Sunday, December 20, 2015

Day 10 a seriously awesome powder day

Today started rather unpromisingly with an overnight snowfall of only about 4 cms and not much forecast for the day. For once I was so happy that forecasters get it so wrong as we had an awesome powder day which just got better as the day went on.

On the way to the hill it was -1 and temps stayed at about that at base all day. Up the mountain they were about -5 and again there was very little change as the day wore on. I had a bad start in that I only took one ski boot to the hill (don't ask, it's a mixture of old age and incompetence) so I had to wait while Lynda ran home and came back with the boot - just over half an hour in all.

This didn't matter as it was only starting to snow in what was supposed to be a convective cell giving us a couple of cms. In the event the snow just got stronger as the day went on and by the time  we came off the hill we must have had at least 10 cms and it was still puking snow. Actually it has been puking snow ever since and looks like it might never stop. The rather obvious result was that things just got better all day as the snow got deeper and the tracks from yesterday disappeared.

I don't intend to do a run by run account of today's skiing which was all on the New Side partly because I don't think that would be the best way of capturing the spirit of such a great powder day and partly because I got so pissed with buddies after skiing that I am not sure I could remember - North American readers please note I am using the English meaning of pissed (drunk) and not the North American (annoyed) which in English would be "pissed off with".

We skied all over the New Side skiing runs (some several times) such as Decline, Window Chutes, Cougar Glades, Skydive, Touque Chutes, Stag Leap, Anaconda Glades, Surprise Trees, Knot Chutes etc. No real point in commenting on the snow in that the best run anyone would have experienced would have been their last of the day as the snow was accumulating all the time but everywhere was deep lightly, or intracked powder and totally spectacular skiing. We avoided the Saddles as the light was rather socked in up high as you would have expected and the snow fields under the Saddles would have been very flat light.

Special moments get special comments as follows -
Cougar Glades - in one of the afternoon runs through I was tempted to try the lower section along the right side of Stag Leap. The upper section had not been skied all season and was sensational. Lower down I ran into some serious timber of all descriptions that should act as a warning to others,
Window Chutes - every time through was super deep in the drop in, and still very deep in the chute. Some of the best snow of the day.
Anaconda - must get a special mention as the snow in chute 5 was probably the deepest on the hill.

The Big 3 (don't let me hear anyone calling them the fingers, yuck,) are all now really good skiing but remain a little twiggy in the final pitches. Decline - almost winter conditions, Skydive - still a bit twiggy, Stag Leap - still sucks and needs about 20 cms of new snow.

Final run of the day was Skydive which was great soft skiing. This was followed by far too many beers celebrating a powder day in the Griz Bar as is easily detectable from this report. Home for a hot tub and more beers.

The good news is that it is still puking snow as it has been all day and valley temps are about -3. Current thinking is 15 cms more over night, 10 cms during the day tomorrow and more tomorrow night, The longer range forecast is calling for snow on every day for the next 10 days so it looks like things could be pretty good at least for the next week. I'm off for an early night and early start tomorrow.

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