Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Day 20 back to some pretty tough skiing

Overnight we didn't have any new snow to speak of and even the boards at the hill were only claiming 2 cms of fresh. We were offered a range of forecasts for today ranging from sunny and clear to flurries. In the event we got overcast conditions most of the day getting bit brighter towards the end and some very light snow off and on which peaked early afternoon but didn't give us anything that might be described as an accumulation.

Temps were chilly with a start on the way to the hill of -12. They stayed much the same during the day warming maybe a degree or two but for the most part we spent the day in -10 temps all over the hill all day. The crowds which have been 5500 and 5300 for the past two days respectively seemed to be slightly lower but we still had to squeeze into the end of parking lot 2 at 10 to 9 this morning. During the day (as usual) there were a couple of pinch points in the high traffic areas such as the Bear load or the Haul Back load but other than that no hold ups and other skiers were very sparse out at the end of the Reverse Traverse on the New Side. Things would be much improved if they insisted that that the Haul Back was double loaded rather than allowing singles to load at peak times.

Lynda was back testing her new hip for the forth time so we went to the Old Side for some gentle morning skiing. After a quick warm up down Bear which was smooth grooming we poked around on New Lift Line, Cruiser Side, Cedar Ridge, Boomerang doing some runs twice. Nothing very demanding but in most places it was tracked up firm bumps taking an edge. I hit Kangaroo 4 times which was a bit scratchy in places and the drop on to the cat track had to be planned as a far left then right turn manoeuvre.

We went to the New Side and had a few runs back through White Pass where the snow was a bit softer but rather chunky and the light was very flat. Final run before lunch we hit out to Concussion and had some nice firm bump skiing all the way down the main chute and continuing through the gully to the left of Gilmar Trail. We had lunch in an incredibly crowded day lodge where we had to sit in the locker room as the only space available - do the same restrictions that apply to the Griz Bar at busy times also apply to the day lodge I found myself wondering. Lynda was well satisfied with her efforts at rehab.

In the afternoon on my own I hit Cougar Glades which still had plenty of lightly tracked lines and then into Stag Leap which was good bumps taking an edge. Next time round the light had improved so I headed up Polar Peak which proved a big mistake. The chutes were closed due to poor viz so the only way down was the Coaster. In poor viz I hit the Coaster which was ugly crusty ice that was about as forgiving as boiler plate all the way down and has the feel that it will be like that for some time to come - below the cat track it softened and was ok skiing.

I dropped Decline and then Window Chutes all or which were hard packed powder taking and edge - much more hard work than of late. I then looped Triple Trees and had great untracked powder in the pitch down to Trespass Trail and some ok skiing in the two pitches below between Summer Road but a fair bit of dead fall. I have been told of some great glading in Triple Tress but I saw no sign of it - the obvious explanation is that what I call Triple Trees is a variation on the official version and I will be looking into this and reporting back.

Final run was on Skydive which for the record was icy in the bumps at the top, chunky tracked snow in the top pitch,mellow skiing in the flat section and some ok if rather twiggy skiing in the final pitch. A few beers then home for yet another early night, I think I must be getting old.

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