Saturday, March 28, 2015

Day 114 a pretty dreadful day

Let me say once again that my comments in no way reflect badly on the guys and girls who are working hard just to try and keep some part of the hill open but there is no point in running away from the fact that in spite of their heroic efforts mother nature has the upper hand and is producing dreadful conditions.

This morning on the way to the hill it was pouring with rain and +5. One look up the hill showed that there was no snow line to be seen although the top of the hill was rather socked in. When we arrived the rain stopped and as it had been forecast to stop around lunch time my calculation was that this was the dry up starting early and I would get away with light rain gear and some reasonably warm weather clothing - a huge mistake on my part which resulted in me getting wet and cold.

Before deciding where to ski I did my research and found out that the Reverse Traverse was reopened so that we could exit the New Side via the Saddles or Easter Bowl with no need to download - this was good enough for me. About half way up Timber it started to rain and then snow ice pellets. By the time I arrived at White Pass load by means of an ok run down Puff the temp was +1, the precip was a mix of icy snow and hard ice pellets and the wind had got up.

I had several runs in White Pass in deteriorating conditions with the viz getting more socked in, the prcip becoming more icy and winds getting stronger to the point that we arrived at full on winter blizzard conditions. I was forced to take shelter in Lost Boys CafĂ© and found that most of the rest of the New Side world had beaten me to it. It was like a scene from a disaster movie with everyone huddled together, kids crying etc and just to make it more fun the fire alarm kept going off.

The root of the problem was that by this time the winds had got up to 100 klicks plus and the Timber chair had stopped so there was no down loading which was the only way down for most of the skiers there. I felt particularly sorry for the Nordic Society who had gone up for some cross country skiing in Lost Boys Pass and were now facing something which looked more as if it were scene from Ice Station Zebra.

 I had options and after checking that the Traverse was open I had another run back down White Pass where by now the runs were covered in untracked soft snow and then headed out along the Reverse Traverse, Viz was poor but conditions were ok although on the final bridge it looked like the surface had collapsed and I only just squeaked through. I had intended to ski Easter but when I looked into Decline it was soft, deep and untracked and I had a very good rip down the top section followed by a slow ski out along the Megasaurus Trail. The final ski out in what was pouring rain low down was very sketchy. The run just below Bear load was through to ground in many places and can't have many days left.

Over lunch I put on the full rubber/plastic waterproof gear. Timber chair was still only down loading by now so my only option was the Old Side. By this time Cedar bowl, North Ridge, Boomerang, Haul Back and Boom chair had been closed for the season due to conditions. I understand the racers on their last weekend had to end up walking to Boom chair which I guess says it all. So all I had was Bear Chair and Lizard bowl which after a couple of runs just proved too wet and sketchy to be worth it. At the base I did cut over to Timber to see if they were loading but they weren't so I called it a day at just after 2:30.

As I was sitting in the Griz Bar things started to clear up a bit but by that stage all enthusiasm from me and pretty well everyone else had evaporated. As I drove out I noticed that they had Timber open again but I couldn't see anyone going up and guess most people were like me - not prepared to swim around on the Old Side for an hour or two waiting for Timber to open.

So in summary a dreadful day with even more of the hill shutting down. I guess tomorrow will be just White Pass and Lizard with the ski out of the latter probably not lasting much longer. The new snow up in White Pass may be worth having a go at if we can just get there.

No comments:

Post a Comment