Sunday, March 6, 2016

Day 87 a very crappy day

Yes folks on the crappiness scale we have moved up (or down depending on how you look at it) from pretty crappy to very crappy in the space of 24 hours. I hope things are going to improve as was suggested by conditions at the end of the day in White Pass as I am not quite sure where the scale would go after "very" I hope we don't have to find out.

On my deck this morning it was +1 and raining hard. These conditions continued all the way to the hill and it was just wet and ugly when we got there. Two things were obvious to me, firstly that the full wet gear including rubber gloves and pants and my plastic jacket were going to be needed to keep dry - not very trendy ski gear but warm and dry and that's all that counts to me. Secondly the only place to go was White Pass to try and get high and get the winter conditions. As it turned out we could have gone anywhere as long as we were water proof as everything was in the rain line.

Despite the rain below we had been told that conditions in White Pass were awesome, ha-ha-ha. The rain line was already well above White Pass load when I got there and the conditions were chopped up heavy mush on a scratchy base except where there had been no skier traffic and there is was mushy on soft Elephant Snot. In fact the conditions everywhere I went all morning were chopped up mush on a scratchy base so can we just take that as read.

I looped White Pass many times as it was obvious that Polar Peak wasn't going to open in the poor viz. Everywhere I went conditions were as described but just to make things more interesting the poor viz line drifted steadily down the hill until just before lunch it was socked in almost all the way down to base.

Having exhausted the joys of a mushy wet socked in White Pass I started running to base. Alpha Centauri was heavy in the top but skied better in the bowl under the trees. Concussion was very marginal in poor light and a heavy surface that had no adhesion to the under layer. Both exits were via Gilmar Trail and the Meadow which actually skiied not too badly although the light was poor until the lower Meadow. After a few more loops of White Pass where by now rain was pretty much to the top and viz was more or less non existent I ran out to Easter Bowl and had a very heavy mushy run in pure elephant snot down to a late lunch.

After lunch I did more White Pass loops and things started to change as the freeze line started coming down the hill. The rain which had been evident all the way to the top of the hill started to turn to snow and things started to get a bit wintery in lower temps. One of the problems with my full rain gear is that my rubber fishing pants don't have a zipper so if I am in need I have to find a washroom to pretty well get undressed for what would normally just be a quick yellow snow break. I was in need so I ran to base through Deep Sea as a short cut and it actually skied really well with mush on a firm base.

By the time I got back up to White Pass things had really changed and the temps at the White Pass Load which had been about +2 all day in the rain was now down to zero and full winter conditions with puking snow were evident in the whole of White Pass. I did a few more loops on the new soft snow which skied soft and fast as for some reason the under surface did not appear to have set up. After some great loops in the fresh snow it was time for the last run - actually I was about 15 minutes early but who was counting.

Skydive as last run skied great with soft snow on a firm base for the first few turns but then just got heavier all the way down and by the time you were making your final turns well below the rain line it was almost like water skiing. Once again the beers were well deserved.

A couple of further points - run of the day was Puff as it was large soft bumps on a firm base but with a slippery surface and was the favoured drop from Timber Top to White Pass load all day - the usual Lift Line was just some rather uninteresting mush.

Finally, a number of people have asked the question, "if conditions are so crappy why am I still skiing them ?" the answer is pretty simple, the alternative to skiing them is not skiing at all and any skiing (no matter how crappy) is better than no skiing at all. Let's hope for a better day tomorrow.

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