Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Day 117 happy Hot Dog Eve

Yes, to day is Hot Dog eve and tomorrow is Hot Dog day which I guess makes the day after Hot Dog Boxing Day but let's consider that on the day. Hot Dog day is the day when we celebrate the truly awful 1980's movie of the same name which in case anyone hasn't seen it is a mixture of skiing and soft pornography. We celebrated by dressing in our 1980's ski gear (always amazes me just how much my one piece shrinks each year just hanging in the closet) and skiing around the hill getting unbelievably drunk and pulling jumps and other stupid stunts at every opportunity. That is what tomorrow holds.

The reason I am giving this explanation tonight is that after tomorrows celebration it is quite possible that the blog will be incoherent, short or possibly even non existent. I offer my apologies in advance.

Today we were promised a warming trend which never really materialised and in fact on arriving in the locker room pretty well everyone commented that they needed to put on an extra layer. It had snowed on top over night with the official report calling for 4 cms which seemed about right. It was hard to tell as there had obviously been a major wind event overnight and the wind continued during the day so there were bare patches in some places and some substantial wind sift in others.

On the way to the hill it was +3 and overcast. We had hoped that the clouds would clear but if anything it became more overcast as the day went on. Things warmed a little on the Old Side first thing but by the middle of the day temps up in White Pass were only just over zero and it was not until later in the afternoon we saw temps at mid mountain rise to around +7. This range of temps and weather conditions led to a very varied set of skiing conditions not only from run to run but from turn to turn on any individual run.

We started on the Old Side and skied over to Wallaby as I had a small task to perform there ahead of tomorrow. Much of the Old Side was hard and icy and there was a cold wind blowing. Wallaby was ungroomed and starting to soften in the sun and was good skiing.  I needed to run to base to drop off my ruck sack and put on an extra layer so we dropped into Boomerang which was untracked. The conditions were such that where it appeared icy it had in fact softened and in the wind sift it was slabby and grippy - just about the toughest first tracks I have skied.

We went to the New Side and found Lift Line open and with soft new snow. After that we started looping White Pass through the Gun Bowl which was soft snow and virtually untracked due to the absence of crowds (or actually anyone at all much) on the hill today. Quite Right and Pillow Talk all skied well. After a while Knot Chutes opened and we skied them all the way across from Tight Knot to Jim and back again. Below that we had the I bowl, Surprise Trees (several ways) and Fiery Hornet all untracked until we hit them. The snow varied from softening crust to wind sift and back again and actually was pretty good skiing.

Polar Peak was closed as were the Saddles so we ran to a late lunch via the Big 3. Skydive had one track in it so we had first tracks in Decline which were very mellow and soft down to the Megasaurus Trail and after that things got very mushy and sticky to the point where it just about qualified as elephant snot.

After lunch we went back up the New Side as the Currie Chutes had looked pretty good and untracked earlier. We dropped Tom's Run or thereabouts and found that we had been right, it was soft but not  too much and was untracked all the way down to Gilmar Trail. We had intended more New Side loops but the Timber Chair was broken down so we went to the Old Side. The sunny Side Shoulder and China Wall were good soft skiing and I ran back down to Timber to find it was still broken down. I had a choice to keep running back to base to check on Timber and miss out on good skiing or just accept that it was to be an Old Side afternoon, I chose the latter.

Bear Cave Chutes, New Lift Line and Cedar Centre were all soft and off the groomer mostly untracked. Kangaroo was still excellent soft bumps although the melting snow did raise some navigation issues. Boomerang was very sticky even down in the guts. Last run was up Bear then down North Ridge (very soft groomed skiing) and then Boom Ridge. The ridge was great soft bumps skiing for the most part but in some places the new soft snow had tufted to the point of making it slow and a bit tricky. The push to base along Cedar Trail was probably the hardest part of the run.

Only time for a couple of beers in the Griz before we headed out for a meal at the Bridge Bistro with Brad and family hence tonight's late report. All set for a big Hot Dog day tomorrow in what should be warmer conditions.

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