Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Day 75 yet another pretty good day

Overnight temps dropped so that we had -7 on the way to the hill this morning. There was no new snow overnight and by the time we got to the hill it was -3 and with temps rising fast it got to +3 at the base during the day. Up the mountain things stayed a bit cooler particularly in the cooling wind and my best guess it that things stayed a degree or two below freezing all over the upper mountain which kept the snow in pretty good condition. It was overcast for the morning and early afternoon which did sock in the very top of Polar Peak, although things cleared by late afternoon to give bluebird conditions. As I write this temps are down to -5 on the deck in clear skies so I guess we are getting some typical high pressure spring conditions over the next few days.

I was showing a guest round the hill during the morning so much time was spent on groomers in Lizard Bowl and Cedar Bowl which were all very good if you like that kind of thing. The only interesting skiing I had was in Bear Cave Chutes/New Lift Line which was soft mellow and easy, Boom Ridge which skied easy as soft bumps and Boomerang which was skiing soft and just about as mellow as I can remember. Of course I had a couple of trips through Kangaroo which was ok in the top and hard ugly icy bumps in the bottom, or as I would say perfect skiing conditions.

We went to the New Side to try our luck in Lift Line, Big Bang, Puff Trees and all runs in between which skiied well but with some scratchy patches. We had a few loops through White Pass and found that Knot Chutes were a bit scratchy after the Free Ski competition but Surprise Trees were skiing very well with lots of soft snow. It was time for lunch so I dropped via the top of Decline which skied very easily particularly along the sides and Window Chutes.We accessed them by the left hand side drop that was almost untracked and then some very mellow skiing even in the chokes which could almost be classed as easy.

After lunch we headed up Polar Peak as we thought that the head wall might be opened. We were told that it wasn't going to be opened today so we hit the Clown Chutes (Crusty and Side Show Bob) to get some deep soft skiing before heading out to Decline for a top to bottom one step in good soft snow conditions. On the head out we traversed under the Polar Chair to access the lower parts of Papa Bear, the traverse was ugly as sin but the chutes were very good with only a little wind slab.

Next loop round we traversed across the top of the Knot Chutes which were about as mellow as I can remember and dropped Cobra Rock which was a first this year for me. As always you spent so much time fighting the camber on the pitch it was difficult to get good turns in soft powder but we just about managed it and there was some very good skiing below the rock. The run to base was via Bootleg Glades which skied particularly well on the skiers right in the trees.

We went for a final run up Polar Peak and found Shale Slope open and had some very good untracked turns until we hit the hard breakable ice line. I took the opportunity to cut left into the lower Polar Chutes and once again got some great skiing. This time for a change we hit Easter bowl which was great soft bumps all the way down to the Freeway gully which had actually been groomed. We later discovered that the Currie Head Wall had opened at the very end of the day but we must have missed it by being distracted by the opening of Shale slope - very annoying but I am sure that we may get the head wall at some time tomorrow if we are patient.

We just had time for a White Pass loop through Knot Chutes (Jim) and Surprise Trees (still very good) before it was time for Skydive. Tonight I had one of those magic runs down Skydive where the bumps and terrain came at me at exactly the right intervals. The result was that I was able to rip the run way faster than normal although I am sure that tomorrow all the bumps will be in the wrong places and I will be back to checking and jumping my way down.

Another excellent evening drinking in the Griz and an even more excellent take away meal from the Cedar Garden, and it's not just the quantities that make me say that. A beer or two at the Kodiak Lounge while we waited for the meal delayed everything so hence the late report and apologies for that. Tomorrow looks like another sunny warm day in the valley and cool on top.

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