Sunday, April 12, 2015

Day 129 Closing Day

First off a bit of am apology for tonight's report which unsurprisingly is being typed after having drunk industrial quantities of alcohol to celebrate closing day and as such may reflect some less that perfect use of the English language, not to mention spelling, grammar and logical reasoning. Now, where was I ... oh yes ....

It was quite warm on the way to the hill at +2 and whilst the hill didn't claim any new snow we seemed to have had about 2 cms which was sitting on top of yesterday's base. It was overcast and although the cloud broke up a bit during the morning it came back with a vengeance in the afternoon and temps dropped. During the morning things warmed as you would expect in the spring so that everything was softening but by the afternoon (particularly on the New Side) everything was becoming hard and icy with temps of -2 at the White Pass load and -6 at the Polar Peak load. We even had some light snow ( well at least ice pellets) so that things were really feeling a bit like Christmas but without Jimmy Stewart in Wonderful Life being on television.

We went to the Old Side as part of our usual last day tradition of skiing as much terrain as possible. Keen followers will be aware that Cedar Bowl and everything beyond is closed, as is North Ridge, Boomerang, Boom Chair, Haul Back and all the associated runs - this obviously had a limiting factor on the terrain available to us.

We went out into Lizard with a view to skiing Bear, Arrow, Bow, Cascade and Dancer which we did and which were very nicely groomed surfaces. Much better was the fact that all the skiing in between these runs was good ungroomed skiing. It seemed to me that all those surfaces had melted back into themselves to smooth the base which Lynda described as "soft ice" which sounds crazy but all real skiers know exactly what she meant. On top was about 2 cms of new snow and we laid track after track of new lines all over Lizard on the strange but very mellow surface.

With the morning gone we headed to the New Side and for a big disappointment. Everything on the New Side was hard and icy - slick where it had been groomed and just plain ugly where it hadn't. The Gun bowl was particularly challenging and I seemed to be the only one stupid enough even to give it a go. We went up Polar Peak which was open and found that the Coaster was the hardest slick blue ice imaginable which took all our concentration to ski. We ran off to a late lunch through the Reverse Traverse (ok on the blow in but challenging where we were down to bare ice) and Easter Bowl which skied really well with the blow in on top and the softening base low down just like the Old Side in the morning.

In the afternoon I put on and extra layer and headed back up the New Side. This proved to be a good call as temps were dropping fast to well below zero, everything was setting up very hard and in general winter was making a big come back. I made a few runs Back through White Pass which was chunky and icy particularly in the Gun bowl before heading out to Decline which was just smooth and fantastic although you had to exit via the Megasaurus Trail half way down.

Next time up the New Side it was getting near closing for Polar Peak so I put a couple of loops in there which were just as slick and icy in the Coaster as before - perhaps even more so. I had hoped to get last tracks in there but a three person chair came up last and so I failed to get first and last tracks in Polar for the season, but not by all that much. The run back to White Pass was slick in the extreme with Currie Powder reverting to it's blue ice slick surface that had given us so much fun for most of February. The good news was that Trespass Trail was at least fast.

After a quick White Pass loop to burn time it was the last run of the season which of course was Skydive but only down to the Megasaurus ski out. The traverse out to the top was still ok and the run itself was smooth and lightly track if a little crusty in places. The ski out took me to the closed and deserted Lizard bowl for the final run of the season. The run off was mushy and brown but at least we got away with it.

I know I usually say that we have had too many drinks in the Griz Bar but this time I really mean it - Jagermeister and beer never really mixes that well. So that's it for another season - give me a couple of days to gather my thoughts and I will publish my review of the season but given the season that we have had be prepared for a triple x review.

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