Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Day 116 still hanging on for not a bad day, but so warm

First of all the usual apologies for a Monday for the late report as a result of having spent the evening at the Rusty Edge treating ourselves to their ever excellent, and excellent value beer and burger for 10 bucks.

Today things started pretty warm and got way warmer as the day went on. On the way to the hill this morning it was +7 and overcast. During the day it remained overcast most of the time although it did become sunny late afternoon. Temps climbed so that by mid afternoon we had +15 at the White Pass load and +9 at the Polar load and as a result everything was getting very soft and mushy.

We went to the New Side and immediately found things much softer and warmer in the Lift Line drop which we took every time and was soft mushy snow. By the time we got to the top of White Pass the snow was a little more wintery and so we had some good runs through the Gun Bowl and the Knot Chutes which were soft winter snow, back to White Pass which was rather soft and slow lower down.

Polar Peak was socked in at the top but open in the chutes so we dropped Papa Bear a couple of times which was a little icy in the top few turns until the light improved half way down. We ran out to Easter along the Reverse Traverse which was in ok shape and ran to base through a very mellow and soft Easter bowl and some very soft and mushy stuff below the Bear load in the ski out from Lizard.

Next time up we had only intended a quick run up Polar Peak but found that the viz had improved beyond measure so that the skiing was better both in terms of what you could see and the surface you were skiing on. Just like yesterday we got trapped into skiing Polar loops in Papa Bear which was soft and the Clown chutes which were ok even if you did have to hang your tails out over a cliff to drop into Crusty. After several good loops we took a great soft line down Mama Bear and ran across and dropped into Lower Saddle which was soft and very mellow and actually starting to train snow in the warming conditions. The ski out to lunch in lower Lizard was in bumpy wet man made snow with water flowing everywhere, hard to see how this will stay together for much longer.

After lunch we went back up the New Side and straight to Polar Peak. It was evident with the warming conditions that some of the runs that had been icy no go areas in the morning were now prime skiing. We looped Papa Bear (always good on the skiers right with soft melting snow on a firm base) Grand Papa Bear (the ice swept surfaces now softening giving great skiing) Barely Legal (ok in the top but a bit unstable lower down and snow sliding in the chutes), Shale Slope (mushy up top but good soft skiing on a firm base low down) Clown Chutes ( steep drop in but ok soft skiing to the cat track) until it was time to finish. We looped and relooped these.

In normal circumstances when Polar Peak closes at 3:30 we push back round Trespass Trail for some more skiing. Today, faced with a situation where we had already had some pretty good skiing off Polar and found that pushing back to the Polar load was fairly hard work in the very soft snow we declined to knacker ourselves in very hot conditions getting back to White Pass and just decided to run to base for slightly early beers which we felt we had earned, We had a final drop down Papa Bear which was skiing as well as it had all day and then cut down via Low Saddle. The snow in the saddle was becoming very wet and unstable so we hopped the ridge into the next chute to the right and had some ok if rather slow and mushy turns down to Dancer.

We skied off for early beers and had a great time on the locals deck at the Griz. Far too many beers before heading to the Rusty Edge for beers and a burger but that's how things go on a hot sunny spring day. More spring skiing tomorrow maybe.

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