Monday, January 16, 2017

Day 45 A short late report

Apologies for the late report but Sundays are my one day of the week for drinking (and I tend to try an make up for the other 6 days) and we went out for a meal at the excellent Himalaya restaurant so things have rather got ahead of me.

We didn't get any real new snow over night, only a light dusting which just made things look a bit nicer and made the surface run a bit faster. The temps still don't show that much sign of warming as on the way to the hill they were -13 and on the way back -12 although driving back from the restaurant tonight they were down to -20. Once again the daytime highs got up to around -10 but a cold ridgeline wind (particularly on Polar Peak) gave a fairly brutal wind chill high up.

There was some valley cloud but we had a lot of sun during the day and on our last ride up Polar Peak we noticed that things were bluebird in our part of the world but looking out to the West towards Koocanusa it was a solid low cloud base that was trying to push into our part of the Lizard Range - who needs a weather forecast when you can go and see it happening for yourself.

We had an Old Side morning looping out first to Snake Ridge which was nice and soft in the middle section. Then we hit Gorby Bowl taking an easier line down the left hand side of the choke and finding soft deep snow all the way down. Finally we dipped into Fish Bowl on the Poppa Chutes and found really nice deep snow before we exited on the Redtree cut out. All returns were through Kangaroo and Boomerang/Bear Chutes which all skied nicely on soft bumps.

We went to the New Side and found Polar Peak open despite brutal winds and dropped Papa Bear which was a bit varied but generally ok skiing. Needing a warm up we side stepped up to Lone Fir and found that it was still in remarkably good condition as was the fan below which was soft and deep. The exit for lunch through Easter and Freeway was also pretty good.

After lunch we decided than an adventure was in order and hiked out all the way to the high entrance to Fish Bowl where I found they had installed a transceiver gate and was gratified to find that mine was working A1. We worked our way across the bowl and then dropped great untracked lines all the way down picking our way through some of the tighter chutes. As always it was a long hike out of the bottom of the bowl but thoroughly worth it for the best skiing of the day.

With not much time we dropped Boomerang to get across to Timber Chair and the New Side and got up White Pass just in time to catch the last chair up Polar Peak - the chair closes a half hour before the rest of the hill. It was still brutally windy despite the bluebird conditions and we just had time for a rip down Papa Bear which was firm wind groomed snow and a skate round Trespass Trail to get the final chair up White Pass.

The final rip down Skydive was good and it remains soft in most places although getting a bit firmer in the upper pitches in my judgement. The Griz bar was it's usual awesome Sunday night gathering which for a whole range of reasons is my favourite night of the week - it's no coincidence that Sundays are the one day of the week I drink. After a great meal in the Himalaya it's time for bed and a repeat tomorrow in what looks like being surprisingly cold conditions.

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