Thursday, January 7, 2016

Day 28 one of my biggest days

What made today one of my biggest days skiing wasn't just the new snow although that helped (of which more later) but where we skied. I linked up from the outset with my ski buddy Brad and we are really a rather bad influence on each other. We push each other to ski steeper tougher pitches all the time and to go way faster in the process. The result was really big day in some pretty good conditions.

On the radio this morning they gave a snow warning for the East Kootenays calling for up to 15 cms of fresh snow. The bad news was that this seemed to centred to the west of us and in the event whilst we got snow most of the day it was not in the forecast quantities. We had 2 cms overnight and during the light snow which continued all day I would guess we got another 6 which had a great effect on improving the hill particularly as practically no one was here. The good news is that they are calling for another 4-8 tonight although sitting in the hot tub about half an hour ago there didn't seem to be much coming down.

On the way to the hill temps were -4/5 and stayed that way all over the hill. The snow was coming down light and dry and continued all day to a greater or lesser degree giving the figures quoted above. The result on the skiing conditions was that we got a good covering of new snow on a variable base and where the new snow fell on soft snow it was really good. Everything just got better as the day went on snow accumulated and by the end of the day we had some serious slough management issues on some slopes. In summary everything just got better and better.

Here goes for a run down of a day of serious ripping. We went to the New Side and found the light a bit flat and so tree skiing was always going to first choice. Drops from Timber top the White Pass load were mostly through Lift Line but we did go left into Puff Trees and right into Big Bang all of which was excellent skiing with many untracked lines. After that it was -
Cougar Glades/Stag Leap - First tracks in fresh powder getting quite deep in the trees. The lower part of Stag was much improved by the new snow.
Touque Chutes/Spinal Tap - First tracks in deeper snow all the way down. The creek bed was bit firmer than yesterday but the new snow made for great slough surfing in the chute
Decline/Window Chutes - First tracks, soft bump skiing in fresh snow down Decline to the trail then a drop into the chutes which were really filling in with the new snow, even the choke skied ok on the way out.
Lone Fir - First tracks, very deep snow in the top of the chute and most of the scratchy bits covered, great deep snow on the cushion below. The exit through Easter bowl and Freeway was pretty poor light but nice soft snow with plenty of untracked lines.
Skydive -as last run before lunch we took Skydive and disaster of disasters there was one track in there in front of us. Luckily the boarder had cut a tight line down the centre so we cut equally tight lines either side to get fresh tracks and still leave as much as possible for those following - only an asshole trashes more powder than they need and spoils it for those coming after. Great powder and the lower section while still twiggy was much improved.

After a quick lunch we headed out again -
Anaconda/ Bootleg Glades - the snow was really building up and Anaconda 4/5 was great, particularly after the exit from the trees. Bootleg was nicely filled in to the left of the main area.
Stag Leap - it occurred to us that we hardly ever ski Stag from the top as we usually cut in from Cougar Glades. We had first tracks through the trees and down the Cougar cut in where we found a few (but not many) tracks and the lower section was getting really mellow although still a little twiggy.
Easter Meadow/One Step Beyond - take your choice for the name of the chute, it's just beyond Lone Fir and is steeper and tighter than Lone Fir which itself is steeper and tighter than any of the Saddles. Great skiing with slough management being the main issue. The final chute took a few hard edge to edge jumps to get through but the skiing underneath was soft and deep. We exited via Spinal Tap which was even more filled in and better skiing than the morning.
The Brain/Decline - at this point Brad had to leave me due to family commitments so I tried the top section of the Brain which was untracked and the deepest snow on the hill all day. The drop just above the trail was real over the head face shots. I cut out on to Decline and hit the lower section which was now deep soft bumps with only a few tracks.
Surprise Trees - a fill in run off White Pass on the near shoulder of the trees was untracked. The lower sections had loads of soft snow.
Skydive - last run rip down what was now deep tracked powder and easy fast terrain hugging skiing at maximum speed. After the day I had I was looking for maximum air all the way down and in the final pitch nearly stacked it as a result but just managed to get it back together.

As anyone can see this was really big day with more tough skiing done than I can remember for a long time. Beers of course but home in time for a long soak in the hot tub with a beer. The only worry is that the 4-8 cms tonight does not appear to be materialising but after a day like today who cares - roll on tomorrow.

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