Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Day 5 officially awesome, but why

Yes today's question is why was today so awesome when there was no new snow, at least not until the late day flurries we had in the afternoon. The reason is that we had huge areas of the hill opened up for the first time this season so that we had first tracks of the season all over the hill. The truth is that we were so spoilt for choice that we had to not ski the Knot Chutes (always one of my favourites) because there was so much good stuff to be had in other parts of the hill.

As I said there was no new snow but conditions were overcast and we had a few flurries in the afternoon and some wind sift which gave us a little fill in snow in the areas already open. The forecast is for lots of snow over the next few days so we are getting quite excited, even ignoring that there are areas of the hill that were  not open today such as Polar Peak and the Saddles which should mean some great skiing no matter what happens. The temps had dropped and we had -5 at the base and -7 up the hill most of the day. This meant that the snow stayed in great condition and they were able to make artificial snow on the lower hill all day.

We went to the New Side and had a couple of loops through Puff, Gun Bowl, Highline and Surprise Trees all of which were ok, but not what we were really there for. Mid morning we tracked a buddy from patrol to the edge of the Reverse Traverse and were rewarded by getting the first fence drop on that area for the season. Awesome untracked powder everywhere with a warning of death cookies low down in places. It was a day when I just went from first bell to last bell with no breaks or stopping and as a result had a huge and total awesome day. The day then panned out as -
Decline - awesome untracked skiing and even the lower section was not totally twiggy.
Cougar Glades/Stag Leap - awesome totally untracked skiing in Cougar down to the Megasaurus Trail which showed signs of very recent moose activity. Lower Stag Leap was deep and untracked but very twiggy in the lower section.
Skydive - a couple of tracks in front of us soon lost in the run which was great early season contour hugging skiing. Twiggy but skiable in the lower section.
Cougar Glades - we met up with my buddy Brad and had another run through Cougar Glades which was only a little more tracked than before so the right side in the trees was totally untracked deep powder.
We decided not to ski out in Stag leap but worked our way down through the lower parts to the Bear Connecter where we had heard that Snake Ridge had opened on the Old Side.
Snake Ridge - loads of untracked lines and for the first time in the season we could try the newly cleaned up lower section which made it way better than before when you either had to cut out left or right.
Next Loop Steep and Deep which was great untracked powder most of the way down with a rather technical section towards the end which required a bit of bush whacking.

Both our loops were exited through Kangaroo which with it's new haircut is one of the nicest runs on the Old Side and Boomerang which was still soft snow between all the alders. We went to the New Side to finish off the day.

Skydive - as Brad was leaving the hill it had to be done and was just as good as before and only slightly more tracked up.
Currie Creek - totally awesome untracked powder in the top and then suddenly big death cookies from avi debris which blew off one of my skis at speed but with no lasting ill effects.

Just time for a couple of loops in White Pass where the new flurries and wind sift had softened the surface then it was time for the traditional last run down Skydive. I'm afraid I was the only member of the Skydive club at 4 o'clock so it was a case of the third time down that run in the day and once again it was lightly tracked and awesome but with a few twigs in the lower section..

So overall it was a fantastic day followed by beers with buddies and then a good soak in the hot tub, Tomorrow is forecast to bring more snow and more openings although we are still dealing with early season conditions - no one should under estimate the daily challenge of tree stumps, rocks, alders, death cookies etc which every run still has. On balance things are pretty good and tomorrow should bring even more fun.

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