Thursday, March 5, 2015

Day 91 slightly different conditions but wxactly the same result

Over the past month my blog has  had over 15,000 hits which averages out at over 500 per day. Over the past few days that number has been down in the 300/400 range and I can only conclude that my followers are as bored as I am with the conditions and want to read something other than - same old, same old. Well listen up guys no one wants to be able to write about change more than me but I am afraid that we are just getting one day after another exactly the same and Shakespeare himself would have had difficulty in breathing new life into the posts I have had to make over the past few days - to be or not to be (fresh snow) that is the question - is this a sheet of ice I see before me - friends romans countrymen lend me your carving skis - see what I mean.

No new snow overnight. Temps on the way to the hill were a balmy -8 but still cold enough to make sure everything remained bullet hard. The conditions were overcast high cloud which meant that today the light was flat even in the direct sunlight but it did clear a bit to give bluebird conditions by the end of the day. Up the mountain temps stayed well below zero and nothing softened. On the lower hill we had some plus temps but as the only things we were skiing there were the ski outs it didn't make much difference.

We went to the Old Side and found Boom, Cedar Ridge and Linda's closed due to conditions as they have been for some days. In the locker room we had been told that everything was icy and wind swept and there were signs to that effect on the hill. In practice we found things to be no worse than usual and in some places (such as lower Cedar Centre) quite a lot better. The signs were somewhat prophetic as during the day with a combination of skier traffic and wind scour most of the groomers became very slick and icy with large exposed areas of blue ice.

We did our usual poke round Bear, Arrow, Bow, North Ridge, Cruiser. Cedar Centre, Lower North Ridge and Lower Linda's. Things were slick but just about ok and the off piste options were limited - my speak for non existent. We did think about trying Fish bowl again but my guess was that it would be rather tracked up and sketchy - a buddy who went out there to try it confirmed this was a 100% accurate call. Very late in the morning we headed to the New Side.

Polar Peak was closed due to wind and most of the runs in White Pass were wind scoured hard ice. We looped White Pass three times, always dropping the Gun Bowl which was firm but ok ice skiing if you paid attention. Runs back were either through Quite Right (rather hard and slick) or the I bowl which was pretty ugly with the drop off from the traverse more or less pure refrozen crud. We ran to base the usual way (check last 10 days reports) but did ski out under the Polar Chutes to see where the snow had been blown from/to. Rather ambiguous results as we couldn't make head nor tail of what was happening to the snow and we will have to wait for a Polar opening to work it out for ourselves.

After lunch I linked up with some buddies for some high speed groomer skiing on the Old Side but soon realised that on my full rocker powder skis trying to keep up with guys who are 30 years younger than me could only have one result so I bailed to the New Side. I linked up with another buddy and we did many White Pass loops usually through Gun bowl (still hard icy crud skiing) and the I bowl (ditto) with the odd high speed run to base. We were genuinely surprise how many people seemed to prefer the slick groomers where control was real issue to the cruddy ungroomed where it was no place for the faint hearted but at least you were in control all the time if you were good enough.

Final run of the day we hit Currie Glades off the Polar Load and had a very pleasant surprise. The first few turns were very sketchy and you had to pick your way through cat debris but after that there was some blow in which was nice skiing. Lower down in the left cut gully the snow had really blown in deep (well a few cms but in a year like this you take what you can) and was untracked sift although I was told people had been in there before us but there were no signs..

Beers in the Griz with buddies and home for a quiet night. We are told that things should warm up tomorrow to the point where we will get softening, I will believe that when I see it.

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