Saturday, March 7, 2015

Day 93 one day at a time - and today was pretty good

First of all I kind of overlooked the fact that yesterday my average cost of skiing dropped below 10 bucks a day so this evening we had a belated celebration in the Griz Bar. As I said before, maybe not that much to celebrate this year where 10 bucks a day seems all that the skiing has been worth for the most part.

Today was full on spring skiing and although it made for great skiing we are still wondering just how long the hill can take major plus temps which give us such good spring conditions. That is why we are having to take it one day at a time.

On the way to the hill today it was +3 and the forecasters were calling for flurries. How surprising is it that we had bluebird conditions most of the day and no sign of any flurries. Naturally there was no new snow and the base is down at around 136 cms. During the day things got really warm (+7 at the White Pass load) and even warmer in the direct sunlight. Up Polar Peak things were kept a little cooler and were only +2 at the load but on the sun facing slopes things softened and stayed that way all day.

I went to the Old side and had two runs down the Sunny Side shoulder which was softening right off the bat. The surface was chopped up but taking an edge and made for some good skiing. Next time up Bear I got word from some patroller buddies that they were just about to drop the sign line on Boomerang so I followed them. The result was three excellent loops through Boom (always staying on skiers left in the sun) with the surface becoming soft on a firm ice base - real corn snow.

I finally managed to get out to Snake Ridge which had been reported as so good yesterday and I found the reports to be true. Great skiing on soft melt on a smooth firm base. So good I did two loops always running to Boom Chair via Lower Linda's which was ok as long as you straight lined it on the skiers right. On a whim I dropped Boom Ridge and found the surface particularly good because of the oblique angle of the sun giving a firm surface that took a nice edge. Only problem was some very significant wood and grass in the lower section but easy to avoid if you paid attention - good skiing.

I had word that something was happening on the New Side and went out to investigate. Sure enough things were opening up in the softening snow and I put three loops through the Knot Chutes which were skiing so easy with corn snow that it was almost embarrassing. Soon it became apparent that Polar Peak had opened to include the Grand Papa Bear chute from the cut in on Shale Slope and we did this a couple of times in some awesome soft snow before we realised that the sign line this side of Concussion had been lifted and we could go in.

We did two more loops of Grand Papa Bear ( great soft skiing particularly on the steeper section skiers right) the lower Polar Chutes (first time into Mama Bear just above the avi crown and then jumped it back into the chute and second time all the way across to an untracked Spirit Bear chute) and then Concussion which skied just sensationally not having been open for about 4 weeks - soft melted snow on a smooth base. There was a fence line half way down Concussion which pulled us back to the usual Trespass Trail Sib Ridge ski out which was super soft as you would expect in the spring conditions. So after two New Side runs to base it was a very late lunch just after 2 o'clock.

In the (short) afternoon we were back up Polar Peak for some Shale Slope loops as Grand Papa Bear had been closed. We tracked across for another Concussion run which was just as good as the time before and for me was run of the day with spring corn snow on a smooth base - the kind of skiing that is so easy there is a danger that we will start to think that we are actually pretty good skiers.  We got back up White Pass for a high speed loop and then it was time for a run off the hill. We decided to hit out on the Reverse Traverse to see if we could get to Skydive as all the signs were that we might be able to. In the event there was a closure on the Barracuda shoulder so we had no choice but to take a few great untracked turns and then work our way back to Trespass Trail along the closure fence. I doubt Skydive would have been much good but if there is any way we can get in there we must try for one more run before the season ends.

Good beers with buddies and lots of discussion of just how many more days like this the hill can deliver given the deteriorating cover we saw today - as I said, one day at a time.

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