Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Day 27 a nice day

I'm afraid that's it folks, not an awesome day, or a ripper day, or any other kind of hyped up day but just a nice day's skiing in Fernie which is good enough for me.

There was no new snow overnight and the hill was reporting 2 cms but it was far from clear if this referred to a new overnight fall or yesterday's afternoon skiff - I suspect the latter. Temps were called for as -4 over the whole hill all day. On the way to the hill my truck was telling me it was -8 and on the deck now I am getting -4 but that is not the whole story. We had hazy sunshine all day which gave some very flat light in shaded areas which only improved when the conditions clouded over as they did from time to time. Up the hill temps warmed considerably and I think we saw +1 or maybe +2 in places on the New Side during the afternoon.

People's memories seem to be remarkably short. Everyone was going on about how nice it was that the temps were so warm and so much warmer than forecast. Don't they remember that this is exactly how things started to go wrong in January last year leading to rain, freezing ice surfaces and the worst conditions in living memory. I am not saying that it's going to happen but it's just that in an El Nino year I would not be so happy that things are coming through much warmer than forecast as everyone else seems to be - time for a serious reality check.

Lynda was having another day on the hill and skiing very well on her new hip. As a result I had a pretty mellow morning making sure that everything was going well. We started with runs down Bear and then the Bear bumps on the right and the Sun Up shoulder, also nicely bumped. We cruised round various runs such as North Ridge while I took detours in such places as Boom Ridge (soft twiggy bumps) Linda's (soft bumps) while Lynda stuck to groomers. I had a couple of runs back through Kangaroo which now has warning signs at the top presumably because of the drop off on to the cat track half way down - it skied fine as long as you took care..

New lift line was also soft bumps in flat light and then it was time for a run down Boomerang before heading over to the New Side. Lift Line was much harder bump skiing than yesterday and was as always the only route from Timber Top to White Pass load. We had a couple of runs back through White Pass and the best snow was in the Gun Bowl and the I bowl which were all soft bumps. For lunch we hit out on the Reverse Traverse and dropped off the Skydive Traverse into the newly gladed areas in the Currie Chutes and had some very mellow bump skiing.

After lunch I was on my own and went up the New Side and straight to Polar Peak. Just as has been the case for the past few days the Polar Chutes were closed but by cutting sharp left off Shale Slope you could access most of the chutes without crossing any sign lines. I had a couple of loops down Grand Papa Bear which was firm big bumps and great if unforgiving skiing. Next I hit all the way hard left off Shale and ended up in the top of Mama Bear which was filled in with great untracked wind sift and provided great steep firm but taking and edge skiing.

After all that tense and technical Polar activity I decided I had earned a rest and just dropped Decline which is still good terrain skiing but with the bumps a bit firmer than they have been and the first couple of turns in the top rather more icy. I linked up with a buddy for the next loop and we hit Touque chutes which were full of soft snow and then cut right into Spinal Tap which remains full of soft snow and is good skiing but a bit technical in the last few turns in and out of the stream bed avoiding the twigs. Next I hiked up to Lone Fir and it was great skiing even in the chute with only a couple of icy patches waiting to ambush you. The cushion below was super deep and lower Easter bowl was great bump skiing as was the exit through Freeway.

Last time up White Pass and we decided that we had just enough time for a ripper back to the load which we did with a couple of minutes to spare so I guess technically it wasn't last time up after all. Of course Skydive was the last run and tonight we had 6 of us in the Skydive club which is a record so far this season but I am sure it will be exceeded as the season wears on. A really nice run down in the usual mixture of conditions.

As I said, a nice day's skiing but with me feeling very nervous about the warming trend which I am promised will end soon.

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