Saturday, December 24, 2016

Day 23 Am I awake or am I dreaming ?

The reason I have to ask myself this question is yet again we had another dump of snow today which gave us yet another major powder day. This is now most definitely, in my opinion (which is the only one you are going to get here) the best pre Christmas I can remember in 14 seasons of skiing Fernie every day. On the other hand perhaps I have just died and gone to heaven, who cares as long as the snow keeps coming.

Overnight they only reported another 7 cms of snow which was not the dump we had been hoping for but the snow started again about 9 and just hosed down until about 3 in the afternoon. I imagine that we must have got 20 cms out of the cycle and the base must now be up well over 170 cms which is getting close to the magic 2 metre mark which is the point at which we all tell ourselves that the base will last and we all relax.

Temps on the way to the hill was -5 and about -7 mid mountain. During the day the mid mountain temps dropped to -9 and the valley temps were around -6 as I went out for my Christmas Eve meal at the excellent Bridge Bistro. Viz was the issue today in the snow which was very heavy at times. The top of the hill was socked in all day and the bad viz line got down as low as the White Pass load early afternoon before lifting a little by the end of the day. It was a case of braille sking on the Reverse Traverse pretty well all day.

With new snow the parking lot was as expected busy but once again when we got on the hill at a few minutes passed 9 the crowds all disappeared. They my or may not have been in the day lodge as it was another day when I skied 7 hours straight with no break - yes it was that good. The new snow gave us refreshed deep untracked powder in many places and as the snow continued to fall things just got better and deeper as the day went on.

As usual I just had a New Side day (no Polar but who knows tomorrow) and the runs were fantastic. Areas skied included Decline (very good) The Brain top (super deep snow) Window Chutes ( soft and deep) Stag Leap ( good in the top but still twiggy lower down) Touque chute (mostly untracked) Spinal Tap (the creek bed starting to fill in but still a bit technical in the choke but other wise very deep) Nameless Trees (at least no one can tell me the name of the trees between Skydive and Stag Leap - mostly untracked with some big jumps off dead fall) Lone Fir (still soft and mellow) High Saddle (still in surprisingly good shape although the soft snow underneath couldn't really be attacked in the poor light) Currie Creek deeper than expected etc Lynda tried most of the Currie Chutes and says they were great. Even the ski outs through Easter and Freeway were good powder.

Special mention for run of the day goes to Siberia Ridge which I hit for the first time today and which was so good I went back and hit it again straight away which is something I hardly ever do. It was lightly tracked and although the choke was a bit sketchy after that it was deep terrain hugging powder all the way with what looked to me like a lot of brush clearance having been done - just watch for the fallen tree in the final pitch, officially awesome.

Of course we finished with a rip down Skydive which was much improved and then drinks in the Griz before starting Christmas proper. There is some talk of more snow tonight although it doesn't look like it and a chance of Polar Peak tomorrow, that would be a nice Christmas present.

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