Saturday, December 19, 2015

Day 9 a good day for a weekend powder day

Today was the first really good powder weekend of the season and we all wondered just how busy it would be. Of course as the last weekend before Christmas we expected (hoped) that family pressures would keep some of the crowds away. In the event it was quite busy first thing but after the crowds dissipated from the Timber load in the first 5 minutes of the day there were no real line ups although I can only speak for the New Side because that I where I spent the day.

Part of my New Side bias was because I thought that Polar Peak might open - it didn't but a lot of preparatory work seemed to be going on so I am optimistic that it won't be long before we are skiing the hill from the Peak to the Plazza. Even limiting myself to the New Side there were plenty of fresh lines to be had and even as the day wore on and the crows diminished (most weekend warriors don't have 7 hour legs) there were still fresh lines if you knew where to look.

The snow last night continued for at least 3 hours after the close and we probably got about 20 cms out of the cycle and at least 5 since last nights close. Not that the base has much to do with what we ski on but it is getting on for 170 cms and a very rough yardstick is a 2 metre base by the end of the year would be considered a good snow year. Rather worryingly the temps by morning were much warmer than forecast at about -1 in the valley and -5 up the hill. During the day base temps got to plus figures (maybe +1) but things stayed cold on top (-4) and by the close things were getting much colder so we may have dodged the bullet on that minor warming trend. Conditions all day were overcast with quite poor viz in White Pass to begin with and we had light flurries off and on which never gave anything you could call an accumulation.

The day for us worked out this way and as I have said it was all New Side -
White Pass Quite Right and Lift Line - the fence was closed at the Zig Zag but we got good lightly tracked deep snow in Quite Right and untracked snow in the trees on skiers left under the lift.
Decline - next time up the fence had dropped on Currie bowl so we hit out to the Big Three and chose Decline. It was just as good as last run yesterday with deep untracked snow all the way down and the final pitch now pretty well clear of alders.
Cougar Glades - for whatever reason no one seemed to be  tracking all the way out to the glades and we  had another deep untracked line down Cougar where you could just put your skis in the fall line in the tight trees. The lower section was a bit twiggy but we judged that it would be better than cutting left into lower Stag Leap which we figured would suck until we got a bit more snow
Low Saddle/Easter/ Freeway - The Saddles opened next time and we took Low Saddle. We were second tracks in but on the right cut below the chute we were first tracks and had the run of the season so far in deep untracked chutes as far as the eye could see. Easter was soft deep snow and Freeway had just opened for the first time and was rather lumpy in the top and twiggy low down
Knot Chutes/Anaconda 5/Bootleg Glades - Tight Knot was super deep snow as was Anaconda where your biggest danger was being barreled out by your own slough. Bootleg was open for the first time and the hellter skelter through the trees on skiers left was awesome deep powder. Alders in the lower part of Bootleg have all been cleared out so it was very mellow skiing to the Gilmar Trail.
Touque Chutes - not even sure if these are official dropping off the top of Skydive into the trees to the skiers left. Great deep powder all the way down and quick cut out into Easter to achieve the ski out.
Lone Fir/Spinal Tap - for the first time this year I hiked up to Lone Fir and dropped the chute. As you would expect the chute was a bit tight and technical but the role below was just fantastic soft snow. I cut a traverse across to Spinal Tap more as a personal challenge than anything else.The chute was full of deep snow with few tracks but very skiable. The only problem was that the snow hadn't filled the stream bed so you could only jump half way down before turning out. A bit of work but good fun.

After I very late lunch I had a short afternoon -
High Saddle - very scratchy, icy and hard work but great skiing below in deep powder. The exit via Easter and Freeway was just as before.
Siberia Ridge - I decided to give Sib Ridge a lash and was not disappointed. It was ok in the top section and the choke was no worse than it usually is even with way more snow than we have now.
Decline/Window Chutes - Decline was of course excellent and the drop through the trees to Window chutes had enough snow to have all the dead fall covered. The chute itself was as good as I have ever seen it in tracked powder, even the choke wasn't too scratchy.
Knot Chutes/ Surprise Trees - a quick loop to get our last run on time and we found good deep tracked snow in both areas.

All day drops from Timber top were via Lift Line and Big Bang and the various lines in there had been good. Last run of course was Skydive which was great deep rolling snow and now even the final pitch isn't all that twiggy as long as you stay left.

All in all another good day with more snow forecast over the next few days.

No comments:

Post a Comment