Monday, January 30, 2017

Day 60 a hard day

It wasn't that the conditions were so much harder today than they have been although they were a bit tougher, it was that we decided to push ourselves hard from the outset covering a lot of ground and seeking out the most challenging lines we could in order to put ourselves to the test. The result was two (myself and buddy Steve) very tired but very happy skiers ended the day in the Griz bar.

No new snow overnight of course and what with the high winds the base was down to 155 cms which is desperately low. The temp on the way to the hill was +1 and about the same on the way back but with a cooling trend it has dropped to -2 on the front deck as I am typing this and is forecast to go to -12 over night. Conditions were overcast all day with even a slight flurrie in the afternoon which did not give any accumulation. Temps up the hill stayed low and I noticed at the Polar load at around noon it was -6 although with the increasing moisture in the air and some wind (although way less than the howling conditions of the last few days) the wind chill had to be more like -10.

We went to the Old Side and looped out the Snake Ridge which we hoped might have some fresh wind sift. As it turned out the wind had scoured the Ridge and Gorby Gap below down to an ugly crust and icy bumps. We worked our way down avoiding as many of the death cookies as we could in the final pitch. Next loop we tried Steep and Deep which against all odds was even worse than Snake with deeper crust and even more death cookies. Loops back were through Kangaroo which was just about taking an edge on the hard icy bumps with lots of twigs and wind debris evident. We did one drop of Boom ridge which if anything was icier and bumpier than yesterday before completing our loops through Boomerang. The wind grooming in Boomerang had been scoured out but at least it was flat and taking an edge even down in the guts. We went to the New Side.

Lift Line was full of soft wind grooming and stayed that way all day making it about the most mellow I can ever remember. We took a few runs off Polar Peak in the chutes which were all very hard and bumpy, just like yesterday they were ok tough technical skiing but if you made a mistake there weren't going to be any second chances. We dropped to base through Barracuda which was fairly well scoured but was flat and taking an edge. Gilmar Trail was a little better than it has been due to the groomers cutting further to the left to bring in some more snow.

We went back up Polar Peak and tried a few more chutes. We found the best snow of the day had sifted deeply in Crusty the Clown - it is somewhat ironical that the only run on the hill today that wasn't crusty was the one called Crusty, how strange is that ? We ran off through Spirit Bear which was firm and taking and edge before hiking up Lone Fir which was soft in the chute and hard below. Final run off was through Spinal Tap which was way harder, crustier and icier than it has been and a real piece of work all the way through the creek bed.

After a late lunch we hit Siberia Ridge for the first time in many days and found that against all odds the choke wasn't all that much worse than it usually is, I just think there hasn't been any traffic in there. The lower run was a bit crusty but ok. We then did a Polar loop through Spirit Bear before dropping through Decline which skied surprisingly well down to the final pitch. Our next loop was up Polar where we ran off through a flat but hard Baby Bear and then Cougar Glades (crusty but consistent) and Stag Leap which was ok in the mid section and hard icy bumps low down.

We just had time for a quick hike up to Mitchy's which was ok before hitting a non stop run from the top of White Pass through Skydive. It was as it has been with perhaps the bumps in the top and the final cruddy pitch skiing a little bit better than of late.

That was one tough day and tonight will be yet another early night after a quiet evening in.

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