Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Day 103 some soft skiing eventually

Overnight temps dropped to about -2 in the valley and a bit colder up the mountain. The result was that everything that had softened yesterday (which was everything) came back as bullet proof boiler plate ice. We had no new snow and the forecast was for overcast with some flurries which proved to be totally wrong. We ended up getting some hazy sunshine in the morning which became pure bluebird conditions by the afternoon. The result was that unlike yesterday where everything softened today we just got softening in the direct sunlight and in the shaded slopes or even in the shadow of trees it remained hard and ugly ice skiing.

Temps at the the base rose to +7 during the day and got to +4 at the White Pass load. These were the temps in the shade, in the direct sunlight I guess things got hotter and that's why we got the softening mentioned above. Polar Peak remained closed so the coolest part of the hill would have been White Pass top which I would estimate would have been at plus temps by mid afternoon.

I went to the Old Side (Lynda was taking a day off for Aqua Fitness and Gym to work on her hip muscles) and it was hard and icy. I poked around looking for some soft snow but there was none. The groomers were hard but these didn't interest me and I ran many different lines through the Lizard Bowl on the ungroomed areas between the various runs in Lizard and they were all hard and scratchy. The runs down to the Bear Chair were either through China Wall or Freeway bot of which were hard ungroomed rutted ice.

I took a detour out into lower Easter Bowl to see how it was and the answer was that it was hard ugly icy bumps which pretty much shook the fillings out of my head. I tried another line, this time down New Lift Line which was better than Easter but not much. I was about to quit on the Old Side but I dropped Kangaroo fully expecting it to be awful but got the first sign of softening on the skiers left and had a pretty good run with softening snow on firm ice bumps.

After that I tried a couple of runs down Cedar Ridge which were still hard and icy. Boomerang had just started to soften and skied very well. Boom Ridge was even better with soft bumps coming at you at exactly the right intervals and as a result very easy skiing. Exits were through Kangaroo which just skied better all morning as the day went on. It was late morning when I got tired of looping the Old Side Triangle on soft snow on a firm ice base in all the runs and went for a late lunch.

The strategy was to try the New Side in the afternoon in the hope that the higher elevations there would be softened by the afternoon sun and for the most part this was right. Lift Line and Siberia Ridge was closed due to conditions so we dropped Puff and skied White Pass. Gun Bowl was soft as were all the runs down to the White Pass load. We played in the Knot chutes several ways down and ran to the load through the I bowl all of which was soft and skiing very mellow.

After meeting up with buddies we started looping the Currie Chutes (Concussion, Toms etc) and they were soft and excellent skiing. We looped in several lines and found good soft skiing on a firm base everywhere we went. Towards the end of the day I was back in the Knot Chutes looping in soft snow which was the easiest skiing of the day. After a quick ripper to fill in time it was time to go to Skydive for last run.

I hit out on the Reverse Traverse rather dreading the conditions I was going to find in Skydive as in my view they had to be hard ugly and icy. Imagine my relief to find a closed sign right in the middle of the traverse so I had no choice but to drop Currie Creek and with the ready made excuse that I had no choice - result.

After a pretty good day we had beers on the locals deck in the sunshine. In summary today had started rather bullet proof but by the end there was great spring skiing as long as you stayed away from the shaded areas. Some snow in the forecast and goodness knows we need it.

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