Friday, December 30, 2016

Day 29 The crowds really showed up

Today was the busiest day so far in this winter holiday cycle and I am told that we had 6700 skiers (or boarders) on the hill today which is getting close to a record. Even though we anticipated getting to the hill before 8:30 the line up on Highway 3 was all the way back past the Stanford and I understand that mid morning it was all the way back into town.

The driver for the crowds of course was the 24 cms of new snow in the last 24 hours and the anticipated sun cloud mix which would make today a really nice skiing day - the base was just a few cms short of the magic 200 cm mark. The forecasts for the conditions were right so although we had no new snow during the day we did have the overnight dump to trash and we certainly gave it out best shot. Temps on the way to the were -9 and during the day up the mountain they warmed to -7 before cooling so that as I swung the truck into my garage tonight the temps on the truck was showing -6.

We went to the New Side for all the reasons previously explored and found that the line ups were bigger than the past few days but not totally excessive. Mid morning they dropped the fence on Currie and we were in the charge out to the Big 3 and were in the first wave down Skydive getting untracked lines particularly on skiers left. Totally awesome face shots all the way down.

After that we looped off the end of the Reverse Traverse and found the best untracked deep snow in Touque Chutes and Spinal Tap although all of the other runs were good. Mid morning Polar Peak opened and we looped it about 10 times alternating Grand Papa, Papa Bear, Barely Legal (just ignore the cliff signs and track right) and Crusty chutes which were all good and deep. Late morning the wind started to get up and viz deteriorated on Polar so we ran off through Mamma Bear which was also soft and deep.

On a day like today there was no point in trying to lunch in the Day Lodge at anything like normal time so we continued to loop the New Side with Lone Fir being good and The Brain being the run of the day particularly in the lower section where the deadfall was mostly covered by deep snow and it was actually better to drop into the creek bed to avoid the deadfall than to look for the usual right hand side chutes. Lunch didn't come until 2:15.

The late afternoon was spent looping Decline and similar lightly tracked runs before the inevitable Skydive finish. I was actually impressed by just how well Skydive had held up and how much untracked skiing there was - so impressed I one stepped it all the way down.

The Griz bar was really jumping tonight for the first time this season although this may have something to do with me being so pumped I was drinking beer. It was great to see all my ski buddies in there just as pumped as I was after a day like this. As sign of the times we had our first (but I am sure not last) nude table slide of the season, Well we are a small town and have to make our own entertainment.

Looks like we are due another snow event starting late tomorrow and spreading into the next day but how much that will bring is an open question. After that they are calling for an Arctic airmass to move in and stick with us through to next weekend giving daytime highs in the high teens. No problem for me compared with the pre Christmas freeze up but I dare say there will be those who struggle. At least the hill should get very quiet very quick.

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