Friday, February 26, 2016

Day 77 dare I say yet another short report

In my own defence I would say that tonight's report will not be short because I am dashing off somewhere. Quite the opposite, we have been up to the Rusty Edge for some food with friends and it will be short because it is late, I have drunk a lot of beer, not all that much changed on the hill and I am having trouble remembering exactly what happened and in what order. A footnote to last night was that we got back very late from the Riders game which they lost 4-3 in double overtime which of course was much closer than I expected but play off hockey being what it is, it was still a loss.

Overnight there was no new snow and it was cold with starting temps in the valley of -9. It was a bluebird day and valley temps rose to +4 and even at the Polar Load it was only just minus temps all day long although the cold winds in the Polar chutes kept the snow in good condition. Elsewhere things warmed up in the direct sunlight so that we had softening in the Knot Chutes, Concussion, Gun Bowl and Skydive Traverse - sorry for all the New Side references but that is where I spent my day.

Over all the hill became much harder and chunkier than yesterday and generally much tougher skiing. this was evidenced by the very high number of casualties that I witnessed on the hill as people discovered that there is rather more to this sport of skiing than they had first thought. The first indicator was Lift Line which skied tough and chunky with a bit of wind sift and remained the same all day with every drop to the White Pass load.

I went to Polar Peak and found that the openings were just like yesterday with limited access to the Polar Chutes. What was available had stiffened up to being some very firm under base with great wind sift and a few smooth icy patches, Not the greatest skiing in the world but actually rather easy flat skiing but with some very severe consequences for getting it wrong. I spent a long time in the morning on alternate loops of Papa Bear (as described above) and the Crusty Clown chute which was very mellow and deep after a slightly tight entrance.

Mama Bear was a good start as run to base with some very soft deep snow in the top. I tried Stag leap as my lower run but was rather disappointed. Yesterday this had been great soft skiing and today it was no more than ok with some chunky stuff - I guess that's how things go. I bumped into a buddy and we tried the Knot Chutes (Tight Knot) and Surprise Trees that skied remarkably well in softening conditions.

After that I was up Polar aging for the same alternating loops. Just before lunch we encounter two ownerless skis in Papa Bear only to find the owner had taken a header over the cliff band. Ski Patrol attended I don't think the guys injuries were life threatening. After doing our good deed of giving the skis to the buddy of the injured guy we looped one more time then dropped Easter Bowl for lunch which was very good and un- sun affected as a north facing slope.

After lunch Lynda joined me and it was back up Polar Peak for a few more alternating loops which skied just like before following which we did another Easter Bowl which similarly skied firm but taking a nice edge on mellow bumps. We went back for a couple of final alternating loops on Polar and found that on our way down there was the same patroller attending another top to bottom rag doll casualty in exactly the same place as we has seen him attending the skiless guy in the morning - coincidence or what ?

We ran to base through Decline which skied very well all the way down in soft snow and I couldn't help but notice that in the grooming under the run there were only two tracks from whole of the day's traffic, that's a sign of how quiet things are. It was 4 o'clock and time for Skydive. patrol had promised us an exhibition of blowing White Pass cornice just after last chair but the high call on their time from 10-40's (injuries) meant that we didn't get the expected show. Skydive was good soft snow most of the way down but the final pitch was bit scratchy - 6 of us were in attendance.

Looks like more of the same for the next 24 hour at least which looks a bit desperate to me but at least it isn't rain..

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