Sunday, January 22, 2017

Day 52 What a difference 4 cms makes

And before we have any school boy jokes about todays heading I am of course referring to the 4 cms of new snow that the hill reported this morning as having fallen over night.

It was a mixture of sun and cloud today with maybe a bit more sun in the middle of the day going back to more overcast conditions by the end. We had no snow during the day but as I said 4 cms over night. On the way to the hill it was -4 and also -4 driving home but in between times there were some significant variances. The temps at the base rose to a little over freezing and then fell later in the day with not much damage being done to the snow. Up the hill the temps came in layers accompanied by some valley cloud/fog which occasionally affected viz. I don't think it ever got above freezing right at the top of Polar Peak but elsewhere we saw plus temps of a couple of degrees which came and went as the layers rolled in. By the end of the day things had cooled down and the White Pass load for the final lift was showing -5. The snow base remains at a rather thin 176 cms.

The new snow provided a nice soft skiing surface up high but importantly lower down it covered the crust and gave and ok skiing surface with a bit of crusty give. I think the warming temps helped the new snow to blend with the underlying crust as the resulting surface was really surprisingly good. Low down of course we had dust on crust but even then the new snow seemed to have enough substance to at least provide a cushion and an edge to work with. Overall it was a massive improvement on what we have seen for the past two days.

We had a new Side day and first run was up Polar Peak which seemed to have firmed up under the new snow and whilst the bumps in the chutes were taking an edge it was way firmer than I was expecting. We spent all morning skiing permutations of Crusty, Grand Papa, Shale Slope, Papa, Mama, Baby and Spirit Bear. They were all pretty good but with the further out chutes being way less skied they were the place to be with the run of the day in Spirit Bear. The Polar Chutes were interspersed with drops all the way to the bottom via Concussion (still excellent and soft skiing holding up very well) Lone Fir (skiing amazingly well in the chute and really well in the fan and below) Easter Bowl (nice and soft and giving the first indication that the crust had now softened) Decline ( great in the top and ok for the rest of the run in the new snow) and then it was time for a late lunch.

After lunch we found that the Polar Chair was temporarily down so we did another Concussion loop before finding the chair reopened. The rest of the afternoon was spent in the Polar Chutes just as the morning. For my final Polar run I decided to put my theory of things getting better to the test and hit Spirit Bear (still run of the day) The Brain (top section only but untracked) and a cut into Window Chutes (good crisp untracked skiing if a bit sketchy in the chutes) I had been right, things had got a lot better.

Final run of course was back up for Skydive which skied ok all the way down and was rather crusty in the mid section and crunchy in the bottom but over all good in my opinion. Looks like we may get some more snow tonight and if that is the case maybe the Old Side will be worth a go tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

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