Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 13 Polar Express

No, I am not giving a plug to the kids movie of the above name which we have already successfully avoided several times this Christmas, I am making reference to the fact that today we had Polar Peak Chair opened for us for the first time this year. Of course the chair isn't an express ( it's an old fashioned triple chair) but I think I am allowed a little poetic licence given the awesome day I have had, of which more later.

We had about 7 cms of fresh overnight and the base is creeping up towards 185 cms. Temps to start were -6 in the valley and were about the same as we drove away and my guess is that they didn't change much during the day. Up the mountain I saw temps of -8/9 but I guess that up Polar Peak it was way colder and when you factor in wind chill it wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't as low as -15. the weather was overcast with light flurries all day which didn't really give any accumulations but did keep everything fresh and looking nice and Christmasy.

I went to the New Side partly because I thought the best snow would be there but mostly because my inside information told me that we would be getting Polar Peak today. The drop from Timber Top to White Pass load was all day through Lift Line or Big Bang or some combination of the two. It was ok soft snow with a few sketchy ice patches but overall very good.

I looped the New Side waiting for Polar Peak -
Decline/Window chutes - nice soft snow with no new tracks in the top and very deep snow through the trees and in the chute
Cougar Glades/Stag Leap - Cougar had no new tracks and you could even find some untracked lines in the trees to the left. The lower part of Stag was surprisingly untwiggy and skied ok on the left side.
Stag Leap - encouraged by our experience in the lower section we hit Stag top to bottom and the upper skiing was really good and lightly tracked and the lower was as before.
Touque Chutes/Spinal Tap - Great soft snow skiing in the chutes and after a short traverse into the creek bed it was good tight deep snow creek bed skiing.
Skydive - as always great terrain hugging soft snow in the top and the lower section is getting almost mellow in places.

I was about to go to lunch when they opened Polar Peak. We had thought that maybe we would only get the Coaster side but in the event we got the full Polar Chutes all the way across. The snow was super deep as it had not been skied at all this season and with only a few small icy patches to catch you out the rest was very deep (and when I first got in) untracked powder. The viz wasn't great and got worse during the afternoon but this didn't bother me and just served to keep some of the more timid skiers out.

I hit Grand Papa Bear, Barely Legal and Papa Bear 3 times each so a total of 9 runs - all great deep powder skiing. I ran to a very late lunch via Mama Bear and then Touque Chutes and Spinal Tap which were just as good as before.

After lunch I had very little time but went back up to Polar peak and had 2x Grand Papa and 1x Papa Bear. It was time to close on Polar so my run off was via Baby Bear which was just as good as all the other chutes. A quick trip round Trespass Trail to White Pass via Currie Glades (very mellow) gave me a chance for a last rip down through Surprise Trees which were surprisingly lightly tracked.

Final run was Skydive of course which was just as good as earlier in the day. We had beers with buddies in the Griz Bar and then had awell deserved hot tub on the back deck in snow that was still lightly falling and temps of -7. A near perfect day in  my view with 14 runs down Polar Chutes.

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