Friday, April 3, 2015

Day 119 still some good stuff but also some bad stuff

We made a rather late start today for obvious reasons after yesterday's celebrations. It was only +2 on the way to the hill but in bluebird conditions. In the sun the temps rose very quickly but there was no atmospheric warming so in the direct sunlight things softened but away from the direct sunlight things stayed hard and icy. During the day things got to +6 at the White Pass load, and a lot warmer in the sun before it clouded over in the afternoon and temps dropped and the surfaces set up although they remained firm on a soft base so taking a nice edge. In true spring fashion just before we left the hill we had a full on winter ice pellet storm at the top of the New Side just before we closed and then things went back to bluebird by the time we were driving away from the hill - you can take you pick of how to describe the day.

We went to the New Side where for a while it looked as though we were going to get Polar Peak as the chair was turning but by lunch time that had stopped and we were just left with the White Pass chair. At first everything was super hard and refrozen from yesterday giving some very ugly conditions. As the sun intensified things started to soften very quickly and soon we were skiing Gun Bowl, I Bowl, Highline and Quite Right in snow that was becoming soft. Particularly in the Gun Bowl you had to choose your face as the different aspects gave different conditions until quite late into the morning but by the end it was all soft spring skiing.

The softening conditions persuaded me to try the Knot Chutes and I found them very soft with an easy access which didn't involve too much air time over rocks. We ran down through Surprise Trees and the chutes on the way to Surprise several times and found the skiing soft in the main but a bit variable in places. We ran to lunch through Easter bowl which as it faced away from the sun remained hard ugly blue ice bumps all the way down and just about the worst skiing on the hill I have had for several weeks. The ski out below Lizard was predictably mushy and sketchy.

In the afternoon we went back for more of the same but majored in the Knot Chutes and the chutes in and around that area which in the softened and reforming snow skied about as mellow and easy as I can ever remember. Bearing in mind the state of Easter we gave all north facing stuff like Gotta Go, Cobra Rock and Anaconda a clear miss. The skiing back in Surprise Trees and the surrounding chutes remained surprisingly good and soft with only the occasional ice patches. Even when it clouded over later in the afternoon and things started to set up the surfaces were still pretty friendly with a reformed light crust on a soft under layer.

We continued to loop White Pass until closing when we were unable to ski out again through Easter because Currie Bowl had been closed for an emergency heli evac of a very serious injury which of course takes priority over skiing. We had no choice but to down load on Timber and go for only a couple of beers in the Griz as none of us had fully recovered from yesterday even after 4 o'clock today.

After skiing we visited our good friend Rob and Katie and 9 month old Joseph (he really is a happy little chappy) for an evening catching up on events, hence the late report tonight. Looks like there may be some precip in the forecast and although I don't think it will good news for the lower mountain it could mean some new snow for those of us who like to go high.

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