Friday, January 15, 2016

Day 36 way better than I expected

Overnight the hill were only calling for about 5 cms in the last 12 hours which didn't feel right to me and when I got to the hill conditions were consistent with having way more snow than that. Perhaps it was just wind sift as there was evidence of considerable wind activity during the night but as we skied around the hill today we found some very deep powder although to be fair there were also some wind packed surfaces.

On the way to the hill temps were -5 and they were -2 on the way back. During the day temps at the base stayed just below zero and up the hill we had -4/-6 temps all day in the places  I skied which meant that the snow stayed in great shape all over the hill. It was overcast and very socked in above half way up White Pass and we had some light flurries that didn't amount to anything during the morning. During the afternoon things got a bit lighter and the socked in line moved to about White Pass top but but late afternoon we were back to flurries with promises of more to come. The wind came and went and the combination of wind and poor viz meant that Polar Peak remained closed for the fourth day in a row as was the case for the Saddles.

Once again I went to the New Side (sorry Old Side fans, I really will try and get over there tomorrow) mainly in the hope that we might be getting Polar Peak. As it was Currie bowl was closed until about half way through the morning for avi control and we could hear the blasting as we skied White Pass.

We had several gropes down Lift Line, Gun Bowl, Quite Right etc in very poor viz but as we could feel, very deep soft snow. The only really good viz was in the trees of Surprise which we hit a couple of times and found them lightly tracked and great soft skiing.

The Currie fence dropped and because there was no general feeling that today would be a big powder day and therefore there we no crowds it went off without a hitch and hardly anyone there, unlike yesterday's carnage at the Currie Chinese Downhill. We hit out to the Big 3 and even though we were a few minutes late at the drop we arrived at the top of the Big 3 untracked. We took Decline which was deep and soft but a little wind affected and good skiing and then cut left into the Window chutes which were very nicely filled in, even in the chokes.

Next loop we dropped Barracuda off the Skydive traverse and had good deep untracked skiing all the way down. Even the gully to the left of Gilmar Trail was quite deep. In need of exercise we decided to hike up to the top of Lone Fir and found it skiing just as mellow as yesterday. With Lizard remaining closed the drop under Lone Fir was virtually untouched and filling in with wind sift - spectacular deep powder right up to the sign line on the left. The exit trough Freeway was pretty mellow and soft.

We figured that with the low traffic out on the Reverse Traverse that Cougar Glades would be pretty untouched and we were right. There were about 5 tracks in front of us but when we got in the trees the lines were totally untracked. We took a few turns below the cat track in super deep snow before we lost our nerve and cut out into Stag Leap, we need just a bit more cover before we try those lines all the way down. Lower Stag Leap only had a couple of tracks and is now skiing very well as long as you ignore the twigs.

Last run before lunch so we took Lynda all the way out to Easter Bowl as that would be her biggest adventure on her new hip so far. Things worked out well and Easter skied as soft bumps in the middle but as soft deep snow if you were prepared to hit the steeper lines on the sides. Freeway continued to ski well.

After lunch we hit out across the Knot Chutes to Gotta Go. There were not many tracks but being greedy we worked a bit to get across to the Google Earth chute and were rewarded with the deepest and steepest skiing so far this season - awesome. Bootleg Glades had plenty of soft in the trees and the exit on the left is very clear, please note, the exit on the right has not been cleared of alders and should be avoided by anyone not in possession of a chain saw.

We figured we were owed and easy run and hit Touque chutes which seemed to have more than it's fair share of deep snow and Spinal Tap which was well filled in and great deep skiing. Once again the call of Lone Fir was heard and as Oscar Wilde said - The only way to rid oneself of temptation is to yield to it. We had another sensational deep run through the chute and the cushion below still protected by the sign line to the left.

We just had time for a rip down Siberia Ridge which as always was lightly tracked before it was time for last run of the day. It is worth mentioning here that we varied our drop from Timber Top to White Pass load during the day a few times by hiking up to Mitchy Chutes. They really are some of the best deep untracked skiing on the hill but with the proviso that you must pay attention in the chokes which do get a bit technical.

A last rip down Skydive top to bottom in one with some equally hard skiing buddies was a perfect end to the day. Well actually beers in the Griz and a hot tub back home with friends and more beers was the really perfect end. More snow forecast for tomorrow.

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