Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Day 61 full on Spring Skiing

I hate computers. I have just typed a pretty good report on all that happened today only to notice that I had lost the wifi signal. I assumed that the signal had gone at the end of my post so I just logged off and on only to find that nothing had been saved. so I guess that the signal went right at the start and I just didn't notice it. If I had noticed it I could at least have copied and pasted but as it was I didn't and that's about an hour's work lost. I am prepared to give it another go but to be quite honest my heart isn't in it so I don't expect great results - I hate f---ing computers.

Today we gave up any pretense that the winter conditions of last Thursday could be preserved and accepted the fact that we were now in full on Spring Skiing conditions. Spring Skiing means that we get plus temps all over the hill that softens the snow and really high plus temps in the direct sunlight which means that the snow there turns to pure elephant snot. At the end of each day the conditions set up with the evening cooling so that they turn to hard refrozen crud that will not become anything like fun unless we get more spring skiing tomorrow (most likely) or the whole situation is repaired by new snow - impossible in the short term. Some people love these conditions, for my part I reckon I have to accept them in the spring but here in in early Feb they are just a pain in ass.

On the way to the hill this morning it was -7 but in bluebird conditions the temps at the base rose to +3 by mid day. We had been promised an inversion on the temps but I didn't see anything much above +4 up the hill. Of much more importance was the effect of the direct sunlight which reduced skiing surfaces to pure elephant snot where it hit them and then left them as ugly refrozen crud as the sun went down and they fell into shadow,

We went to the Old Side for a warm up down Sunny Side shoulder which was crisp and hard and good skiing. We then went out on to Snake Ridge where the wind had sifted in a lot of snow and even in the unsifted areas it was crisp and holding a good edge. After that we looped the Old Side in Cedar Ridge, Boomerang, Boom Ridge, King Fir and various other permutations which were all soft sift on north facing non sun affected slopes.

We hit out to Fish Bowl which to be honest was a bit of a disappointment. The Poppa chutes were well tracked and we decided to bail onto Redtree which was ok but also quite tracked up. Returns all morning had been through Kangaroo which we took 5 times and was nice testing icy bumps all the way through - perfect. We ran to lunch through Boom Ridge which was nice and sifted in between the bumps and skiing about as mellow as I can remember. All in all a nice mornings skiing in softening snow but nothing too ugly.

In the afternoon we went to the New Side and found Polar Peak open. For the first time ever the ski patrol were asking for a CV (resume to you Canadians) before they let you ski the chutes - I would imagine about 80% of hopefuls got discouraged from dropping the chutes. As it was Papa Bear skied rather nicely in the form of wind sift with just  a few icy patches to watch out for. After a couple of Polar loops the afternoon panned out as -
Concussion - heavy elephant snot in the sun affected snow on top getting a bit better and firmer lower down
Siberia Ridge - we figured no direct sunlight would have hit the slope and we were right. It was good skiing on snow softened by the atmospheric warming but not damaged by the direct sunlight.
Decline - same aspect as Sib Ridge and so the same surface. Good skiing all the way down.
Anaconda Glades - The glades themselves were very nice deep soft blow in with no sun damage and great skiing. The most interesting aspect was the Gun Bowl on the way there where the sun had now gone off the surface and we were left with hard refrozen crud - a taste of what is to come over large areas of the hill tomorrow.

Before I get on to the final Skydive run I must mention Lift Line. A couple of days ago I notice three cans of drink had been dropped from the lift and I decided to wait to see what happened. Well the answer as you may have expected was sweet FA and on my last two runs through tonight I picked up the cans and dumped them. Now, the prime responsibility has to belong to the morons who dropped the cans. My views on these are well known and largely unrepeatable but let us say that I think that the best you can say about them is that they breath out carbon dioxide which is good for plants and that is probably their greatest contribution to civilization.

That having been said I have to ask why it is that after two days when dozens of employees of the hill would have seen this garbage is it down to me (a guest and fare paying customer) to pick it up and bin it. Is this acceptable - I don't think so. Nothing will change until the hill gets a proper policy with severe penalties (like losing your lift pass) for throwing garbage from the lift and a member of staff is specifically tasked with clearing up the mess. This doesn't seem like rocket science to me but then perhaps it is.

Last run was Skydive which I hit on my own due to buddies being back in Calgary, or back at work in the mines, or in the bar. It was very mellow ski in soft warmed snow all the way down. Good beers with buddies in the Griz and a quiet night in. Tomorrow looks like even more spring skiing as does the day after - things could be very ugly first thing.

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