Friday, March 11, 2016

Day 92 and the cost of skiing drops below 10 bucks a day

Yes, this is the day that my average cost of skiing drops below 10 bucks a day and as such is a cause for great celebration. This season it has to be debatable as to whether or not all the days were worth 10 bucks, some undoubtedly have been and others, well, they should have paid me 10 bucks for skiing them. Today was a day when we got our moneys worth just about. Of course it is an interesting observation that my average beer bill each evening is 20 bucks or there about so as we stand today my drinking is costing me about twice as much as my skiing - not sure what this proves but it must mean something.

They were calling some snow last night but it was really what fell during yesterday afternoon and there was little or no evidence of anything new today. The forecast was for bluebird conditions in the morning and clouding over a bit in the afternoon and for once the the forecasters got it dead right. It had frozen overnight so that everything had set up hard from yesterday and although temps rose to +7 at the base and +4 at Timber Top most of the softening we got was as result of direst sunlight. On the lower slopes where we had rain yesterday it remained crusty (breakable crust) and very nasty skiing.

We went to the Old Side and found that everything off the groomers was hard breakable rain crust and very unpleasant skiing. At the very top the first couple of turns were ok but below that it was very technical crust skiing. After a few tries at finding some good ungroomed skiing (unsuccessfully) we went to the New Side. I understand from buddies who tried the Old Side later in the day that it didn't really get any better.

On the New Side Puff was a lovely firm bump run as long as you stayed away from he groomed track in the middle. We ran several runs back through White Pass and found good soft snow in the Gun Bowl, under the Lift, Pillow Talk and many other lines which were soft snow with what looked like a bit of wind sift from yesterday. We decided to start looping Currie as Polar peak was not yet open.

Alpha Centauri was soft and smooth in the top and quite soft all the way down. Concussion was getting very soft very quick and as such was mellow slush skiing in the direct sun light. The final run before lunch was 1-2-3s and we were amazed to find it as soft snow all the way through with maybe a couple of crusty turns at the end of 3s - the best snow on the hill up to that point. We had run off the hill through Gilmar Trail which was a bit slick but skiing ok but last run before lunch we dropped Diamond Back which we thought might be quite soft. We were wrong it was hard icy crud with frozen hard chicken heads all over the place. It didn't soften at all and was our second worse call of the day.

After lunch we were back to the New Side and found that Lift line didn't suck quite so much as the morning but it was still pretty tough. Polar Peak was open but we had unfinished business with 1-2-3s. While our group skied these we hit the Crutch which looked great untracked skiing when I jumped in. I found the reason that it looked untracked was that it was boiler plate and I was suspended tip and tail going through the choke in some very technical skiing - it softened out underneath into some good edge to edge jumping down into 2s which were good and soft as before.

We continued to loop 1-2-3s but I took the high IT out to Gotta Go and I managed to get into Google Earth which only had one track in front and was excellent deep powder into the top of 3's which didn't exactly suck as a piece of skiing.

It was getting late so we went to Polar Peak and found that the top few turns in the Polar Chutes were closed and the way to access the good stuff was to drop Shale Slope and then cut into the Polar Chutes on the high traverse, the good news was that they were keeping the lift running to 3:55 so we had several runs in Grand Papa and Papa Bear back to the lift which were all excellent soft snow skiing with a few technical sections to keep it a bit interesting. We also witnessed the noisiest slide from a lady who lost it in the top of Grand Papa but luckily all she suffer was the loss of a cell phone.

All this meant that we could run straight from Polar to Skydive for the final run. We had speculated that Skydive would really suck and we were right - the worst call of the day. The top few turns were ok then it was crust all the way down until about half way down the final pitch when it turned soft and if anything this was even worse than the crust. In the bar some buddies who had skied Decline as a last run tried to claim that it sucked more than Skydive but for my part I was skeptical - perhaps we should call it a draw.

More precip on the way and the forecasters are calling it in mils, and not cms which is never a good sign. Who knows how it will turn out.

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