Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day 110 another surprisingly good day

Overnight it rained in the valley so yet again we expected some snow up on top but a deterioration on the lower hill - this is becoming a bit repetitive, just like every other weather pattern we have had this winter.

On the way to the hill it was +4 and light rain. As we looked up the hill we could see the snow line quite low down and by the time we actually got skiing it was stopping precipitating in any form and stayed that way for most of the day with the odd flurries as an exception. The overnight report called about another 8 cms on top which felt about right but lower down it had arrived as rain and the accumulation was big fat zero - maybe even a minus figure. During the day temps rose to about +5 mid mountain and way warmer at the base, although as direct sunlight came and went the snow softened but didn't get to mushy. As we drove away from the hill tonight it was down to +2 and coming down as sleet although I see that looking out on to the deck this appears to have stopped and things are warming up again - crazy weather.

We made our usual decision to go high and stay high on the New Side. Although this was not a bad decision it does not appear to have been the slam dunk of the past few days when the Old Side just sucked. Reports suggest that there was some very good skiing to be had on the Old Side in soft new snow so perhaps we should have tried it but over all we were not disappointed.

Lift Line (the only way we ever took from Timber Top to White Pass load) was covered in soft new snow with a firm chunky base which softened as the day went on so that by the end it was very easy and mellow soft snow skiing which was hardly tracked. We spent the morning looping White Pass through a variety of different ways which was socked in at the top with viz only becoming really good after lunch  - Knot Chutes (soft snow and about as easy and mellow as I can remember) Surprise Trees (cut first tracks out there and found them a little chunky at first but they softened all day to give easy skiing) Gun Bowl (a bit of a grope in the poor viz but good soft untracked snow) Quite Right, High Line, Lift Line, all great soft lightly tracked snow on a firm base becoming softer as the day went on.

Last loop before lunch we hit the chute just before Surprise and found great untracked deep soft snow. Last run before lunch was Decline which just seemed to ski even better than yesterday with untracked lines in soft deep snow and super fast GS turns. During lunch we heard that White Pass lift was down so it looked like we timed that right as well.

After lunch we went back to the New Side where lift Line was just as good as before. We cut across the top of Knot Chutes to investigate Gotta Go and had an amazing result. It looked to us as if Gotta Go had not been skied for weeks (maybe it hadn't) and was totally untracked. We soon changed that with the most amazing deep powder rip down to the bottom and then a just about ok push back along Trespass Trail - a very good experience.

We spent some more time looping Knot Chutes or the untracked lines in Gun bowl followed by some good soft stuff in Surprise Trees or Pillow Talk all of which was soft and with plenty of untracked lines - there were other people on the hill today but for some reason they just didn't seem to be interested in skiing the good stuff - thank goodness. Next we looped out to Skydive and had a really good run down the right side of the top section before respecting the closure signs and skiing out along the Megasaurus Trail. the ski to base in Lizard bowl was bumpy slick refrozen artificial snow which was at least fast !

Final time up White Pass and we had yet another good drop of the Knot Chutes which were still in good shape. We had thought of doing Surprise Trees but got side tracked by Anaconda Glades where we hiked the hump to the first chute and amazingly put first tracks in there for some great skiing - who ever heard of getting first tracks at 3:50 in the afternoon. Last run was rip out to Decline which was a little softer than earlier in the day but still some great untracked skiing particularly in the trees on the side.

I haven't done the White Pass skiing justice as we had many different lines up there in soft snow, actually too many to remember after a few beers so just trust me it was good. Beers and an early night with sleet falling as we left the hill which may mean some new stuff to play with tomorrow. I can't help but wonder how good we would have rated a day like today in a normal snow year, I suspect nowhere near as highly as we have in grim year like this but then that's how things go.

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