Monday, January 16, 2017

Day 46 a short day and a windy one

First of all the reason for the short day. We got a call this morning to say that Lynda's mother had died back in the UK. A lot of the morning was spent fixing flights for her to go back to the UK tomorrow to sort things out. I may be needed back in the UK but in the short time I shall stay here on my own and carry on.

With only a little over half a day available I decided just to go to the New Side and see what was happening. Things had warmed up on the way to the hill at -12 and at the White Pass load it even got up to about -8 during the day. I understand things were a lot colder on the Old Side and a number of people moved from Old to New hoping to get warmer - they were disappointed. The brutal ridge line winds more than cancelled out any warming in temps and even though it was quite bright with sunny spells it was clear that we were on the front end of a weather system.

I noticed going up White Pass that the snow had sifted into the Gun Bowl and under the chair and I had several runs down in deep untracked wind sift. This was a pattern repeated all day as I looped back under the chair in between other runs on several occasions and as the winds got stronger the sift just got deeper and more untracked, some of the best skiing of it's kind I have had.

Amazingly Polar Peak was open in these brutal winds and I went up to see what the chutes were like. I had hoped that the winds which were just howling at the peak would have sifted snow into the chutes. One run down Papa Bear showed me that the snow had been scoured out of the chutes and the surface was rock hard and only just taking an edge but at least it was pretty flat. I wasn't prepared to get that cold to get some barely average skiing and that was my last visit to the peak for the day.

The rest of the day was spent looping Decline (twice and still soft wind sifted snow) Stag Leap (nice and soft and not too twiggy at the bottom) Concussion (three times, soft flat sift) Alpha Centauri (lots of sift) and Surprise Trees, the only real disappointment as I had anticipated the sift having blown in there but it hadn't and all we had was hard chunky tracked up snow. A special mention has to go to the top section of Lift Line which was also filling up fast with sift and was a great drop from Timber top to White Pass load.

The usual final rip down Skydive was just as much fun as ever with more lines starting to emerge in the final pitch. We had a few drinks in the Griz and thanks to all our friends who were so kind to Lynda who had joined me for the latter part of the afternoon's skiing.

Tomorrow may be interesting as I have to drop Lynda at Cranbrook airport around midday and meet a buddy who is arriving on an evening flight. At the moment I am of the mind to have a half day skiing at Kimberly which is a place I have only skied once before and that many years ago. Watch this space for a rather different report tomorrow.

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