Friday, April 1, 2016

Day 113 full on Summer skiing, no other way to describe it

As anticipated in yesterday's report today got a lot hotter and could only really be described as summer skiing in my book. Overnight temps in the valley fell so that the temp on my deck this morning was -3 which of course was in the valley which meant that temps up the mountain would have been way below that and the surfaces would have frozen very hard indeed which is exactly what they did.

As we drove to the hill it was warming and temps in the parking lot were +1 at 9 o'clock and warming fast. It was a bluebird day and unlike yesterday there was no real atmospheric warming. This meant that where the skiing surfaces were in the direct sunlight the radiation heat meant that they softened very quickly but in the shade (either caused but trees or the angle of the slope) nothing softened at all and even in the late afternoon the shaded areas were still ugly and icy and in many cases closed for safety reasons.

During the day temps rose so that by mid afternoon we had +15 at the base load, +10 at the White Pass load and even +6 at the Polar load. These were temps in the shade so in the direct sunlight (and there was a lot of that) it was several degrees warmer. Despite the very warm temps the shaded areas remained hard and icy and as a result many areas stayed closed all day (Snake Ridge, Saddles, Big 3 and Easter Bowl for example) which meant that we had to tailor our skiing quite carefully. As we drove home it was +18 which just about says it all with a warmer day still to come tomorrow.

We went to the Old Side and just as usual played around initially on groomers looking for soft snow. We tried a couple of runs down the Sunny Side shoulder which skied something like corn snow in the sharply rising temps with nice soft snow on top. China Wall was not groomed and skied much the same which was ok. Bow Trees had softened by the time we got there although they were not great.

We hit the ungroomed surfaces to the skiers left of Cruiser in Cedar Bowl hoping it might have softened but it hadn't so we hit Cedar Centre which for some reason was soft in the ungroomed areas on top getting much harder and icier as you went down. We hit Kangaroo which skied ok for about 90% of the run in the direct sun on the left but really was very icy in the final few turns where the run was in the shade.

After that we just poked around the the Old Side in places such as Kangaroo, Boom Ridge, Boomerang and Cedar Ridge trying to pick up the surfaces as they softened with variable results. There was no better illustration of how things were different today where it was only softening in the direct sunlight than the bottom of Boomerang where the run was very soft but the ski out on the Goat Trail in the shadows was all but leg breaking.

We went to the new Side and found Big Bang, the Saddles, the Big 3 and Easter Bowl all closed because of conditions (they were in the shade) and they remained closed all day which speaks volumes for just how different things were today and the lack of atmospheric warming. We went up Polar Peak which was in the sun and skied Grand Papa Bear. Clown Chutes, Barely Legal and Papa Bear all of which were taking an easy soft edge on a smooth base before running down a mushy Concussion to a late lunch.

In the afternoon we were back up Polar and just looped everything we had been doing in the morning except that we included Shale Slope right side which skied rather mellow. My buddy had finally got his inclinometer app working on his phone and we measured the steepest pitches in the Polar Chutes which came out at just over 45 degrees which at lest proves that what we ski every day does qualify as a "steep" in the classic terms.

By late afternoon the sun was getting seriously hot even at the top of Polar Peak, We had confirmation that the Saddles and the Big 3 remained closed so there was no chance of skiing our usual Skydive last run, In the event we dashed down and just got the final 3:30 chair up Polar Peak and after a final and very mellow drop down Papa Bear took the Reverse Traverse out to Currie Creek which was as far as we could legally go. The Creek bed was just starting to set up and skied very well as did everything down to the Gilmar Trail - a very mellow end to a great day's summer skiing.

Of course getting a final 3:30 chair instead of my usual 4:00 meant that I was in the Griz a little early and as a result a bit more beer was drunk with my buddies in the hot sunny conditions than might usually be expected - not a major problem in my book. Tomorrow promises to be even warmer and with weekend crowds the hill could be put under some pressure on what is it's penultimate weekend. Tomorrow's band in the Griz is BC/DC (an AC/DC tribute band from BC) and I think I may just listen from my deck as they are supposed to be on of the loudest bands around. Nine days to go this season.

No comments:

Post a Comment