Thursday, April 7, 2016

Day 119 a great day's spring skiing

Now, as every one knows I am not the greatest fan of spring skiing, in fact I much prefer full on winter conditions however when you get to the second week in April even I have to face reality and accept that this is as good as it is going to get. Today it actually got very good despite the spring (some might say summer) temps that hit us.

After yesterday's spectacular Hot Dog Day drinking today (Hot Dog Boxing Day) was bound to be a bit quieter. Many regular faces were missing from the hill first thing and several stayed missing all day. We didn't get to the hill until about 9:30 which given the events of yesterday was something of a miracle.

It was a bluebird day and temps when we arrived at the base were already +3 and rising fast. It had frozen overnight so it was hard and icy in the shade before the sun hit it but as soon as the sun did hit everything softened so fast it was quite scary. By afternoon we were seeing temps of +16 at the base and even +10 at the Polar Load and bearing mind that these were temps in the shade - in the direct sunlight the temps could well have been 10 degrees higher, as I said, summer skiing.

We went to the Old Side and hit Sunny Side shoulder and China Wall both of which had just started to soften and what we got was not short of corn snow. The untracked skiing in Cedar around New Lift Line was surprisingly firm so we cut into Cedar Centre which was way softer. Kangaroo was open (at least the closed sign was turned round) and skied surprisingly soft until the last few turns and although navigation was a slight problem with holes appearing in the snow it was great soft bump skiing.

After that we tried Boom Ridge which was soft bumps and getting softer and skiing just about as well as I have ever experienced it. That set the scene for the morning with loops in Boom Guts, Cedar Ridge, Cedar Centre and Kanagroo but particularly Boom Ridge which we must have hit 5 times and was skiing so mellow with the soft bumps coming at you in perfect timing.

After Lunch we went up the New Side and with Lift Line closed we dropped Puff as we did all afternoon which was also soft easy bumps. We did a White Pass loop back through the Gun Bowl (soft and easy), Pillow Talk (taking a great edge) and Morgans Dilemma which was also skiing pretty easy.

Polar Peak was open and the Polar Chutes were available so we hit Papa Bear which was soft easy slow motion skiing. For the rest of the afternoon we looped Papa, Grand Papa and Barely Legal which were all skiing beautifully every time on soft snow although the rocks were starting to come through in places so the lines we had to thread were tighter in places than they had been. Our final run off the Peak was Spirit Bear for only the second time this year which was very tight in the chokes but in the conditions you could just drop the skis in the fall line and let them run. We dropped to base via Tom's run where we seemed to have got first tracks in the rather soft snow.

Last time up White pass we had a loop to kill so dropped the Knot Chutes which were soft but not excessively so and just rolled out through a very soft I bowl. Final run was Skydive which was perhaps the best skiing on the hill. I am not sure if it was hard getting softer or soft and starting to reform but the result was that the bumps had mostly gone, It was untracked and there was firm under base with a soft surface taking an edge on top. It got softer in some places and harder in others but over all it was excellent skiing, the best on the hill today.

So as we sat on the locals deck drinking beer in the very warm sun we contemplated a day where it was hard to think of a bad run we had taken and overall it was excellent spring skiing where ever we went.

Tomorrow is due to be even warmer and the lower hill in particular is going to struggle to stay in shape but with only three days to go we should just about make it.

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