Saturday, March 21, 2015

Day 107 a mixed day but overall pretty good

No new snow over night but also temps stayed well above zero in the valley and from the conditions we encountered I suspect that temps didn't get down to zero, or anything like it anywhere on the hill. On the way to the hill it was +6 and driving away +3 which tended to confirm the forecast of a general cooling trend. During the day the weather was variable to put it mildly.

We went to the New Side and found conditions over cast and just above zero. On the first lift it started to snow and a half way up White Pass (maybe a bit higher) the rain turned to wet snow. For the rest of the morning it snowed high up and poured with rain down below. Around lunch the precip stopped but after lunch on the way up the hill we were back to rain at the base and wet snow on top. Finally after the precip had dried up in the afternoon it came back as some very serious ice pellets late in the day which extended to the base although there it came and went interspersed with rain. All in all a wet and very mixed day.

We went straight to the New Side to see if there was new snow falling and had a soft run down Puff. Next move was straight to Polar Peak which was open on the Coaster side and with the cut back under the chair but with the chutes shut. Conditions were full on winter snow which was accumulating fast and filling in out tracks almost as fast as we made them. Viz was dreadful all the way down so that we had all our runs down the Coaster in braille before we traversed out under the chair and had some great winter powder skiing back to the chair. I lost count of the number of times we looped Polar or the number of times we helped vacation skiers who were a little lost. If you ignored the fact that we could not see anything this was some of the best skiing of the season.

Just after 12 they warned us that they were closing Polar due to a combination of wind, poor viz and the fact that Kevin and I were about the only two people out there enjoying the winter powder. The lift closed just as we got on it and stayed closed all day. We ran to base through Easter which was very mushy, perhaps even worse than yesterday although the ski out along the Reverse Traverse was fine - we then went to lunch.

During lunch it started raining so I was back on the hill (New Side) in my full wet weather gear only to find that half way through the afternoon the rain went away and things stayed dry until our final ski off. We really had no choice but to loop White Pass for the afternoon and found everything soft and easy skiing getting very mushy from about half way down. Gun Bowl (numerous times in every place and always good) the shoulder by Knot chutes (steeper than the chutes and better soft skiing) Quite Right (good soft skiing if you avoided the groomed areas) Surprise Trees three times ( always very deep and mushy with only one set of tracks ahead of us) where I managed to hit some hidden timber and take the stack of the day, Pillow Talk ( easy soft chute skiing|) and numerous other lines in the general White Pass area.

We had anticipated a final rip through Easter but last loop we found White Pass chair closed 10 minutes early due to electrical storms. We were offered the choice by Patrol of waiting for a snow mobile lift or skiing out along Deep Sea and Lower Sib Ridge which were closed. We opted for the latter and in truth it wasn't too bad as long as you skied slowly, planned ahead to make sure you stayed on the white rather than the brown and avoided twigs, We made it down without having to walk and without having put any dints in the bases of our skis so it couldn't have been that bad.

To celebrate a good day (well at least a good morning) we had a few beers in the Griz. Conditions appear to be cooling with some precip so who knows what we might get tomorrow.

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