Saturday, February 18, 2017

Day 73 the cost of skiing drops below 10 bucks a day

Yes, today my average cost of skiing for the season dropped below 10 bucks a day. This is much sooner than usual due to the simple fact that this year I am a senior and my seasons pass was over 200 bucks cheaper than the full adult pass. Even with the 7 days lost last week I am still optimistic that I will be able to get my average cost of skiing down to about 5 and a half bucks a day by the end of the season. Before everyone starts to tell me what a bad customer this make me just bear this in mind - it costs the hill the same whether I ski one day or 130 days. The only difference is how much I spend over and above the cost of my lift pass and obviously the more days I ski the more I spend. It follows that those of us who get the most days out of our passes are in fact the best customers the hill can have as they make more money out of us for no extra cost.

There was no new snow overnight although things had cooled down so it was -4 on the way to the hill. It was overcast and started with light snow late morning which just got heavier as the day went on. Driving back from the hill it was zero and as I look out on to my front deck it is puking snow. There wasn't much accumulation during the day but they are calling for perhaps 10 cms overnight and if this comes down at or around zero with a high moisture content it will make all the difference to hill.

We stayed on the New Side all day as I expected huge crowds (this being Alberta family weekend) and I wanted to get to Polar Peak before the rush. As it was there were crowds, but not as large as I expected so I was able to comfortably park in Lot 2 despite only arriving at about 5 to 9. Polar was a little disappointing as the light was very flat and the viz was deteriorating. The snow had firmed up and although it was taking an edge conditions were way tougher than yesterday as demonstrated by there being no line ups at the load. All this proved a bit academic as Lynda stacked it half way down Papa Bear on our first run and took a long slide down to the traverse. I had to ski down with her ski over my shoulder and although she was not hurt it kind of put Polar Peak off the menu for the rest of the morning.

We spent the rest of out time looping back the through White Pass which was all a bit scratchy after dropping Puff which was hard ugly refrozen crud all day. Loops into Currie were through 1-2-3s which skied ok up to the refrozen wet avi debris in 3's although this was ok as long as you picked your route carefully. Bootleg Glades was crusty but skiable with care and I guess the easiest route down was Currie Glades which were smooth with a thin surface accumulation of new snow. Gilmar Trail and Gully were hard and slick but not as bad as I have seen them. On my final run before lunch I went back up Polar only to find the light totally socked in to the point where the only way to turn was to check, set off a slough, look at where your slough ran and then turn into it as it gave you some idea of where the skiing surface was. After my run they closed Polar for the rest of the day which was probably no bad thing.

In the afternoon we just continued Currie loops of 1-2-3s, Currie Glades, Bootleg Glades and Gilmar Trail. Once or twice I ran back through White Pass which was scratchy everywhere but particularly in Pillow Talk. The viz line continued to descend so that by the end of the afternoon even the Gun Bowl was not an easy ski in refrozen conditions and poor viz. The only run that was consistent throughout the day was Puff which we always used to get to White Pass as Lift Line remained closed and this was hard ugly refrozen crud every run.

There was no final run on Skydive as the sign line remained down on the far side of Currie Powder although I suspect that the colder overnight temps may well have firmed up the crust on the lower sections improving things quite a lot. Lets hope that with this new snow everything will be open tomorrow.

As usual on a Saturday I gave the Griz Bar a miss as I am not prepared to line up to go drinking. In any event we have dinner tonight with friends so I needed and early departure to do the blog. Traffic off the hill was busy but I have seen worse so maybe this family weekend isn't going to be the gong show I had feared. That having been said we may have fresh snow tomorrow so lets not count our chickens.

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