Monday, January 4, 2016

Day 25 a rather quieter day

Well of course things were a lot quieter today as the holiday crowds had gone home and if you took out the Non Stop groups here were very few of us fare paying customers skiing the hill.

Personally I had a quieter day because after all my friends have succumbed I have been stricken by the Fernie Flu. Well of course it isn't flu it's just a bad cold and I am usually very hard on anyone who gets a cold describing it as flu - I have had real flu just once in my life and it laid me low for 4 weeks and the kind of cold that people describe as flu isn't even in the same ball park. That having been said I can't resist the alliteration. I suppose I could go and ski Kimberley and say I have the Kimberley Cold but quite frankly that seems going a bit far just to maintain linguistic verisimilitude.

We have been promised the disappearance of the inversion in temps in the Elk Valley and today was the the day it almost happened - tomorrow should be back to normal with the dry adiabatic lapse rate of air going back to the norm of 2 degrees for every thousand feet gained. It was about -11 on the way to the hill and reported as -8 on top for most of the day. Driving back from the hill we had temps of -8 in the valley and that seems to be where we will start from tomorrow with mountain temps not much difference. We are now facing a warming trend between now and the end of the week which may give us temps of -2 by Friday and maybe a little precip overnight on some of the nights.

Last night we had 2 cms of fresh snow reported but when I got to the hill it seemed a little more to me - maybe we had something between the report of the snow data and first turn. The surprising thing was the effect of what was very little snow had on the skiing. despite being only a skiff of snow the new stuff gave a great surface that took and edge and even on the icy surfaces you were able to get a much better edge than yesterday.At the start we had some rather unpleasant freezing rain which covered your goggles each run but that soon stopped and we just ended up with the odd light flurry off and on for the rest of the day.

Lynda was skiing today so we went to the Old Side for some gentle skiing which suited my medical condition. We looped around Bear and North Ridge a few times which were soft untracked groomers. During the morning we dropped New Lift Line and Boomerang both of which skied ok with firm bumps much improved by the new snow. I had a couple of runs through Kangaroo which was a bit sketchy. The main problem in Kangaroo was that last nights grooming on Cedar Trail (crosses Kangaroo about half way down) had cut into the uphill slope so there was a minimum 3 ft drop off onto the trail. The snow removed in this operation had been pushed down so that the first two turns in the lower section were in cat debris, Tough skiing but an entirely self inflicted wound.

Mid morning we headed over to the New Side and skied numerous loops off White Pass chair back through High Line, Quite Right etc. The snow was good but the light came and went as it did all day when the sun came out to shine through a misty haze giving a load of diffused white light - very flat light. Last run before lunch was Concussion/Alpha Centauri which we dropped off the Reverse Traverse and had nice bumps coming at us in the right spacing all the way down.

After lunch Lynda was still skiing so we looped White Pass a couple more times where everything remained lightly tracked all day. We ran to base mid afternoon through Alpha Centauri once a again and the skiing was good.

Lynda left the hill and I picked up with some buddies for a bit of skiing. We hit a couple more White Pass loops which were very mellow in big bumps (particularly Quite Right)  -

Decline - very mellow soft bumps all the way down
Polar Peak - we did the first few turns in Shale slope then hit left into Grand Papa Bear chute which was hard bumps but with the new untracked soft stuff on top.
Concussion - still skiing well in soft bumps.

This just left us the usual final run down Skydive. Today we had 4 takers and it was great fun skiing, read any one of the last few days reports on conditions as nothing has really changed. A few beers in the (very quiet) Griz Bar and then home for an early night to try and shake this cold. Hopefully I will be up for some rather more extreme skiing tomorrow.

I have a feeling I may have missed out a few runs here but I am so dosed up on cold cure anything is possible - apologies in advance,

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