Sunday, February 19, 2017

Day 74 the return of powder skiing

Overnight we had 12 cms of new snow and although it fell with a fairly high moisture content it was not heavy or mushy but actually full on powder which has to be good news.

On the way to the hill it was +1 and stayed that way most of the time during the day at the base so we had a base that was getting softer all day but without actually getting slushy. Up the mountain I noticed it hung in at about -1 most of the day at the White Pass load. The result was that the new snow on top of yesterday's hard ice base gave ok skiing with a hard base underneath but as you came lower down on the hill (about the Megasauraus Trail level on the New Side) yesterdays breakable crust gave a soft skiing surface under the new snow making for a very easy soft powder experience from mid mountain to the base.

Conditions were overcast all day and around noon it started to snow with wet heavy snow mid mountain and slightly lighter stuff on top. This kept up most of the afternoon with an accumulation which may have been about 4 cms which helped the overall conditions. Later in the afternoon it brightened up but at no time did we have the sunny conditions of the past few days.

We went to the New Side and as expected Polar Peak was not open. We had a quick loop of White Pass and the found Currie Bowl open. I hit the Reverse Traverse all day without a break (not even for lunch) and was able to get a good number of laps in despite the holiday crowds by taking the single lines all day. A summary of the runs which may be a bit faulty as I have had a drinking evening this evening was as follows -
Decline - I looked in to Skydive and saw two tracks so I hit Decline untracked. It was good skiing in the top and very good lower down as the crust broke up under the new snow.
High Saddle/Spinal Tap - nice turns in the saddle with only one icy patch in the middle. Spinal Tap was soft snow on crust untracked all the way down.
Cougar Glades/Stag Leap - as always unracked lines to be found in the chutes in Cougar and ok skiing in Stag, getting very soft in the last few turns.
Lone Fir - not bad in the chute but a bit hard in the fan. Ok in the exit down to Easter and Freeway, watch out for 3 ft high avi debris in Easter.
The Brain/ Window Chutes - both had good soft untracked lines on a crusty base.
Skydive -it suddenly occurred to me that I only ski Skydive at the nd of the day so I tried it in the afternoon and it was ok with soft snow on hard base all the way down.
Stag Leap - on much the same basis as Skydive I hit Stag Leap from the top and it was good and deep all the way down.
Gotta Go - well. I tried for it. The high IT was in the best shape this year so I went out to try for Gotta Go but found it closed. This didn't make a whole lot of sense to me but rules are rules so I looped back to White Pass via Simon's Crack.
Touque Chutes/ Spinal Tap - really good soft skiing in the chutes and Spinal Tap much the same as before.
Low Saddle- on a whim I hit the Low Saddle which was way less icy than I anticipated. I cut right and the chutes were untracked which wasn't bad for 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The exit through Easter and Freeway was also pretty ok.
Jim - I just had time for a quick loop in White Pass and as the high IT was in such good shape I hit out across the top of the chutes and dropped Jim which actually skied ok if a bit technical in the tight section.

Last run of course was Skydive and although  was on my own and had skied without a break of any kind since 9 I hit it top to bottom in one and it was very good soft skiing on a firm base. A great way to end the day.

After a full on day like this I decided today was a beer day ( I have one very couple of weeks or so) and had a good session in the Griz. Tonight is a farewell party for one of my Irish buddies so things could yet get even further out of control.

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