Sunday, January 10, 2016

Day 31 less than 30 bucks a day but not much else to say

Yes, today the cost of my skiing dropped below 30 bucks a day with hopefully a lot more in the way of reduced average costs to come. The next land mark is 20 bucks a day which occurs at around day 46 and also is the cross over point where my average daily cost of skiing reduces below my average daily cost of beer. By the end of the season I hope to get things down to around 7 bucks a day. Of course next year when I get the seniors pass I see no reason why the average daily cost shouldn't be around 5 bucks meaning that my beer will cost me about 4 times the amount of my skiing which should come as a surprise to no one. What's the betting the age limit for senior passes goes up next year ?

When I say not much happened I mean just that - conditions are pretty unchanging at the moment and as a result I find myself skiing much the same places as I have been in much the same conditions. Once again it was cold today with a temp on the truck on the way to the hill of -15. During the day all over the hill temps were around -10 and as we pulled into the drive tonight it was -11. So overall a fairly cold day with no significant changes with altitude on the hill.

Conditions were overcast all day and off and on we had some very light flurries which never gave us any accumulation. Overnight we were supposed to have had 1 cm and that felt about right but with some wind activity higher up there was some good windsift of which more later. Away from the windsift we had the same conditions as have existed for the past several days which was packed firm bumps with a bit of soft snow all over the hill.

I started with a warm up on the Old Side down Sunny Side shoulder and China Wall both of which were firm bumps taking an edge. I then hit out to Snake Ridge which was soft lightly tracked snow in the top becoming quite interesting steep bumps lower down. Next loop was Steep and Deep where there were actually quite a lot of untracked lines and for the first time this season I actually found an exit chute which did not require a chain saw to deal with the alders, and was some ok deep powder skiing.

I had several more Old Side loops through Cedar Ridge, King Fir, Boom Ridge (twice) and Linda's. Returns were always through Kangaroo which was bit scratchy and with a rather nice bump pattern developing and a tricky drop on to the cat track half way down. Boom guts skied pretty well as soft bumps every time I had to return to the Bear Chair and before I knew it I found it was lunch time. As I said the whole morning had been firm but ok bump skiing of packed snow - nothing to get excited about but then again nothing not to like.

In the afternoon I headed over to the New Side and did my usual Lift Line thing under Timber Chair each time I made a loop, it was hard bumpy skiing. Polar Peak was open but with very socked in conditions on top so up I went. It was apparent to me that the wind was blowing in the usual lookers left to right so the snow was being scoured off Shale Slope and Grand Papa Bear but with the hope that it was being deposited in the Polar chutes. I dropped Papa Bear and found some blow in but not as much as I had hoped for and the viz not too bad.

I ran to base through Cougar Glades (nice soft snow) and Stag Leap (soft bumps and the twigs getting filled in below). Next loop I hit Mama Bear off the top of Polar and found that the wind blown snow had ended up there. Although the first couple of turns were a bit blind the rest of the chute was sensational windsift. This time I ran to base by hiking up to Lone Fir (really mellow deep snow in the chute and below) and then cutting across to Spinal Tap which was a little more chunky than before but still good skiing.

Last time up Polar I took Mama Bear again which was just as good as before. This time I ran to base through Decline (nice soft bumps if a bit icy in the top) and Window Chutes which still have great deep snow but are now getting very scratchy in the chokes.

I then linked up with my buddy Kevin who was having his first day on the hill after a mountain biking accident this summer and we had a few runs through White Pass to celebrate his return to skiing. End of the day and of course it was Skydive time which skied just as it had for the past few days (see earlier reports) although we are starting to get a bit more to the right than we have been able to in the final pitch.

Far too much to drink to celebrate Annie's 50th birthday in the Griz Bar and then home for a relatively quiet night. Precip in the forecast this week - with the base still below 180 cms we have to hope.

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