked soft snow skiing all the way down under the saddles and then cut right into Easter for some more untracked skiing, It was wet and heavy but fresh snow by any definition.

Next time up the New Side we took Puff trees cutting into Lift Line as soon as we were allowed and although heavy and sticky it was good untracked skiing. We hit out to Surprise Trees and found everything untracked and great skiing although you did had to work to beat out the wet snow slough that you created. Perhaps unsurprisingly the traverse out was closed almost as soon as we had skied it, We then hit out to Easter and as we were crossing Cornice chute with patrol watching we were almost hit by a natural wet snow slide out of Cornice chute which would have bowled us over, carried us down and maybe buried us. We got out fast to Easter after the slide had passed and left it to Patrol to close yet another area just after we had skied it - perhaps we should be getting kudos for getting last tracks rather than first tracks when the snow is falling like it did today. Easter was run of the day in smooth deep soft untracked snow - just great.

We decided that the New Side held no attractions as we would have to down load so we stayed on the Old Side and had a spectacular run down New Lift line which was now filled in and deep. The ski out was difficult even with the new snow so we then just stayed on the Bear Chair looping Boomerang and as last run taking Bear Chutes which skied fantastically well although you had to watch the deadfall on the ski out.

Usual Sunday night crowd in the Griz which made for great crack. My new regime of plastic and rubber proved most successful and I was dry-ish on my body and super dry everywhere else at the end of the day which on a day as wet as this was a fantastic result. As we drove away from the hill it was +1 and raining hard. This means to me that it is snowing (maybe a bit moist) up the hill and should get better overnight as the temp drops - getting quite excited about tomorrow. Sorry about you guys who didn't go today and as result missed a day which was very good by this season's standards.

No comments:

Post a Comment