Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Day 55 dust on crust

As I understand it the new official description is Champagne (powder) on ice. Being a more traditional soul I tend to refer to it as dust on crust which is what we have been calling it for just about as long as I can remember.

It was cold overnight and about -14 on the way to the hill. The temps rose a bit so that by the end of the day it was -5/-8 up the hill and by early evening it was -4 in the valley. None of that can disguise the fact that it was bloody cold up the hill all day and even with an extra fleece and thin balaclava I was no better than ok. It was overcast all day and actually snowed to a greater or lesser degree all the time. In the cold temps the snow was very low moisture light snow hence the dust on crust remark. I am told that we might get 10 cms out of tonight's cycle which would be good as today's snow didn't really accumulate to any great extent. The only problem is that what we are going to get will be light and dry whilst what we  really want is something a bit wet and heavy particularly low down but hey - I'll take anything we get and be grateful.

My first day on the DPS Wailer 112 Pures was just as good as I had hoped. The only draw back was that because they skied so light and fast I tended to throw down hard every where I went so that by the end of the day I was pretty well knackered. Of course having edges was a plus and I did push it hard on some hard ice surfaces to see how the skis performed and I was not disappointed. A definite eleven out of ten as far as I was concerned.

We went to the Old Side and cut first tracks out to Snake Ridge which was soft and filled in on top and a bit firm lower down in Gorby Gap which was dust covered bumps. We hit Boom and Boom Ridge which like everything was soft on top and firm bumps below, before heading out the try Gorby Bowl. It was the first time this year I had skied Gorby all the way down and it was ok if a bit aldery in the mid section and the ski out through the waterfall was decidedly a bit technical in places.

After that it was Boom, Boom Ridge, Linda's, Cedar Ridge twice and bear Chutes, All exits were through Kangaroo which was a little icy in places but no problem as long as you dropped to the cat track on the chutes on the far skiers left. In summary great soft skiing up top and icy bumps low down,

After lunch we headed for the New Side and much the same could have been said about conditions there. Cougar Glades, Stag Leap, Touque Chutes, Spinal Tap. Surprise Trees, Anaconda Glades, Bootleg Glades etc were all ok soft snow on top albeit in some poor viz before becoming hard and bumpy although with a thin dust covering of the new snow lower down.

Only two runs warrant special mention -
Siberia Ridge - this was good snow and even less tracked and deeper today. I think it just gets left alone which is why it is so soft and deep.
Triple Trees - the first pitch just beyond Surprise Trees is soft and deep with many untracked lines and no one can work out why it is so much better than Surprise. My own view is that most people don't fancy the push back round Trespass Trail and so leave it to those few of us who are stupid enough to give it a go.

Last run was Skydive which totally unsurprisingly skied soft and mellow in the top and hard icy bumps in the final pitch. We still think that either the lower section is getting better or we are getting better at skiing that icy pitch - it would be nice to think it was the latter.

Quite a few of us got in the Griz for beers. The view was that we will get 10 cms of dry snow out of this cycle and looking out of the window I don't see anything to contradict that, The longer term forecast is most uncertain so lets just take one day at a time.

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