Sunday, March 8, 2015

Day 94 another very good day's spring skiing

Yes, we had another good days skiing today while the base continued to dribble away. As I have said, how many day's this can go on for is anyone's guess but at least for the moment we are getting traditional spring skiing with boiler plate first thing turning to soft snow and then mush later in the day.

Do I need to say no new snow over night, a bluebird day, the base down to 136 cms and everything looking very spring like. It was a bit of a slow start for a number of reasons. The main reason was that last night the clocks came forward for Summer Daylight saving so we lost an hour overnight and getting up at 7 when it is really 6 in the morning is no easy task. Nobody told the sun that we had changed the clocks so the softening process didn't start until an hour later than yesterday. Overnight things got much colder than the day before (-5 on the way to the hill) so that it was always going to take longer for things to soften even if we hadn't had any of the other factors in play.

As I said it was -5 on the way to the hill but things warmed up pretty quickly so that by mid afternoon we were getting +7 at the White Pass load and even +2 at the Polar load. In the direct sunlight it must have been getting a lot warmer but particularly up Polar Peak there was a very cold wind which kept the surface temps of the snow down to the point where Shale Slope couldn't be opened due to the hard skiing surface.

We went to the Old Side and after few groomer loops we tried the Sunny Side shoulder. This turned out well as the first couple of turns on the top surface not directly facing the sun were very crunchy and remained so for some time. The surface put off many prospective skiers who didn't realise that just over the shoulder things softened to perfect spring skiing if a little twiggy in places. We put in many runs down the face while no one else appeared to realise what they were missing.

We then hit out for three loops of Snake Ridge which skied as well as I could have hoped for in soft spring snow although you did have to cut back on to Cedar Centre for the ski out. Lower Linda's was ugly ungroomed ice so after the first time we always ran back through Lower North Ridge which was a bit bare but ok. Returns to Bear load were always via Sunny Side which continued to ski soft and deserted. We went to lunch.

After lunch it was up the New Side to find that everything was softening just like yesterday and a loop through the Gun Bowl and the I Bowl (far side) showed just how soft and mellow things were. Next we did a couple of loops through the Knot Chutes always using Tight Knot as everything else just looked too easy in the soft snow to provide an interesting challenge.

We then went to Polar peak where only the Coaster was open with the traverse back under the chair. We did this several times in soft easy snow. We then hit out to Concussion via Spirit Bear which was very lightly tracked and skiing well. Alpha Centauri/ Concussion was also soft, and smooth in the melted snow but as yesterday we had to cut back along the fence line to exit via Trespass Trail and Lower Sib Ridge - now the only way off that side of the hill other than Falling Star.

We went back and did more White Pass loops via Gun Bowl and I bowl which were now super mellow soft snow that even my granny could have skied - and she's dead !! We went up Polar for more soft mellow loops before running to base via Spirit Bear again and the steep Concussion Chute (Severe Concussion) which was soft and easy. After that it was the usual ski out with the proviso that the route down Summer Road had to be straight lined on the side to avoid all the mush.

Just time for a final White Pass loop via Gun Bowl (still soft) and I bowl (ditto) before taking a final run through Alpha Centauri/ Concussion which was setting up a little but not too bad.

As always, too many beers and some good skiing talk in the Griz. On the way back from the hill it was +10 (no kidding) and the forecast is now saying that for the next 14 days at no time will the temps drop below zero in the valley at any time of the day or night. What we will be skiing on or where we will be skiing it if this forecast is right is anyone's guess.


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