Saturday, April 4, 2015

Day 121 and winter makes a come back for at least some of the day

So today we went back to winter conditions at least for a while. When we looked out of the window first thing this morning it was snowing. A check on the internet revealed that we had 3 cms of new snow overnight but by the time we got to the hill I guess the snowfall must have been double the overnight figure. The temp on the way to the hill was -2 so the snow was falling hard all the way down to the base.

For the rest of the morning things stayed cold and overcast with frequent heavy snow showers. Temps at the White Pass load remained at or about zero and the conditions as stated were full on winter. In the afternoon things began to change and for a while we had heavy snow showers with blue skies which was a pretty strange experience. By late afternoon it was tending towards blue bird conditions with temps up at +5. After skiing, conditions switched back to heavy snow showers all the way down to the base and temps were down to only +2 as we drove away from the hill. So a very varied day which produced some significant accumulations of snow on the upper hill at times during the day - the lower hill remained bare for the most part after the initial snow fall melted.

We went to the New Side and in the new snow and some very varied viz (which came and went all morning) and dropped down Lift Line which was lightly tracked with soft snow on a hard icy base. This set the trend for the morning as we looped White Pass repeatedly always finding a hard icy base with soft snow accumulating on top. Polar Peak was closed and remained so and Knot Chutes closed early on so we were just skiing the White Pass loop - Gun Bowl, Quite Right, High Line, Surprise Trees, Milky Way Trees, Anaconda Glades etc were all skied several times. Always the base was hard and icy and the soft snow helped a bit but it was not until late morning that the snow had accumulated to the point that it started to feel like a bit of a powder day. Run of the morning was of course Anaconda where new snow and only one track in front of us gave some great powder skiing where we could only just beat out our own sloughs.

We ran to lunch across the Reverse Traverse and decided to try the top of Decline which was smooth and quite deep snow with great untracked skiing. We skied out down Megasaurus Trail and then through the bottom of Lizard Bowl which was soft but rather less sketchy than the last few days.

After lunch we went back to the New Side and into the biggest snow storm of the day for at least half an hour before things started to clear. By the time the snow had stopped we had good winter conditions and took full advantage of it with many more White Pass loops. Surprise Trees, Anaconda Glades, Pillow Talk and Milky Way Trees were high on the agenda and all skied well with the new snow providing a good cushion on the hard base. By the end of the afternoon the warming conditions had started to melt the new snow back into the base and the base itself was starting to soften but not much - just enough to make skiing a bit easier.

Our final run off was through Easter Bowl which was skiing ok and starting to turn soft but still quite challenging. Down in the Plaza the evenings celebrations were starting with a short set from BC/DC before they performed later in the evening in Griz bar. We stopped for a couple of beers but headed off before things really started cooking.

Tomorrow's report may be a bit brief as it is Easter Sunday and by tradition we go for a Sunday Brunch somewhere and this year it's going to be the Rusty Edge. If the brunch is up to standard then there will be little or no skiing after brunch and only a couple of hours before. Still, we have to have these little indulgences.

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