Friday, February 3, 2017

Day 64 here comes the snow

I seem to be making a habit of apologising for late posts recently but this one come with a very good excuse. I am flying back to the UK tomorrow to attend Lynda's mum's funeral so I have had to spend this evening packing and getting my act together. Of course this means that I won't be back until Thursday with my first day on the hill Friday and the first blog that evening so everyone will just have to make the most of tonight's effort.

There was no new snow overnight and it was a nippy -21 on the way to the hill. Conditions were overcast so that by the time we started skiing we were getting light snow flurries and by the end of the day quite steady light snow which had probably accumulated about 5 cms by last lift. Temps up the hill were -12 at the base and -14 at the White Pass load. With the much higher moisture content of the air it seemed much colder and around the middle of the day we had some freezing mist (how the hell do you get that at these temps) which coated the goggles but fortunately didn't last long. I don't want to appear ungrateful but it would be nice if just once this season the snow came down as good old Sierra cement to give us the solid base we need and not blower powder which gets taken away so quickly by wind and skier traffic.

We went to the Old Side and did a couple of loops of Steep and Deep which was hard ugly crust with death cookies as the new snow had not had much effect. Returns were through a very hard icy bumpy Kangaroo and a firm Boomerang with a bit of sift. We even had time for a quick run back through Boom Ridge which was testing ice bumps which as that was what we were trying to practice on was ideal. We went to the New Side to try our luck.

Polar Peak was open but socked in with cloud and we were informed that the Polar Chutes were closed. We decided the best thing to do were New Side loops and so hit Decline which skied really very nicely even in the lower section and Cougar Glades/Stag leap which was still crusty in the glades and hard bumps in the lower pitch. As I skied across the Meadow for a late lunch for the first time in many weeks I actually felt the cushioning effect of soft snow under my skis.

After lunch I went back up the New Side with friends and on my recommendation from the morning we went back to Decline which skied even better with the snow starting to accumulate. Next loop we decided to go up Polar Peak on the grounds that as it was open we should at least make the effort. The Polar Chutes were closed so we dropped into Crusty Clown Chute which was quite soft but with about zero light. For example at the bottom I decided to ski the next pitch by pushing over the edge of the cat track only to find I wasn't standing anywhere near the edge - yes, the light was that bad. We hit Touque Chutes which were really starting to ski nicely and the then cut into Spinal Tap where the  crust and the ice had a bit of a new covering and skied way better than of late.

We just had time for a White Pass loop and went out into Surprise Trees that were filling in nicely and didn't show any tracks in the new snow on skiers right. Last run of course was Skydive which was showing steady improvement in all sections  from the new snow although the final pitch is still fairly scratchy.

I had farewell OJ and soda in the bar before coming home to pack. The forecast looks very promising and if I am any judge the whole of the next week could be pretty good. Watch this space next Friday for my collected thoughts.


  1. Didn't miss all that much Saturday. A few centimeters of light powder but it was was really easy to slide through to the ice underneath, and you have to keep aware sliding between mounds of snow and patches of ice.

    Sorry you missed Sunday. The snow kept piling up, a big deeper overnight. Most of the hill was closed and there were big lines except on bear (boom/bear chutes laps were the way to go) but they opened up the reverse traverse just before noon and there were fantastic deep lines in cougar glades to stags leap (I'm sure skydive, incline and window chutes were fantastic too.)

    My condolences to your wife.

  2. Thanks, try and leave some for me when I get back on the hill on Friday