Thursday, January 14, 2016

Day 35 a pretty awesome day

Not a totally awesome day but a pretty awesome day and by Fernie standards that is way better than the best days skiing you will ever get in most places. Given the beers we had in a totally pumped up state after a major powder day it is very hard to remember exactly how things played out but I will give it my best shot.

Overnight there was a freezing rain warning for the valley and a travel advisory on highways. It was -1 on the way to the hill and all day it was around zero at the base and maybe -4 or so up the hill. Conditions were socked in from about Timber top and although the light came and went it was never good. The hill were reporting another 12 cms overnight on top of the 10 cms we had yesterday. It snowed in various forms pretty well all of the day and I would imagine we must have had another 10 cms during the day giving us some great fresh snow and filled in skiing during the day.

Everyone seemed to have woken up to the fact that this was a powder cycle and there were a few more people around today but not anything that could be called crowded - for example I didn't have to stand in line at any time. I went to the New Side again which appears to have been a good decision as when I met a buddy later in the day who is a real Old Side fan he said the Old Side sucked - his words not mine. On the New Side there was load of new deep untracked snow which varied in quality from super soft to chunky depending on the aspect of the slope and the overall effect of the wind. There was crunch line where the snow had been affected by rain, or at least very wet snow but this was so low down that it only affected the last few turns in the Big 3 and for the most part had no impact on the upper hill runs.

Here goes with the memory test - we started looping White Pass as this was all that was open and had a number of spectacular runs down Surprise Trees which were mostly untracked and great deep powder tree skiing. The next part was that they opened Knot Chutes and Anaconda and we did several loops to base through the various Knot Chutes (super deep snow but poor viz) Anaconda Glades (all chutes skiing awesome) and Bootleg Glades ( mostly through the trees on skiers left which were untouched) which took up most of the morning.

Late morning we all gathered at the top of Currie Bowl which had been closed for a typical Currie fence drop. I got away in first half dozen of over 100 racers which was good as there was a certain amount of carnage just behind me, or so I understand. I got to Cougar Glades and found them untracked and had a spectacular deep powder rip down to the cat track. Even after cutting out into Stag Leap there was only two tracks and the skiing was good.

Next loop we hiked Lone Fir and found great easy skiing in the chute (for a double black diamond) and then had a fantastic rip down by the sign line into Lizard which was closed and as a result no tracks were coming in from there - great untracked powder. We went to Gotta Go expecting to find it open but it wasn't. We looped back to speak to patrol at White Pass and they confirmed that it should be open. We took another loop out and this time hit the Brain all the way through which had a few tracks in the top but none below the cat track, great tight tree skiing in very deep powder,

Next time up White Pass patrol opened Gotta Go for us and we had first tracks in the chute. It's hard to find words to describe the super deep untracked powder that we found which was far and away the best on the hill. The run to base was through Bootleg Glades which still had lots of untracked lines. We decided we needed a rest so we just skied out the the Touque Chutes which had really deep soft snow and then cut across to Spinal Tap which predictably was lightly tracked and and very deep snow where the biggest danger was being taken out by your own slough.

Once again we hiked up to Lone Fir but this time took the Easter Meadow Chute one step beyond. There was great skiing in the chute and as before the skiing below was hardly tracked very deep snow due to the inability of traffic to come in from the Lizard side. As a final gesture we took a quick loop down Siberia Ridge which appeared to have been ignored for most of the day and we were able to find some great lines in there.

Last run of course was Skydive with 5 of us in the club tonight. As you would expect the skiing was spectacular with only a few crunchy turns right at the very bottom. I skied today from 9 to 4 with no break of any kind and hit some of the toughest skiing on the hill. I figured I needed a beer and in the event had more than one with buddies. Home now for a quiet night in with Jameson's Irish Whiskey and Gone with the Wind on TV - the end of a perfect Day.

Some more snow in the forecast and the base is now pushing 2 metres again but this time with some good heavy snow which should sort out some of the deadfall/brush problems. Temps are forecast to cool which means that we have come through the first warm precip cycle of the year pretty well unscathed which has to be a good omen.

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