Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Day 61 Another short report

I'm afraid it's Tuesday wings night down at the pub so it will have to be another short report. Fortunately nothing really changed from yesterday so there is not much to add.

There was no new snow overnight of course extending the snow drought to three weeks without a significant fall and the base is now down to a skinny 155 cms. Temps on the way to the hill were -12 and it was -7 driving home. Up the hill all day temps stayed around -7/8 and bit colder up on Polar Peak. For the most part it was bluebird day but with cloudy patches later on. When you looked out from Polar Peak you could see weather cells that looked like they might be snow all round us but none actually got to us and there wasn't even a single snow flake during the day.

We went to the New Side which proved fortunate as the Bear Chair broke down during the morning and stayed that way for most of the day. We did numerous loops up Polar Peak which was generally hard and bumpy but taking an edge. The best run was Crusty which was still soft sift and the worst Grand Papa Bear which was hard bumps followed by wind affected crud. All the others (Papa, Mamma, Baby and Spirt Bear) were all ok but challenging.

We did a drop down Decline which actually skied nicely in the top taking a good edge but in the last pitch was refrozen crud. We went back up Polar for some more loops just as before then dropped to lunch with a hike up through Lone Fir which was ok in the upper chute but pretty firm all the way down after that. The exit through Freeway was very icy where the groomer had been and hard bumps where it hadn't.

After lunch we went back and did New Side loops that involved a couple of runs down Polar peak then a drop to the base. The drops were -

Stag Leap - nice in the trees and the top section getting very hard icy bumps in the final pitch.
The Brain/Window Chutes - the top of the Brain skied well as did the first pitch of window chutes with soft crust taking and edge. The final part of Window Chutes was icy and the final choke just an ugly mess of rocks and wood, an interesting challenge.
Concussion - we started this from the top of Papa Bear and skied non stop to the Timber load, our first Peak to Pint of the season. It was getting a bit firm and icy in the Concussion chutes but lower down it was taking an ok edge. Gilmar Trail was of course slick ice and the only practical way to ski it was to straight line it so we did.

Final run or course was Skydive which was firm bumps, rather crusty both in the top and mid sections and hard ugly refrozen crud in the final pitch. I know people think we are mad but it was really good fun to rip this in one from the White Pass top as has become our habit and great fun as we crisscrossed each other in the final pitch going way faster than was sensible in the conditions - very silly but boys will be boys.

Overall a very tough day in difficult conditions. If you were looking for easy skiing this would have been a bad day for you, if you were looking for a challenge and wanted to improve your technical skills (like most of my buddies do) then this was a good day with great fun skiing.

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