Monday, January 25, 2016

Day 46 and the cost of skiing drops below 20 bucks a day

Yes, today my average daily cost of skiing dropped below 20 bucks and is heading towards season target of about 7 bucks that I usually achieve. The reason this is such a landmark (other than the fact that 20 bucks is a pretty reasonable price to be paying for your daily skiing) is that this is the same price as I pay on average for my beer in the Griz after skiing each day. So put another way from now on my cost of skiing should just keep dropping below my cost of beer for the rest of the season. Of course if anyone wants to do anything to try and get my beer price down to match my skiing costs I will be more than happy - I am sure that there are so many happy folk at the hill ready to celebrate this great landmark.

Overnight we had no new snow so anything we were going to get was going to come from new openings. In the bar last night they were talking about Snake Ridge and the Saddles, both of which we got. They were also talking about Polar Peak which we didn't get but to be fair they had blown the crap out of the Polar Chutes for avi control so even if we get it tomorrow I don't expect the snow to be anything to write home about.

On the way to the hill it was -2 so all the snow had stiffened up a bit over night. The areas affected by the brief appearance of the sun yesterday had chunked and crusted a little but nowhere had been affected to the point that we were faced with anything resembling refrozen crud. Today was overcast all day and temps at the base rose to + 1 but stayed below zero up the hill and by late afternoon the upper new side temps were in the region of -4. Viz wasn't that bad although a brightening in the afternoon through thick cloud gave very flat light on the slopes that pointed away from the sun.

It was typical January mid week with not many people around. I headed for the Old Side to check out Snake Ridge and found the high Cedar Traverse open for the first time in a few days. The side step out was a piece of work but I got second tracks on Snake Ridge in knee deep soft powder. Lower down we had a light crust forming but as we dropped over the ridge to the final pitch it all became soft. Next loop I hit Gorby Bowl which was if anything deeper and softer than Snake. This time I cut out into Steep and Deep and instead of the crust getting softer it just got worse until it was pretty interesting skiing in the lower pitches.

To reassess the situation I went back to Snake and found a few more tracks but plenty of untracked lines and the no crust, crust, no crust situation just as before. Loops were completed through Kangaroo and Boom Guts, both of which skied ok but showed signs of yesterday's sun activity in the form of chunky hard snow but totally skiable and good fun.

I got word that the Saddles had opened and headed to the New Side. I dropped Corner Pocket and found the best skiing in the chute itself which was very mellow edge to edge jumping. Below the light was not good and most of what I skied was avi control debris or rather slabby snow. In these circumstances I headed back to the Old Side for another Snake loop which was just as before but with a few more tracks and still knee deep powder if you looked hard enough. For a final run before lunch I dropped Boom Ridge which was ok but chunky and exited on the Cedar trail.

After lunch I had a plan. I had worked out that the crust on the Old Side was as a result of yesterday's sun and so the Red Tree fence would be good skiing - I planned a quick loop there. I was defeated by the Elk Chair running at slow speed and then breaking down for 15 minutes while I sat 2 metres from the top. It really is time that pile of junk was consigned to the scrap heap of history where it belongs. I went to Red Tree and found I was dead right but unfortunately a large number of people had already had the same idea. Ok tracked skiing so I headed for the New Side.

I dropped High Saddle which just like Corner Pocket provided the best skiing in the chute with the stuff underneath rather disappointing debris in flat light. Lower Easter Bowl and Freeway were an ok soft bumpy skiing exit. Next loop was Cougar Glades which were a bit chunky and sun affected and the Stag leap which was like all of the big 3 low down - rather hard going on a broken rain crust base.

I just had time for a Mitchy Chute drop which was soft and ok before heading out to Skydive for the last rip of the day. Four of us made it for the rip and we had a good drop at high speed through the upper two sections. Someone asked me later what the lower pitch was like but when you are racing (of course it's not a race) you just throw down and take whatever happens under your skis - it all seemed ok to me.

So what next ? The forecast suggests we could be getting precip and the temp forecasts range from +8 to -4. We have no idea , Watch this space.

No comments:

Post a Comment