Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Day 40 copy and paste

Well, I nearly could have copied and pasted any of my last few days reports telling of temps near zero, new snow and some great powder skiing. As it is things are just sufficiently different to make a report worth while but don't expect anything too dramatically different.

Overnight they were not calling for any new snow and whilst it started snowing on the way to the hill and kept it up all day I doubt that we got much more than 5 cms out of the current cycle and the base will still be hovering around 210 cms. Temps on the way to the hill were -1 and the same as we drove away tonight and perhaps at the base they got up to +1 during the day. Up the hill it stayed at about -2 at Timber top, -4 at Polar Load and way colder than that up Polar Peak all day. The snow continued all day and only petered out at around mid afternoon. Predictably viz was poor at the top of White Pass and very poor up Polar Peak all day.

I went to the New Side and maybe this was a mistake. Buddies who went to the Old Side reported that the Cedar High Traverse was open from the off and that the skiing out in Snake and Steep and Deep was just awesome. I placed my bets elsewhere and was not disappointed and in the final analysis you can't be everywhere. I really will give the Old Side a go tomorrow.

On the New Side the fresh snow was doing a great job at refreshing yesterday's deep powder and Lift Line just skied like a dream all day. Currie bowl was closed for avi control due to the rather unexpected levels of new snow that were starting to fall. I had some great White Pass loops in poor viz at the top but good soft snow in Surprise Trees (several times) Quite Right and under the lift line. It was late morning before we got Currie Bowl.

First loop of Currie I had hoped for the high traverse to be open but I was disappointed. I had to cut the low side step traverse out to the top of the Big 3 but the upside was that I had Skydive untracked on top of the lightly tracked powder of yesterday and it was spectacular. Next time round the high traverse was not open but I noticed that the side step up to Lone Fir was open. I side stepped this all the way from the low traverse which is a real piece of work and all the time hoping that the signs in the chutes themselves would not be closed. I was rewarded - Lone Fir was open for the first time in several days and I had the steepest deepest run of the season so far. To be fair I did chicken out half way down and held up left to let my slough run past me which was going like an express train at the time. Fantastic skiing on the untracked cushion below and a cut across to Spinal Tap which was super deep with only two tracks in front of me.

Next time up White Pass I noticed Polar Peak was open which was quite surprising due to the poor viz. The Coaster was closed so it was only the double black diamond chutes that were available and they were as mellow as you could wish for in deep untracked snow. Of course you couldn't see anything but my view is that on a big powder run with face shots you can't see anything anyway so why would poor viz bother you. I looped all the Polar Chutes until lunch time then ran down a very deep Mama Bear and hiked up to Lone Fir but took the Easter Meadow/One Step Beyond chute. Very deep and untracked in there with the snow starting to form soft pillows that you could just ride all the way down. This was followed by another Spinal Tap just like before.

In the afternoon I did a series of loops where I did a run off Polar through Papa Bear back to the load and then a run out to either Mama or Baby Bear for a New Side loop - the chutes were always deep untracked powder even if the viz did remain poor. My New Side loops were -
Cougar Glades - loads of untracked lines in the trees particularly in the tight lines on skiers left. I skied across the cat track and exited on the left chute which is just about getting acceptable with the twigs in super deep snow.
The Brain - no more tracks since I put first tracks in there yesterday although I suspect the creek bed might have been skied. Deep tree skiing an for the first time this season I exited left in the tight trees towards Decline. Ok skiing but just one place where I had to reverse out of some complicated deadfall.
Lone Fir - another hike up on what were getting to be very tired legs. Despite a little traffic the chute and the cushion underneath skied a beautiful deep powder. Exit this time was all the way down to Freeway.

Last run of course was Skydive which had filled in during the day and was soft and mellow. For the first time this year I hit it with GS turns all the way down ignoring the terrain which was now filled in. On the way back from the hill there was a snowfall warning for the Elk Valley for 15 cms which has to be good news. All day with the temps hovering around zero we were very nervous but even at the base precip came down white, if wet and we have to hope for more of the same.

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