Sunday, April 10, 2016

Day 122 closing day

So the season came to an end with the final day. In normal circumstances I would have spent that day rather like my buddies did by skiing Polar Chutes (which I understand were quite good) and finishing on Skydive which I also understand was some ok skiing. Today was different for me in that I had entered the Slope Soaker ( a competition to straight line it from a start mound and see how far you can get across a specially constructed pond after taking a bit of a jump) so I had to build my last day round that. In the event I totally miscalculated how far to get forward on the skis when I jumped and managed a spectacular back flip very shortly after I landed but it was huge fun.

It was +6 on the way to the hill and got up to about +11 during the day so though it was yet another blue bird day it was just a little cooler than yesterday. Everything in the sun started to soften quite quickly and in the shaded areas it stayed very crisp at least until the late afternoon.

We went to the Old Side for a few loops of Cedar Ridge, Kangaroo, Boom Ridge and Boom Guts all of which were firm bases with some soft on top and great skiing. We had to drop to base for me to register for the Soaker at 10:30 and I took the opportunity of a few runs off the start area to get a feel of what would be required,

After registration which gave me a start number of 55 (about 1 hour into the event) we went back up the Old Side and put in more loops just like this morning where Boom Ridge in particular was great soft bump skiing. Everything was getting softer and Kangaroo was getting very marginal with the twigs, stumps and rocks starting to show through.

I had a safety briefing at 12:30 which in the Fernie way of things meant that it was held at about 1 and the event started almost straight away. I went to the locker room to put on my costume - my rain gear as I didn't want to get wet. By the time I had done that I only had time to watch the early competitors before it was my turn, As the many videos show I hit it full on but was just not prepared for how fast the skis were going to accelerate on water and my back flip was very spectacular.

I had the fore thought to bring a full change of clothing including boots but it took a while to get back to the locker room and get dried and changed. It was more or less 3 o'clock before we got back on the hill and I had to get to the Mighty Moose to pick up my poles which were not allowed in the Soaker as they might damage the pool - which incidentally was f---ing freezing. We did think about going to the New Side for the classic Skydive finish but today had been so off the wall that we just stayed on the Old Side.

We had a couple more loops of the KC Chutes which just like yesterday were mostly untracked and just getting soft. Boom Ridge and Boom Guts were good with surfaces which were just starting to reset the mush on firm bumps. The final run was a trip out to Dancer and then a drop down the Freeway gully and Freeway itself all of which were ungroomed and very soft easy bumps on a firm base. An unusual final day but reflecting the strange day I had planned for myself.

Great beers in the Griz made all the better by picking up a spot prize for being the oldest guy ever to compete in the Soaker. Lynda loves her new white H/H jacket. Of course in the bar there were the usual Monday Morning Quarterbacks telling me exactly where I went wrong on the Soaker. As far as I could make out, the only thing they all had in common was that none of them had ever attempted the Soaker themselves and so didn't have the slightest idea what they were talking about. Well, it wouldn't be Fernie if I didn't encounter lots of people who hold strong view on subjects of which they are totally ignorant.

It was a great evening and a great end to a really good few days skiing at the end of the season. I will need to gather my thoughts before putting together the full seasons report which will appear here in a day or two. Lets face it, the season was good but not all that good so I have to find a way of expressing that fairly reflecting what it was we have had this season.

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