Friday, January 13, 2017

Day 43 Billygoating

On a day like today when there is no new snow and not much happening and Lynda has taken the day off so I am on my own, it's always a good day to try some billygoating of which more later.

As I said there was no significant new snow overnight but things had warmed up a little as it was only -22 on the way to the hill. This trend continued during the day as on the way back it was -16. Just like yesterday the mercury temp up the hill warmed a bit during the day but this was cancelled out but some brutal winds at the top of Timber Chair and White Pass Chair which were there for most of the day.

The conditions were overcast with some mountain snow which had accumulated about 1 cm before we started and maybe another cm during the day. This really only had the effect of making things look pretty and speed up the skiing surface but in the absence on anything else I'll take it. Of course in the brutal winds the Polar Peak chair was a non starter. With strong winds came windsift which gave smooth soft skiing on the leeward slopes and particularly in the Gun Bowl, the I Bowl and the Currie Chutes.

I went for a New Side day and no one I knew went to the Old Side so I have no idea of conditions over there. After a loop through the Gun Bowl, Anaconda Glades and Bootleg Glades all of which had wind sift and flat light I hit out on the Reverse Traverse which was pretty brutal and windy. At that point I had the idea of trying some billygoating.

Billygoating is where you poke around in some unusual places looking for lines that more or less no one ever skis. The plus to this is that you go to some interesting places, the downside is that you can find yourself in some pretty tight situations with limited exit options. I hiked up Cornice Ridge and dropped Lone Fir just to get in the mood and it was soft and deep. After that I did 3 more loops always hiking the ridge and dropping the face above Currie Creek and the Big 3 which is an almost unskied area full of steep deep chutes and rock bands. I was surprised just how much hill there was up there and just how technical some of the lines were but it was great way to spend the morning. Exits were through Decline, Touque Chutes/Spinal Tap or Cougar Glades where sifted wind improved the conditions.

In the afternoon I just did some New Side loops of Anaconda, Decline, Surprise Trees and Cougar Glades. all of which were improving with the wind blown snow. Cougar is getting almost ok on the left hand lower exit although it's still a bit twiggy. Last run of course was Skydive which was the usual rip with the lower section starting to fill in with some soft stuff to give the best run down since the last dump.

Having finally shaken this cold I had my first hot tub in about a week and it was good. Time for a nice early night to get a good start and beat the weekend crowds tomorrow. The forecast is still calling for a warm up and snow starting Sunday evening so fingers crossed it doesn't get too warm.

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