Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Day 20 One of my Best Day's Skiing Ever

I must make it clear that I am not saying that today's conditions were some of the best ever, although they were pretty good. My measure of a day is a personal one based on how much I enjoy myself and not some numeric calculation based on snow fall, vert skied, snow depth etc. This blog is a totally subjective view (my view) of the skiing and although many may think that today was not one of the great days that is up to them - if they want to express a counter view there are always the comments at the end of the blog or indeed they can start their own blog  - what you are getting here is just my opinion. So why was today so good ?

They called the new snow at 13 cms in the last 24 hours bringing the total out of the last cycle to a little short of 70 cms and the base around 150 cms. The forecast highs were -1 at the base and -4 up the hill and although things started a degree or two cooler these proved to be very accurate forecasts. Conditions were overcast but viz was very good all day and although the wind got up to blow in a little sift around midday it dropped towards evening making the skiing very mellow and easy - first thing in favour of a great day.

We arrived at the parking lot just before 9 and found it nearly full so we were anticipating crowds on the hill. I don't know if the crowds were on the groomers (don't ski them) the Old Side (didn't get there) or the lower mountain (just a blur at the end of each loop) but out on the hill I hardly saw anyone. Of course they may have been in the day lodge but with skiing this good I went from 9-4 with no break so the first time I saw the inside of the lodge was at the end of a very big day.

We went to the New Side in the hope of new openings and as I walked to Timber Chair at 9 a patroller buddy came past me and just said "The Big 3". I took this to mean that they had opened the Big 3 runs (Skydive, Stag Leap and Decline) and this should prove, if proof were needed for once and for all that these runs are not, repeat not called "the fingers". We dropped Lift Line to White Pass which was deep and soft and remained that way all day. After that we just took my buddies advice.

What made the day really great was that only the low traverse was open so it was a bit of work to get out to Skydive Traverse although the traverse was cut about the best I have ever seen it to avoid too much work - in any event it kept the crowds, such as they were, away. We spent 7 hours doing repeat loops of Skydive, Stag Leap, Decline, Window Chutes, Cougar Glades, The Brain, Spinal Tap, Touque Chutes, Secret Chutes, Easter Bowl etc. We got first, or at least early tracks in most of these and even by the end of the day when we were putting in repeat loops there were still plenty of untracked lines. The skiing was just perfect in deep steep soft powder and whenever you got in a tight spot in trees all you had to do was push your skis in the fall line and let them rip.

Lynda held on until about 2 but also had an overdose of awesomeness which during the day had caused her to drop off the traverse early as she could not bring herself to ski past the untracked powder in the Currie Chutes. Neither the Saddles nor Polar Peak were open so we still have that to come. The only disappointment was that the hike up to Lone Fir was open but when I got there the chute was closed so I had to drop back down Cornice Chute which was more or less untracked and still pretty good. I didn't get to the Old Side but I am told that they opened Cedar Bowl all the way out the Snake Ridge and the skiing out there was awesome. I understand that Cruiser and Cedar Centre were ungroomed and caused some problems for the unprepared but that's early season skiing for you. Too much mountain and not enough time to ski it all.

As a result of today's great skiing I had two firsts for this season - first time I had skied from first to last bell without any kind of a break and first beers of the season in the Griz, well, orange and soda just wasn't going to be enough today. Tomorrow we may get Polar and the Saddles so looks like another day of hanging around the New Side.

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