Saturday, January 16, 2016

Day 37 yet another really good day

Overnight there was no new snow and of course we were expecting the weekend crowds so I had half resigned myself to the fact that the skiing would not be great. In fact I had decided that if nothing new looked like it was going to open I would spend a day billygoating - that is poking around all over the hill looking for new lines and areas to explore. When I arrived at the hill I got word that Polar Peak and the Saddles were all on standby and as these had been closed for 7 days during which we had over 40 cms of new snow the temptation was so great that I just had to hang about in the hope of getting some awesome openings. Sorry Old Side fans.

It was about -6 on the way to the hill and overcast with a forecast of flurries during the day. For a change the viz up top whilst never what you would describe as being good was at least acceptable and giving skiable conditions all the way to the top of Polar Peak. More importantly there was sufficient viz for patrol to see the results of their avi control efforts so there was every prospect that we would get all the openings that we were hoping for.

In the event contrary to the forecast there were no flurries in the morning but about midday it started snowing and was still snowing when we left the hill. I don't think there was much more than a few cms of accumulation but the temp in the valley is -5 and it is still snowing so maybe we may get another powder day tomorrow - who knows. During the day the temps all over the hill were about -7 up the mountain so what snow fell came down as good light powder.

I went to the New Side and getting up White Pass noted that Polar was not open so I had a nice drop down the Tight Knot Chute and then cut into Surprise Trees which had plenty of untracked lines and good skiing. I then thought that maybe the Saddles would be open but went out along the Reverse Traverse and found they weren't - I don't get it right every time. Second prize was a rip through Cougar Glades which had untracked chutes through the trees and the cut out into Stag Leap was lightly tracked and even the lower section was getting filled in with the twigs much less in evidence.

After another Tight Knot Chute in deep snow and another Surprise Trees I took a Reef Knot chute drop and then headed out to Triple Trees. The lines through the trees were almost untracked snow and super deep snow between the trees all the way down to Trespass Trail and then the hard push back to White Pass load.

At this point one of those wonderful things that that only happen very rarely happened to me. I tracked out along the Reverse Traverse with some Patrollers I know and when we arrived at Corner Pocket they lifted the fence and I dropped in. After 7 days of new snow I ripped the chute in two powder turns and then had the most fantastic deep powder skiing all the way down to Dancer and then skied out through soft bumps in the bottom of Easter and Freeway.

When I got back up White Pass, Polar Peak was open and I had just missed it but then you can't be everywhere. The winds had clearly blown from lookers left to right so the snow on Polar had been swept from the Coaster side towards the Polar Chutes with the cusp somewhere around Grand Papa Bear. I had numerous loops of Papa and Barely Legal which were super deep untracked snow and Grand Papa which was soft but with a slightly scratchy base.

For a late lunch I took Mama Bear via my near untracked steep chute then I dropped Low Saddle which was just as icy at the top as ever but after a cut off to the right the chutes were untracked and there was super deep snow all the way down. I traversed Easter to get to Spinal Tap and it was full of soft snow and great skiing. After a late short lunch it was a very short afternoon.

I went back up Polar and had several loops round Papa, Grand Papa and Barely Legal before taking the Mama Bear drop and then heading out to Lone Fir. Just like Yesterday the Lone Fir Chute and the pillow underneath was awesome deep skiing. So back up Polar for a few more laps before last lift (only 3:30 on Polar) which finished with a rip down Mama and then all the way to the base in order to get back up Timber in time for last run.

We actually had enough time to hike to Mitchy Chutes which were deep, lightly tracked and great skiing. Last run was Skydive which we took in one and was very mellow soft snow with even the lower pitch getting acceptable in terms of twigginess.

Beers, great company in the Griz, a great finish and snow still falling and -5 on the deck, I am so pumped.

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