Saturday, January 28, 2017

Day 58 welcome to the windy city

No new snow overnight but with strong winds which blew all day some wind sift was available but by the same token there were many places that the snow had been scoured from to provide that sift. It warmed up and was -3 on the way to the hill and as I sit here typing this it is +1 on my deck. During the day it stayed at just about minus temps all over the hill and I noticed last time through it was still -4 at the White Pass load. It was a hazy overcast day with just a bit of hazy sunshine but never enough to soften the snow on any part of the hill that I skied on. White Pass top and above were very socked in and as a result Polar Peak never opened or even looked like opening.

As I said the big feature of the day was the wind that was ripping across the upper hill and sifting snow both up and down on several slopes. To illustrate what I mean we cut first tracks out to Snake Ridge four times today with the sift having filled in the tracks each time. Light was pretty flat and with the blowing snow viz was a problem in some places more or less all day.

We went to the Old Side looking foe sift and put in four loops out along the Cedar High Traverse. They were -
Gorby/Steep and Deep - some good sift in the top of Gorby but Steep and deep was scoured and very scratchy all the way down.
Snake Main/ Gorby Gap - again good snow in the top but it change pretty quickly into crust and the lower parts were pretty icy but with some soft sift having accumulated in the gullies.
Poppa Chutes/Red Tree - for a change the Fish Bowl didn't really deliver and the snow was a bit slabby and wind affected. Lower Redtree was icy bumps which actually skied ok.
Snake Ridge - this time we hit the ridge just before the main run and found where most of the snow had blown to, it was great sift down to where we had to cut into the Gorby Gap for the exit where it was just as described above.

All exits were through Kanagroo which of course was hard ugly bumps and so really business as usual. Boomerang completed the loops and we were starting to see the wind grooming in skiers right of the guts which gave easy smooth skiing. Somewhere in there we did a couple of drops of Boom Ridge which were hard icy bumps with death cookies and a great place to improve your technical skiing.

After lunch we hit the New Side and found that Anaconda second chute and Bootleg Glades where both places where the wind sift had accumulated. Cougar Glades with the cut into Stag Leap was ok with the glades a bit crusty and the final pitch of Stag Leap hard and icy but surprisingly good skiing. We tried a good old fashioned drop of Decline which skied very nicely in the top but was fairly hard on the lower pitch.

Just before Skydive we hike Mitchy's Chutes and found a good soft line of blow in just to the skiers right of Big Bang which was mostly untracked. Skydive of course was bumps followed by ok soft followed by crust followed by refrozen crud, a fun challenging end to the day.

As usual there was a line up to get in the Griz Bar it being Saturday and as I never line up to give people my money we headed down town to the excellent Kodiak Bar at the Raging Elk which was an ideal quiet place to talk about the days skiing and have an orange juice and soda.

Looks like more of the same tomorrow.

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