Friday, April 3, 2015

Day 120 and the cost of skiing drops below 8 bucks a day

Yes, today the average cost of skiing dropped below 8 bucks a day for the season and is due to go lower over the next 10 days. As I have remarked before skiing for 8 bucks a day in a normal season would seem like great bargain but this year it feels like I am getting no more than fair value considering the conditions we have had to suffer during the season.

Today was different from yesterday in a number of significant ways. It was colder so we had a much harder base in most places but we also had some new snow (about 3 cms on top) which continued to accrue during the day but in truth didn't really amount to much. The net result was that nowhere was as bad as the really ugly places yesterday because of the new snow but by the same token nowhere was nearly as good as the good places yesterday like Knot Chutes as all the soft churned up snow had refrozen really hard.

The temp on our deck when we got up was -2 and when we arrived at the hill things had only warmed to +1.It was overcast and snowing off and on as it did all day. Temps warmed during the day so that at one time it was +3 at the White Pass load but remained zero at the Polar load and towards the end of the day things cooled so it was +3 as we drove away from the hill. We had precip off and on all day which always came down as snow on top and very wet snow at the base - because of the lack of snow at the base it failed to settle and to all intents and purposes the lower hill is closed except for one very sketchy ski off. On top the new snow settled on the old and by the end of the day we had an accumulation of maybe 4 cms dust on crust with perhaps more to come.

We went to the New Side after a late start working on the (correct) basis that the soft snow of yesterday would have frozen over night and would need time to soften. In the event this was only a partially  accurate assessment as the surfaces showed no inclination to soften all day so what we had was yesterday's skiing surface preserved in hard ice with a little new snow on top. We looped the Gun Bowl (hard and icy) I bowl (hard and icy) Quite Right (hard and icy) Surprise Trees (hard and icy) - I think everyone gets the picture.

We did a Currie loop through Down Right which was accumulating well on the grooming but the work back round Trespass Trail was hard. Next we found maybe the best skiing of the day in Milky Way Trees which benefitted from not having much traffic yesterday and so was a smooth under surface - we skied it three times as it was good and untracked and the run back down Puff was much the same on the left side. With Polar Peak closed we ran back to base via Easter which was skiing way better than yesterday with the new snow cushioning the hard ice base from yesterday.

After lunch in the ever excellent Big Bang Bagels we went back to the New Side but because the Mighty Moose is so bare of snow we took the Elk all the way up to get us back across. Arriving at the top of White Pass I was amazed to find Polar Peak open as the viz was much worse than the morning. When we got to the Polar load we found that the socked in conditions were centred on White Pass and despite all the evidence to the contrary Polar was just about ok. Only the Coaster was open and whilst the ski down to the top of the Coaster was smooth and ok the Coaster itself totally sucked with poor viz and sheet ice. We ran back under the chair and about half way down the snow softened and was deep so we got some (a very few) great powder turns.

We repeated Polar 4 times before running to base through Easter which was skiing a little better in the accumulating snow but the Lizard ski out was bumpy and sketchy and as I have said before can't have many more days life left in it. We came back to the New Side with a rip down Lift Line which was a bit scratchy in the top but ok low dawn. We just had time for one last Polar loop which skied much better in the final section down to Currie Powder than anywhere else and then skied ok all the way back round to White Pass.

After a final White Pass rip back on Heartland which was starting to get soft we had a final run to base through Easter. This skied the best it had all day as the snow continued to accumulate out of the repeated flurries. The ski out was predictably sketchy.

Beers in the bar which was busy but not greatly so for a holiday weekend. More precip in the forecast so who knows what we might get.

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