Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day 41 awesome, awesome, awesome"

Oh yes, it's not very often that a day gets 3 awesomes on the Bill Handley/Fernie scale but today was certainly one of them. In fact today could be one of the top 10 days of all time but I may need to think a bit before admitting it to that particular hall of fame.

On the way back from the hill last night the local radio station was giving a snow fall warning for the Elk Valley of up to 15 cms. As the temps were a modest -1 and none of the main weather channels were calling for snow this was a bit of a surprise we treated this with some skepticism but by morning the forecast was shown to be right. The final figures were 25 cms in the previous 24 hours and another 7 cms that fell during the day today the snow was piled up in the drive down here in the valley and when we got to the hill it was even more evident.

Temps on the way to the hill were -1 and it hovered around zero at the base all day. Up the mountain temps were a few degrees cooler but never what you would call cold, It snowed to a greater or lesser extent all day and even at the warmest time of the day even if the moisture content of the snow was high it was coming down white with no suggestion of the R word. Further up the hill it was good fill in snow which enabled us to get fresh tracks everywhere right up to the end of the day. As we drove away it was -4 in he valley.

This report could get a bit random as a day like today demands lots of beer to celebrate it and we certainly did the honours. The result is that everything has rather merged into one and that one is a memory of great untracked powder between trees all day. The thing to remember is that with this much snow coming down and temps only just below zero meant that we had hero snow with a high moisture content in every run and even where there were tracks it was great to ski and where there were no tracks (the norm as this was a January mid week with hardly anyone on the hill) it was just awesome skiing.

We went to the New Side and found everything open except Anaconda and Currie Bowl which we thought was pretty good effort considering how much snow had fallen. We did numerous loops of Knot Chutes from Tight to Jim and all chutes in between which was mellow deep skiing with poorish viz that persisted at the White Pass top all day. We completed loops through Surprise Trees from the near chutes to Triple Trees which all were lightly tracked and untracked in many places and of course very deep.

We were lining up for the Currie Bowl fence drop when we got the word that Anaconda Glades were open and we raced out there just in time for me to get first tracks in Anaconda 2 and then again in the trees to the skiers left of Bootleg Glades below. Over the head face shots all the way down. When we got back the fence had dropped on Currie bowl but this didn't matter as the high Reverse Traverse was open and we went out to Cougar Glades which only had a couple of tracks and as result when we got in there the tree chutes we chose were untracked deep powder. We cut into Stag leap which was only tracked in the middle so that the far skiers left was great untracked deep skiing with lots of face shots.

The rest of the day is a blur of deep chute and tree skiing with over the head face shots. The runs (many of which were done twice) were Cougar Glades, Window Chutes, Lone Fir, The Brain, Touque Chutes,Spinal Tap, Decline etc. Points of special interest worth mentioning were -

In the Brain the snow was super deep and untracked and we actually managed to ski it almost all the way down to the bottom of Skydive with only a bit of deadfall to avoid in the lower section.
After we crossed the Megasaurus Trail in Cougar we hit the left hand exit chute which was hardly skied all season and amazing deep snow with the alders starting to become ok.
To the right of Touque chutes I experimented with some tree lines in areas I don't usually ski and found an unlimited supply of deep untracked tree skiing.
The sign line to the skiers left of Lone Fir was closed so the skiing on the cushion was very deep and untracked.

That's about all the special stuff I can remember but everywhere was good deep powder face shots.

I had time for a final couple of loops in White Pass so I hit Knot Chutes and Surprise Trees. It seemed to me that these had remained more or less untouched since Currie had opened so right at the end of the day I was getting "first" tracks in the tight Knot and all across Surprise in a mixture of the new snow and some wind sift. The light even improved to the point that viz wasn't a problem.

Final run was Skydive and I found myself alone at the top. I later discovered that my buddies arrived about a minute after I left but they must have got very late chairs as I held on until 16:11 before starting down, It was deep filled in snow and an easy call to ski it in one even after 7 hours of non stop skiing.

Beers slipped down well in the Griz and now it's time for dinner and an early night. Lynda had her biggest day yet hitting Lift Line, Anaconda Glades and Diamond Back as runs she hadn't yet done with her new hip - 4 months to the day since her op. Looking out we have some worrying forecasts. It is forecast to warm up to +2 tomorrow and +4 Friday with some precip. Whilst we have to hope everything will be ok I would put it at around an even money chance that we may have rain and a bloody mess by the weekend - fingers crossed.

No comments:

Post a Comment