Friday, March 20, 2015

Day 106 April fools day comes early ?

At least that's what I thought as I was having my coffee in bed this morning checking the ski conditions on my lap top - let me explain.

There I was getting ready for a day's skiing when I hit the RCR site and saw that they were reporting 50 cms of new snow within the last 24 hours and powder alerts firing off everywhere. We looked out of the window at the ski hill and this didn't look very likely but Lynda pointed out that this had been a crazy season so anything was possible - we saddled up and got ready for an early departure after checking the site again. Just before we left we rechecked and found that the new snow had been down graded to 5 cms and the most likely explanation for all the excitement was a simple typo. Actually of far more interest was that the "run of the day" was Falling Star and when we got to the hill there were notices saying that skiing on Falling Star was marginal and not recommended. Is this the first time a ski hill has not recommended their run of the day I wonder - no, I don't know what's going on either.

There was about 5 cms of new snow at the snow plot overnight but this fell as rain from mid mountain and below, the result being that the ski offs from the hill were even more marginal than yesterday. It was +4 as we drove to the hill and initially up the mountain it was about +2 at the top meaning that the new snow even up high was softening fast. It was overcast with light rain at the base and some very light flurries on top. Later in the day the rain cleared after lunch and we had hazy sunshine so that by late afternoon it was +7 even at the White Pass load and everything was going super soft super fast. Driving away from the hill tonight it was +9 and there is every prospect that we will not get temps below zero tonight and may have a rain day tomorrow.

We went to the New Side in order to get the snow high up and found that it was ok at the very top but even half way down White Pass it started to become mushy and sticky. We spent a couple of hours looping back through Knot Chutes ( ok to start with but getting unstable towards the end) Gun Bowl (always nice soft snow with untracked areas) Quite Right (ok in the ungroomed bumps but getting sticky low down) I bowl (ditto) Highline under the lift (soft snow on top, sticky in the last two turns) Pillow Talk (ditto) etc. After a while I wanted to run to base to see how things were but with ice pellets coming down up high I was afraid that low down it would be rain. When the ice stopped I ran to base through Corner Pocket which has been scraped out in the top but from about half way down you could start to jump turns. The skiing underneath was ok and soft getting rather slow by the time you came out on Dancer.

We had time for a couple more White Pass loops in soft snow (particularly the chutes off pillow talk) before running to base via Easter bowl for lunch although Lynda tried Falling Star and said it was thin, marginal but ok. Conditions were the exact opposite of yesterday with everything turning to mush and the skiing out along the Reverse Traverse being super slow motion. In Easter it became apparent that whether or not you were skiing untracked snow or tracked up stuff was irrelevant in that everything skied soft deep and slow so it didn't matter whether what you were skiing was untracked or not - it all skied the same.

After lunch we were back up the New Side as we figured that the Old Side would not have had new snow and would be very mushy - reports I got suggested that this was an accurate assessment. We looped White Pass and then ran down an increasingly mushy Easter twice which was ok if you like super heavy spring skiing. On advice we tried Anaconda which proved not to be "awesome" as we had been told but just about ok skiing and actually rather like everything else on the hill. The push back round Trespass Trail was slow hard work and there has to be a question as to whether or not the juice was worth the squeeze.

We just had time for another couple of White Pass loops before heading out to Easter for last run of the day. Just like before it was heavy and soft and could have been untracked in places, or not, it just didn't make any difference. That was it for the day - I should mention that Polar Peak wasn't open but as we skied off there appeared to be blasting coming from that area so who knows for tomorrow.

A major disaster struck in the Griz Bar where the beer pumps were not working so we were on bottles or cans which was not ideal, particularly after the kind of hard work day we had put in. Home now and looking at the forecast it looks like it could be rerun of last week with rain on Saturday followed by a cooling trend that could bring snow - fingers crossed that it is as good as last week.

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