Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Day 19 Warmer and Wetter

Now, no one should be getting the idea that we have been hit by a pineapple express or anything like that but the temps have risen and the snow that fell today had a much higher water content than anything we have seen so far. Nothing to get worried about as we are supposed to be at the warmest point of our current weather cycle but a timely reminder just how close to the edge we live here in terms of ski conditions.

Overnight there was more snow so that the 24 hour snowfall was 26 cms bringing the 48 hour total to 52 cms and pushing the base up to around 145 cms. Driving to the hill temps were -3 at the base which just about got up to zero during the day and -3 at the White Pass load mid afternoon. Temp on my deck now in the valley is zero and I noticed that last load at White Pass temps were down to -5 and falling.

The snow which had stopped early morning kicked off almost as soon as we got to the hill and continued of and on until mid afternoon. As I said it was high moisture which flipped into grauppel and back again a couple of times but at least always fell as white stuff. I guess we had about 10 cms out of the cycle on the hill before it finished which was way short of the volume forecast but still a pretty good top up on what we had. Perhaps it is just as well that there was not more snow as the roads were tricky and for the second day running we had a truck in the ditch on Ski Hill Road.

Winds got up again for a while though not as bad as yesterday so a combination of new snow and windsift meant loads of untracked lines reappearing over night. We went to the New Side and found the same White Pass core open all the way from Big Bang to Anaconda Glades. Everywhere was good deep powder but particularly good was Lift Line, Surprise Trees, Anaconda Glades and (really deep) Bootleg Glades. Knot Chutes remain very sketchy and rocky in places although if you know where the rocks are and avoid them there is also some great deep powder.

Late morning they opened Currie as far as Currie Powder and we had a couple of loops in some deep stuff in 1-2-3s. Later still we got the low traverse across Concussion which went as far as Currie Creek (so no Big 3, Easter, Saddles or Polar) and the loops down into Concussion were sensational - just put your skis in the deep fall line and let them rip. Late afternoon Currie was closed but by then the Surprise area had filled in and we got more deep untracked loops back to White Pass. Final run off was Anaconda and Bootleg Glades which both had many untracked lines.

Although I didn't get to the Old Side a buddy did and he said there appeared to be way less snow over there. The Old Side Triangle from Bear to Cedar Ridge was all that was open but apparently Boom Ridge skied particularly well. There was no skiing in upper Lizard Bowl or Cedar bowl so fresh tracks there are yet to come.

There is some talk of more snow tonight but most opinions point towards a day or two break in the weather systems then a cooling trend with way more snow which sounds good to me. As we have yet to have seen open Polar Peak, Reverse Travers, Saddles, Easter Bowl, Big 3, Lizard Bowl, Cedar Bowl and Snake Ridge there is loads more untracked powder to be had without any new snow and my best judgement is to hang out on the New Side tomorrow waiting for openings. Of course with the staff Christmas party tonight maybe those opens will be a bit delayed as everyone will be slow out of the traps tomorrow but I am still optimistic. Another very good day.

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