Sunday, February 21, 2016

Day 73 the return of the Big 3

Now yesterday we had the whole of the Currie Chutes and the Reverse Traverse closed so despite the poaching which I mentioned in yesterday's report there had been very little traffic out into the Big 3 since the 35 cm snow dump of the night before. While we are on the subject let me return to a favourite rant of mine regarding the collective name for the three runs visible from the base area. They are not, repeat not called the fingers - this is a stupid name invented a few short years ago and only used by morons to describe these runs. They are, and always have been, called the Big 3 and if you don't believe me go and ask ski patrol. I only return to this subject because I heard the F word used several times today by people on their way out to ski the Big 3.

We had no real new snow over night but at least winter conditions reasserted themselves so that it was -5 on the deck this morning when we woke up and stayed that way on the drive to the hill. On our first lift up there seemed to be a bit of an inversion but as the day wore on normality established itself and we had maybe +2 at the base and -2 on top. At first it looked like we would get a bluebird day but luckily it clouded over in the afternoon so the snow stayed in good shape. Once again I had to endure idiots saying how lovely it was to get sunny conditions as if this was something good, rather than just the conditions that destroy the very surface we need to have to be able to ski. I suppose if you are a weekend skier and don't care what it will be like tomorrow it's just about understandable.

As I said I intended to ski the Big 3 so we headed to the New Side. The Knot Chutes and everything underneath were closed for the Junior Free Ski competition and stayed that way all day which meant that Anaconda, Triple Trees and Surprise Trees were all unobtainable. The Reverse Traverse was open but the Saddles were closed and stayed that way all day. Initially Polar Peak was closed but it did open later in the day of which more later. With all skiing taking part in the same general area the day panned out as,
Cougar Glades - A few tracks in the top which soon disappeared and after that it was awesome untracked lines trough the trees. I hit the left hand exit chute for only about the third time this year and found it very deep and untracked if getting a little soft in the last couple of turns.
Lone Fir - this had been closed on the earlier loop but was now open and I was about the third person to side step up it. The chute was ok but had slid out in the bottom part so the exit was edge to edge crusty ice jumping. The cushion below was sensational soft skiing all the way down to Freeway with hardly any tracks due to the closure of high Lizard Bowl.
Stag Leap - great soft deep skiing through the trees in the top and some nice lightly tracked line in the run itself.
Decline/Window Chutes - the snow in Decline was hardly tracked on the sides so you could push your skis in the fall line and hold them there for a long time. Window Chutes skied ok in deep snow and even the choke still had enough snow to cover the icy base.
Polar Peak - the Polar Chair opened but with only the Coaster open ,we didn't even get the Clown Chutes. It took me two runs to establish that what wasn't groomers was good powder away from the wind affected surfaces and either wind slab or ice crust where the wind had got to it. It didn't take me long to work out that there was better skiing to be had.
Touque Chutes/Spinal Tap - fantastic deep skiing through the trees and Spinal Tap itself had some very deep turns in the creek bed. Lunch.
The Brain - this had a few tracks but there are so many lines in there that you can always find untracked snow. The hock off the nose above the Megasaurus Trail was landed in such deep snow that you could take a lot of air and still have a mellow landing.
Namless Trees - these are the trees to the skiers right of Skydive and as everyone tells me they don't have a name, well, they do now. It was a bit tight in the top but fantastic hardly tracked tree skiing through to about half way down when I cut left back into Skydive, I was not sure we had enough untracked deep snow to attempt the creek bed exit so I played it safe.
Cougar Glades - still many untracked area although starting to set up where the snow had been exposed to direct sunlight. With my buddy Thomas we tried to get down to the old logging trail just to skiers right of Stag and although we eventually succeeded it was only after some very serious bush whacking among the alders. The snow itself was soft and deep and mostly untracked.

Just before last run there was time for a very mellow White Pass loop which in many places would be considered awesome but here in today's conditions was just considered ok. Skydive of course was sensational and deep most of the way down with just a couple of scratchy turns at the end and made a perfect finish to the day.

We had beers in the Griz wit buddies then home for an early night. I am picking up a guest from Cranbrook at 9 tomorrow morning so it will be a late start. Lets hope I don't miss a powder start which is an outside possibility looking at the forecasts.

No comments:

Post a Comment