Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Day 82 on the eve of the storm

Now I don't want to appear too dramatic but that's how it feels at the moment. It started snowing about mid day on the hill and has just got heavier as the day went on. We have a heavy snow warning out in the West Kootnays and with the weather moving in from that direction so there is every possibility that by morning we will have a deep covering of fresh snow. The best news is that on the hill today the precip was white down to the base all afternoon and it is falling as heavy, if slightly wet. snow in the valley even as I type this.

Over night there was no new snow so we had to make do with yesterday's left overs. On the way to the hill temps were -3 and bit lower up the hill so where there had been some softening yesterday which was not in all that many places,it was forming up a little firm this morning. During the day temps warmed slightly then cooled in the new snowfall so that it was zero at the base as we left the hill. The snow that started falling in the middle of the day was good high moisture fill in snow and as a result surface conditions improved all day with some almost untracked lines available by the end of the day.

I went to the Old Side to see what conditions would be like. My first test was to drop Boomerang and it was very variable with some soft snow on top but hard icy stuff underneath. I didn't make a particularly good job of skiing it (to be fair it was a little challenging in places) so I gave it another go when things went much better. Both times I exited via the Goat Trail and got back up to the top on the Bear Chair. I decided to give Boomerang one more go which went very well and then got side tracked into Buck Shot which was some soft snow on a very hard and icy base.

I then bumped into a buddy and we decided to try Steep and Deep which skied very easily with not much scrape and a nice exit through the trees. Next loop was Gorby Bowl which seemed to hardly have any tracks in it and gave soft deep untracked skiing rather like yesterday although the left, right shift through the waterfall was a little tricky. Final loop before lunch we hit the Gorby, Steep and Deep, Curved Ball shoulder which was very deep and untracked and maybe the best skiing to be had.

All returns had been through Kangaroo which was hard icy bumps and as such skied exactly the way we would have expected. returns were also through Boomerang which remained soft snow on a scratchy base. Last return before lunch was through the Bear Chutes which rather like Boomerang were soft snow on a scratchy base but with perhaps rather more areas of soft snow to be had.

After lunch at Rusty Edge where I had the awesome chilli we went to the New Side. By this time the new snow was starting to build and the afternoon was an example of where things just got better and deeper as time went on so that by the end of the day we were almost dealing with fresh powder. Everywhere was very good and we hit -
Cougar Glades/Stag Leap - great soft fresh snow on a soft base. I skied well below the cat track in un tracked snow which was also pretty good before cutting out into lower Stag Leap which was ok.
Touque Chutes/Spinal Tap - very soft snow in the chutes but a bit chunky in the creek bed lower down. The exit of the creek was bit technical but ok.
Decline/Window Chutes - very mellow and getting deep in Decline and the chutes were ok but very scratchy in the final choke.
Siberia Ridge - I had been tipped that this was good yesterday and so I tried it today. It was still pretty good with soft snow getting deeper in the new stuff.

So it was time for Skydive which skied very easily in the top and mid sections and even the lower party was getting ok in the new snow. we had beers and discussed the prospects which are just looking better and better as looking out the window I see it is still puking snow at sub zero temps.

Footnote - as usually happens at this time of year a few weak minded individuals start to suggest that this blog is a fiction and that I either don't or can't ski all the runs I report. The truth is that what you read here is the truth. My usual offer remains open that if anyone wants to join me for a day (assuming they have 7 hour legs) then they are welcome to meet me in the locker room for a days skiing. Furthermore my bet stands that if they want to nominate any run that I claim to ski and I am unable to ski it then I will buy the beer that evening. If on the other hand I ski everything nominated then they buy me beer. I do hope I have some takers here as I could do with an evenings free drinking. Put another way, it's time to put up or shut up

Tomorrow could be a really good day.


  1. Hi Bill, In your blog I count 5 good laps in the morning, and 5 in the afternoon, with "transit runs" like the roo being part of those laps. In a 7 hour day at a reasonable pace that is completely managable even for an old guy like yourself, so i don't see how or why your re-counts would arouse nay-sayers.

  2. Thanks.part of my evening check when I try and make sure that my failing memory due to age and alcohol is working is to put together the runs and make sure that they make sense for a poor old senior like myself to have skied. Glad they make sense to everyone else.