Saturday, March 14, 2015

Day 100 it rained

Not much else to say but "it rained" as it did in spectacular fashion - we currently have a rainfall warning for the Elk Valley calling for 40 mm today and another 20mm overnight. It started raining around 7 this morning, it has rained (hard) all day without a break and it is still raining as I look out on the hot tub cover on my back deck. Perhaps it's going to rain forever, it certainly feels like it.

We went to the hill in temps of +8, and in case you didn't pick up on the theme of tonight's symposium, in poring rain. It rained all over the hill from top to bottom. For a brief time up at the top of White Pass we had some intermittent very wet snow. The rain mixed with this wet snow so we got a small accumulation of pure elephant snot which had the effect of stopping you more or less dead when you skied into it. This only affected a very small area at the top of the hill and for the vast majority of the time we were skiing on what had been a firm surface but was now softening under the relentless rain.

Unfortunately I had not checked out my famous plastic rain gear which had kept me so dry during the last big rain cycle about a month ago. The plastic pants were torn beyond repair so I had to rely on my normal ski pants to keep me dry and lets just say they weren't really up to the job. The yellow plastic jacket was ok and kept me dry above the waist and I just had to accept that the gloves were going to get soaked.

We went to the Old Side and poked around Bear, Arrow and other places in Lizard bowl. It was raining but the viz was ok and the skiing surface was nice and soft but the available skiing was disappearing fast. We went out into Cedar Bowl where it was closed from just beyond Cruiser so we ran down Cruiser and Lower Cedar Centre which were both getting thin but the skiing surface was just like elsewhere nice and soft. We ran back through Lower North Ridge and then Cedar Trail to Lower Kodiak to get to the Boom load. This was actually rather like skiing off the glacier when we have been summer skiing - having to pick your way at not much more than walking pace through a myriad of obstructions, actually quite good fun. We went to the New Side.

On the New Side the ski down to White Pass load was via Puff which was soft in the rain and skiing very nicely. I did a White Pass loop and found that it was a little socked in at the top and as described the first few turns were in a thin covering of elephant snot. Gun bowl was still quite firm but taking an edge and by the time I had got to Quite Right it was back to soft easy skiing all the way to the load. I decided to run off via Easter Bowl (which was open) on the grounds that as far as I could see it was the only way to get down without having to walk part of the way other than taking the Timber down load. It was actually quite hard getting out to Easter as the skis (now back on the Sally rock skis) were running very slow in the conditions. Easter was surprisingly firm all the way down but taking an edge and after that I ran to a late lunch.

I was soaked where the rain had come through my pants and gloves so for the first time this year I quit at lunch time. I took advantage of some free time in the afternoon to re-equip myself with appropriate rain gear in case these conditions continue and I certainly don't want to have to cut short a day's skiing again. I went to the warehouse and bought some triple layered and fleece lined heavy duty rubber gloves and some heavy duty rubberised dungarees. The clothing seems to have been designed for working on the rigs up north and is not very trendy ski gear but I bet it keeps me dry.

So it's off to the pub for some good warming food and some beers. Tomorrow looks like it will be more of the same but maybe turning colder tomorrow night to the point where we might get some snow - we can but hope.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Day 99 still getting away with it - just

Yes, in the face of a host of factors acting to the contrary we actually had some good skiing in spring conditions today. Of course the forecast calls for a minimum of 30 mm of rain over the weekend (some of this may actually fall as snow for a short while at the snow plot but don't be fooled by any claims of new snow/powder etc) which may present a whole new level of challenges but for the time being the day was ok - but only ok, so let's not get carried away.

It was about +2 on the way to the hill and hazy. During the day it eventually became bluebird and from low plus temps all morning we suddenly experienced a real change at around 1 o'clock when temps rocketed particularly in the direct sunlight. Driving away from the hill it was still +11 and sunny so no sign of any rain yet. All over the hill we had temps of around +6.

The effect of the conditions on the snow was that with hazy cold conditions to start with everything was rather hard and icy. We poked around the Old Side on the limited number of groomers open and noted that most of the lower mountain was now shut and there were very few runs back to the Bear Chair or the base. It seems to me that there has been a significant change to the policy on opening areas which does not seem to have been announced or debated anywhere. In the past if runs were ugly and icy warning signs were put up and individuals could decide if and when it was a good idea to ski them. Now it seems that a decision is being taken not to open areas when they are icy (Boom and Sunny Side today) and then they are only opened when they become soft and easy to ski and if it is decided that they remain icy (Cedar Ridge) then they are not opened. This shift away from people taking personal responsibility seems to have rather crept up on us without anyone really having debated it's desirability.

After some loops on a softening Lizard side in the limited number of runs we hit out towards Snake Ridge where we hit it just right - hard but starting to take an edge. We looped Snake three times and it was great spring skiing. Exits were via Lower North Ridge which was decidedly sketchy and may only have a couple of days life left in it, First loop back the Bear had to be down Bear as Boom was closed but the next two were via Boom which was skiing soft and easy by the time it was opened - see above remarks.

After lunch I headed up the New Side and arrived at Polar just in time for them to be opening the Polar Chutes for only the second time this year. It was very warm and sunny by that time and the chutes were starting to get bit fluid in places. In a strange reversal of normality (and what else would you expect in a crazy year like this) Papa Bear had some significant rocks showing which cost me a big core shot and Grand Papa Bear was soft deep snow all the way down with some nice soft bumps skiing in the lower section. I only tried Barely Legal once as the chutes out through the rocks were very sketchy with lots of rocks showing. I did try the chute on the shoulder between Papa and Mama Bear which is tight and steep and I used to be about the only one to ski it to the point that people started to call it Bill's chute a few years back. It was still there, steep, unskied and untracked.

After an afternoon playing off Polar we ran Spirit Bear (hardly skied and very soft) followed by Concussion and the a Trespass loop back to White Pass. Just time for a quick White Pass loop then a run to base through a very mellow Alpha Centauri then , Diamond Back (rocks showing) Summer Road (large bare patches to avoid) Sib Ridge (getting a bit thin in places) and the ski out ( just turning to brown snowless patches in places ) and finally to base.

Beers on the locals deck in warm sunshine and some good ski chat. A quiet night in dreading what this weekend may hold.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Day 98 a public service announcement

In the spirit of helpfulness and cooperation (for which I am famous) I thought I would direct the first paragraph tonight to whomsoever it is on the hill that is responsible for maintaining web cams. In the past couple of weeks the web cam at the Bear load has accidentally been tilted so that instead of showing the conditions around the Bear load (which it has done for the past several years) it is pointing up the hill and just showing the snow on the Lizard Head Wall. I am sure now that I have made you aware of this problem things will soon be corrected. Of course there are a few cynical conspiracy theorists who are suggesting that the camera has been deliberately re-angled so it doesn't show the really ugly conditions around the Bear load but I will have no truck with such suggestions, it is outrageous to suggest that anyone could act in such a devious way.

Today was really strange. Overnight temps stayed high so that on the way to the hill it was +8 which is about the warmest starting temp I can ever remember. It was overcast and threating rain which thank goodness never turned up and stayed that way all day. Temps all over the hill were around +5 or just above and didn't move all day giving atmospheric warming all over the hill. The result was that surfaces softened all day irrespective of their aspect.

As I had a 90% Old Side day yesterday I decided to go straight to the New Side as I had the feeling that everything would have softened in the plus temps over night and the skiing would be good. I was right and as a result I spent the whole day on the New Side except for the end of the loops which spat me back into Lizard Bowl as part of the ski out.

First drop of the day was from Timber Top to White Pass base through Puff where the bumps were now taking a nice edge and as a result this was the only way down we took all day in ever softening conditions. We looped White Pass many times as both Knot Chutes and Polar Peak were closed and remained so all day. The top of White Pass was totally socked in although by about the fourth loop through the cloud base had lifted so that all we had to contend with was flat light. Loops included the Gun Bowl (soft bumps every time) I bowl (ditto) Surprise Trees ( rather varied but soft for the most part) Quite Right Bumps (getting soft) and the lines down under the lift which were also soft and ok despite no direct sunlight.

We could delay it no more and we headed out in Currie Bowl fearing that the sign line would be down on the far side of Currie Powder and we would be compelled to run back to base on groomers. Our fears were unfounded as the Reverse Traverse was open with a clear hand written sign to say that Easter Bowl was open but the Big 3 were closed, so guess what, we skied Easter for the rest of the day and stayed out of the Big 3 - it's not really rocket science. Easter was ok on the parts that had been hard but just like the other places I have skied over the past few days like Skydive (when it was clearly open) the old sift in the troughs had firmed up and was slabby and grabby. Over all ok skiing but you did have to pay attention.

We went back and had a couple more White Pass loops as before and then ran to lunch through Easter which was still skiing the same. I remain puzzled at the closure of Freeway which is the obvious exit from Easter and has good coverage but as it was closed I did not ski it no matter how much sense it made to do so. I skied out every time along a sign line above China Might directing us into some very marginal cat track skiing, but if that is what they want who am I to question.

In the afternoon it was just a series of New Side Easter loops with the occasional White Pass loop back through the Gun Bowl and Surprise Trees - both ok firm snow taking an edge. The one mistake I made was to see if the Easter opening included Lone Fir. The side step up was open but when I got to the top the chutes were closed so I couldn't ski them - that's what closed means. I did have a run down Cornice Chute to the Skydive Traverse which was soft and although not long was probably the best skiing of the day. The day finished with a final Easter loop so late that I actually got in there after sweep.

Beers of course and temps of +12 as we drove away from the hill. Took advantage of the warm dry conditions to get all the Christmas lights off the deck and the trees outside so that's another grotty job done for another year. They are forecasting sun for tomorrow and rain for the weekend - don't know which will finish the hill off fasted, let's see.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Day 97 stop telling lies

Tonight's message is pretty simple, those people who are telling lies about me know who they are, they know why they are doing it, more importantly I know who they are and why they are doing it and this is their first and only warning to stop unless they want to walk into a shit storm of unimaginable proportions.

The lies that they are putting about is that over the past two days when I have been skiing Skydive and Decline I have been skiing closures. This is totally untrue - on every occasion I have gone out to one of the Big Three I have never passed a closure sign and for the past two days all of the Big Three have been open according to the signage on the hill - if the signage does not reflect the intention of the hill that is hardly my fault, I am not a mind reader. When I have skied these runs it has been with buddies who can witness the truth of what I am saying. To suggest that we have been skiing closures is a plain and simple lie. If anyone wants to debate this with me they know where to find me and I will deal with it head on if they have the balls, which I very much doubt. Rant over.

Today was an interesting variation on a theme in that we had no new snow but conditions were over cast and not bluebird. Temps on the way to the hill were around zero but they were clearly warming during the day, The interesting feature was that warming was atmospheric and not as a result of direct sunlight so surfaces warmed equally irrespective of their aspect which was quite unlike the previous few days. During the day atmospheric temps over the hill were about +6 which was enough to soften many surfaces but didn't give the super warm mush on south facing surfaces that we have seen.

We went to the Old Side and had a run or two down Bear which was becoming soft and very bare on skiers left. Sunny Side shoulder was softening but not as quickly as it had in the sun but some nice skiing on a firm surface taking an edge. We then hit out to Snake Ridge for three loops where it never got soft but was firm taking and edge and a great skiing surface. We had to cut out right to Cedar Centre as the lower section was closed and we don't ski closures - morons please note. We looped back via Lower Linda's which was getting very thin and last time through via Boom bowl (skiing very smooth and fast on soft snow) as it hadn't been opened before and we don't ski closures - morons please note.

We went to the New Side to see what it was like and were totally disappointed. Polar Peak was closed, as were the Knot Chutes, I guess because things were a bit colder up there and surfaces were icy. As if to prove a point I looped back through the Gun Bowl which was hard crusty reformed ice and about as ugly as you could get, I actually had to pay attention all the way down. I had hoped to drop the Big Three again but the sign line was down all along the skiers left of Currie Power and I couldn't cross it and get out along the Reverse Traverse as we don't ski closures - morons please note.

We had lunch at the excellent Big Bang Bagels - the Mr Fernie with added bacon on a wheat onion and garlic bagel just has to be illegal as it tastes so good. I went back to the Old side. I forgot to mention that this morning the best run had been in Freeway gully and then Freeway itself which had been a bit ribby in the top but just perfect soft snow low down - I did it twice. Well first run after lunch if anything it was even better,

I then started to loop out and did a couple of Snake Ridge loops which were just setting up a bit more than before but still smooth and taking a very easy edge. All circuits in the afternoon were completed via Boom bowl which I was able to ski as it was open and it was very good. I thought it was a mistake to have Cedar Ridge closed as even though it was North facing the atmospheric warming should have mad it good. I got in by skiing Alpine Way to the point where the sign line was up and then traversing back as I don't ski closures - morons please note. It skied ok, with a hard base but with some tricky slabby sift, in fact rather like Skydive when I first went in two days ago.

I then got adventurous and headed out to the Fish Bowl where I had the near chutes which were firm smooth, untracked and taking and edge, The cut out to Red Tree was a little twiggy but good skiing low down. Next loop I tried Steep and Deep which was just fantastic smooth spring skiing. I have avoided the lower sections for the past few days on the grounds that I didn't think there was way out and as it turns out I was more or less right. I did manage to get out after some serious bush whacking and some tight edge to edge jumping but it was hard to really call it skiing.

I just had time for a quick rip off Bear to finish and almost garrotted myself in Freeway as a closure line had been strung across and I wasn't really paying attention. I am sure the skiing would still have been good in there but I side stepped out into what was probably worse conditions as I don't ski closures - morons please note.

So in summary another amazingly good day considering conditions but more closures and less terrain all the time. You may rest assured that if anyone does have the balls to (wrongly) accuse me of poaching to my face then the results of the conversation will be recorded her in capitals.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Day 96 the good that cometh out of evil

Yes, more biblical stuff from me in support of an account of a good day's skiing. The evil of course was another really warm day which had the hill continuing to dribble away to nothing at least a month ahead of time. The good that comethed was that this warm weather allowed the Polar Chutes to be opened for the first time this season all the way across from Grand Papa Bear to Goldilocks and for them to stay open all day from the time they were first opened at about 11 this morning.

No new snow over night and on the way to the hill it was -1 which is why we didn't rush ourselves to get there. It was a bluebird day (as usual) and temps started to rise quickly in the direct sunlight and even quite fast in the shade. During the day I noticed temps of +10 at the White Pass load, +3 at the Polar load and significant plus temps everywhere else. Even on the drive away from the hill after several beers (Lynda was dd of course) it was still +12.

The result of all this was that things started to soften fast and stay that way all day. Bear was soft early on and getting thin. We looped Sunny Side shoulder several times and it was soft straight off the bat and downright mushy after the fourth loop. A trip out to Snake Ridge confirmed that we had hit it dead right and the surface was just starting to soften on a hard frozen base (classic corn snow conditions) and we had a great rip down but had to cut out to Cedar Centre which was skiing slick but ok. Loops were through Lower Linda's (very ribby and with bare patches) and Boom bowl which was also great soft melted snow skiing.

Next Snake loop was a bit softer so the next time through I went adventuring into Gorby Bowl which was soft flat corn snow and then cut left into Steep and Deep which was much the same and great skiing. I didn't think there would be an exit from Steep and Deep so I did some bush whacking on the hard left to get back into Redtree which was rather icy and not much good. Returns to the Bear were via the normal route described above and as most of the morning had gone we decide to head to the New Side.

At the Timber load we were told that the Polar Chutes had just opened for the first time this year so we headed there as quickly as possible. The sun had softened the snow in the chutes and everything up on Polar was not only skiable but skiing just about as easily as I can ever remember the chutes skiing. Put simply, if you couldn't ski the Polar Chutes in the mellow condition that they were in today then you never will be able to.  We looped so many times that I lost count, but at least 3x Papa Bear, 3x Grand Papa Bear and 3x Barely Legal -  think it was actually more than that but I don't want to get carried away. They were all great soft snow on a firm base and easy mellow spring skiing.

We ran to a very late lunch well after 2 o'clock via Spirit Bear which you could access without having to negotiate the usual rock garden and it skied so sweet. We skied off the hill via Decline as my guess was that the lower section would be better than Skydive and I was right. There were no tracks in Decline and the top half was wind slab on a hard base which skied ok. The bottom half softened up to the point where it was taking a nice edge on a firm base and the only problem were the alders which were quite thick but way better than on Skydive - last little pitch was mostly clear and awesome skiing on soft snow on a firm base.

After Lunch we just had time for two loops on Polar - Grand Papa (just starting to set up) and Spirit Bear (just as good as before) before we took Trespass Trail back to White Pass. There was just time for a White Pass rip before we headed out and finished with another run down Decline which if anything skied even better than before. In the name of tradition we did consider Skydive but Decline was so much better that the head took control over the heart and Decline it was.

Of course beers on the sun deck and thoughts on the future. Sib Ridge on the New Side is almost finished as a ski off and it looks like only Falling Star may be available by the end of the week. this could come to a head in the next two days when we have precip in the forecast and from the anticipated temps it won't be coming down as snow. No problem for me as the Big Three still are in good shape, if a bit challenging, so they will be my route off the hill if things go pear shaped - let's see.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Day 95 Captain's log supplemental

Those fans of the original Star Trek series (and let's face it is there really any other one) will remember that this is what Captain James T Kirk would always preface his entries in his log with when basically he had forgotten something. Well. the same goes for me. Over the past couple of days it occurs to me that I have missed out a couple of small but important runs that I took and life would not be complete if I didn't correct those omissions and gave credit to the hill for new openings.

Two days ago I should have mentioned that they opened Surprise Trees for the first time in God knows how long and we went out and skied it after one of our Knot Chute drops. It was just about ok with soft stuff in the light and a bit stiffer in the shadows under the trees. Yesterday for the first time in ages one of the Clown Chutes (and just one, Crusty) was open off Polar Peak late afternoon. It was a fairly steep drop in but skied very soft in the chute with some rather chunky soft death cookies - now everyone is up to date.

Today it was just about minus temps overnight but +4 on the way to the hill. During the day it was bluebird to start with but some high cloud during the day clearing back to bluebird by the end. All over the hill we were seeing plus temps such as +8 at the White Pass load and +3 at Polar load although there was a strong cold wind which threatened to close Polar Chair (cut off velocity is 70 kph) everything was getting soft very fast and staying that way. When Lynda drove to the hill to meet me tonight (she only skied a half day) she was getting +14 readings on the truck and other sources confirm this was probably just about right.

The effect of these temps on the hill was fairly predictable in that everything softened (particularly those surfaces facing the sun) very quickly and even those surfaces in the shade softened to some degree in the atmospheric warming. We went to the Old Side and after a rip down the Bear (which is actually becoming very Bare) to confirm the conditions we had three or four loops on Sunny Side shoulder which was nice and soft but getting a bit twiggy.

We spent the rest of the morning looping Snake Ridge three times with slightly different lines all of which skied very easily on a smooth corn snow base. We had to ski out back to Lower Cedar Centre which rather surprisingly was rather good and taking an edge. Loops back were through Lower Linda's which was getting thin and Boom bowl where they dropped the fence just as I got there and skied just beautifully and soft on the sun affected skiers left.

Before a late lunch we headed to the New Side for a Peak to Creek run (Polar Peak to Lizard Creek) and found some great skiing, One Clown Chute (Crusty) was open and I dropped in. It was steep in the top and today there was a huge exposed rock just where you wanted to drop. In the event I dropped below the rock giving me far more speed than I actually wanted but bleeding it off through the soft snow in the chute was good fun,. We cut all the way across and took Goldilocks which was hardly tracked. On a whim I skied out and traversed into the top of Skydive where I had not been for more than a month and where I knew the skiing would be testing. There was one set of tracks in ahead of me which I guess belonged to Patrol. The top two sections were ok hard surfaces which were not too uneven and just about took an edge with some sift which was rather slabby. The final pitch was real piece of work with lots of undergrowth although probably no worse than lower Boom Ridge but at least soft. The final exit was made loads of fun by the groomers having stripped out the snow to push down the hill so the exit tracks were hard work and needed very precise skiing to get through - just the sort of thing I like.

After a late lunch it was back up White Pass for a Knot Chute/I bowl loop (Tight Knot of course) and then on to a couple of Polar loops through the Coaster and under the lift. We ran to base through Spirit Bear and Alpha Centauri which by now were soft easy skiing. The ski off was ok but Lower Sib Ridge only has a day or two of life left in it if I am any judge of the situation. We went back to the Knot Chutes but after a couple of loops we decided it was time to go when all the ski school groups showed up. Another Polar loop and a run to base through Goldilocks/Alpha Centauri and it was time for last run.

With Skydive now available there was obviously only one way to come off the hill at 4 o'clock although there were only two takers today - good to see you there Steve. To describe what we did down Skydive as a rip would be overstating the case but we came down in pretty good order and a lot faster than my earlier run having skied it earlier in the day and now knowing what to expect. Great to be finishing on Skydive once again but the only tracks in there in front of us were the morning's tracks of me and the Patrol and it certainly isn't for the faint hearted.

Good beers on the locals deck in the sun and then we decamped to the Rusty Edge to take advantage of their beer and burger deal for 10 bucks. I have to say that when you get these kind of deals the burger often is a bit sub standard to put it mildly but not in this case. The burger was excellent quality as were the fries and this looks like the outstanding deal of the season to me - we will be back next week. The hill is still on the edge of falling apart in the lower sections and it remains to be seen what they will have for us tomorrow.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Day 94 another very good day's spring skiing

Yes, we had another good days skiing today while the base continued to dribble away. As I have said, how many day's this can go on for is anyone's guess but at least for the moment we are getting traditional spring skiing with boiler plate first thing turning to soft snow and then mush later in the day.

Do I need to say no new snow over night, a bluebird day, the base down to 136 cms and everything looking very spring like. It was a bit of a slow start for a number of reasons. The main reason was that last night the clocks came forward for Summer Daylight saving so we lost an hour overnight and getting up at 7 when it is really 6 in the morning is no easy task. Nobody told the sun that we had changed the clocks so the softening process didn't start until an hour later than yesterday. Overnight things got much colder than the day before (-5 on the way to the hill) so that it was always going to take longer for things to soften even if we hadn't had any of the other factors in play.

As I said it was -5 on the way to the hill but things warmed up pretty quickly so that by mid afternoon we were getting +7 at the White Pass load and even +2 at the Polar load. In the direct sunlight it must have been getting a lot warmer but particularly up Polar Peak there was a very cold wind which kept the surface temps of the snow down to the point where Shale Slope couldn't be opened due to the hard skiing surface.

We went to the Old Side and after few groomer loops we tried the Sunny Side shoulder. This turned out well as the first couple of turns on the top surface not directly facing the sun were very crunchy and remained so for some time. The surface put off many prospective skiers who didn't realise that just over the shoulder things softened to perfect spring skiing if a little twiggy in places. We put in many runs down the face while no one else appeared to realise what they were missing.

We then hit out for three loops of Snake Ridge which skied as well as I could have hoped for in soft spring snow although you did have to cut back on to Cedar Centre for the ski out. Lower Linda's was ugly ungroomed ice so after the first time we always ran back through Lower North Ridge which was a bit bare but ok. Returns to Bear load were always via Sunny Side which continued to ski soft and deserted. We went to lunch.

After lunch it was up the New Side to find that everything was softening just like yesterday and a loop through the Gun Bowl and the I Bowl (far side) showed just how soft and mellow things were. Next we did a couple of loops through the Knot Chutes always using Tight Knot as everything else just looked too easy in the soft snow to provide an interesting challenge.

We then went to Polar peak where only the Coaster was open with the traverse back under the chair. We did this several times in soft easy snow. We then hit out to Concussion via Spirit Bear which was very lightly tracked and skiing well. Alpha Centauri/ Concussion was also soft, and smooth in the melted snow but as yesterday we had to cut back along the fence line to exit via Trespass Trail and Lower Sib Ridge - now the only way off that side of the hill other than Falling Star.

We went back and did more White Pass loops via Gun Bowl and I bowl which were now super mellow soft snow that even my granny could have skied - and she's dead !! We went up Polar for more soft mellow loops before running to base via Spirit Bear again and the steep Concussion Chute (Severe Concussion) which was soft and easy. After that it was the usual ski out with the proviso that the route down Summer Road had to be straight lined on the side to avoid all the mush.

Just time for a final White Pass loop via Gun Bowl (still soft) and I bowl (ditto) before taking a final run through Alpha Centauri/ Concussion which was setting up a little but not too bad.

As always, too many beers and some good skiing talk in the Griz. On the way back from the hill it was +10 (no kidding) and the forecast is now saying that for the next 14 days at no time will the temps drop below zero in the valley at any time of the day or night. What we will be skiing on or where we will be skiing it if this forecast is right is anyone's guess.