Friday, March 27, 2015

Day 113 the total melt down that we had been dreading

Yes, today we had the real warm up that we had been threatened (promised ?) with over the last few days. the result was that most of the hill turned to total mush and I (yes, I) had to download on Timber Chair. So here is the story -

Overnight it was warm and was +5 on my deck as we woke, later I heard that it never got colder than + 3 on the hill overnight. During the day it got warmer as the skies cleared so that the base temps got up to  +17 and even at the White Pass load it was +13, the warmest day so far on the hill by a big margin.

On the Old Side only Lizard bowl was open and the near side of  Cedar as far as Cruiser but given the problems with the ski out there were not many who tried this more than once. On the New Side Falling Star was shut down and the only way off the hill was via Easter bowl. Half way through the day the Reverse Traverse was closed due to instability in the Polar Chutes so we only had White Pass, Currie to Trespass Trail and the only exit was to down load Timber so at the end of the day that is what we were forced to do.

We went to the Old Side and found everything soft and getting softer, After a few loops through Lizard which were very mushy we hit out into Cedar via Cruiser which was soft even on the groomed surfaces and just so slow on the ungroomed. Lower Cedar Centre which hadn't been skied for a couple of days due to the closure of Haul Back (now open) skied ok but soft. The ski back to Boom round Cedar Trail was sketchy in the extreme and only just skiable. We thought that after a day of temps like this it would have been gone but amazingly reports in the bar suggest it was just about passable even at the end of the day - amazing.

The good news in all this was that Boom skied ok particularly on the skiers right where the base had been pounded in. We looped it several times before it started to get just a bit too soft on top. We went to the New Side where things were just as soft and had a good run down Puff which was soft on a firm base, We looked for Polar Peak to open but from the top of White Pass you could see the slides that had come from the cornices were sliding across the cat track and with that level of instability it was obvious to the lowest of intelligences that we were not going to get Polar Peak today - and given the forecast it has already been called red for tomorrow. We had a few White Pass loops through Gun bowl, Quite Right and Highline under the lift which were all good but super soft. One run back through Surprise Trees showed that it was better than expected or in the words of a buddy "it didn't suck anything like as much as I expected" - it was that kind of a day.

We decide to run down for a late lunch vie Easter bowl which was shown as open. On the way out the sign lines got a bit confusing as they were in the process of shutting down the Reverse Traverse. As sometimes happens in these circumstances we accidentally found ourselves on the wrong side of the sign line but as soon as we realised our mistake we traversed down to where the opening appeared to be - apologies to all involved for any misunderstanding. The traverse out was super mushy and unstable although the drop down Easter was probably the best soft spring skiing on the hill.

After lunch we went back to the New Side and found that all of Currie beyond Currie Powder was now closed so the only way off the hill was a Timber download. We looped White Pass through the Gun Bowl (soft but skiable) Quite Right/Highline (ok soft skiing particularly under the lift) Surprise Trees ( three times as it was so good, or at least it was soft and didn't suck too much ) and that was the end of the day. It's worth mentioning that in the morning I had ditched my jacket and was just skiing in my fleece. By this afternoon I was in thin inner gloves, I had ditched my fleece and was just skiing in my cotton top, the helmet vents were open and the zips on the side of my pants were undone exposing bare legs and underpants - in other words it was hot and I did not feel at all cold even in my reduced gear.

So it came to last run and we had to down load off Timber. I got a bit pissed off with the number of people riding me over the fact I had to down load. If there is any way I can ski off the hill I will. When everything is closed as hard closures with rope lines then you simply have to download, there is no other way, if there was I would use it. What do they expect me to do, fly, or crash closures in Currie while bombing is taking place ? Give me some credit !

Beers in the sun on the locals deck at the Griz. Tomorrow they are calling for rain in similar temps to today, in my opinion that would more or less finish off the hill other than White Pass. Should that happen I will be there to witness last rites, and if not I will be pleasantly surprised.

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