Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Day 76 more snow

Overnight we had another 23 cms of fresh bringing the three day total to around 60 cms. Whilst some of the big dumps my grab the headlines, this steady accumulation is actually what gives us a good ski base and day after day of good powder skiing with pretty well all of the hill open.

We got to the hill to find the holiday crowds had been swelled by the 20 centimeter crowd (in Fernie if it snows more than 20 cms overnight no one is expected to go into work - they go skiing instead) so things were a bit of a gong show. We though yesterday was the warmest point of the current weather cycle but we were wrong, today was. It was zero on the way to the hill and +1 driving back. During the day the base temps rose to +4 and even at the Polar load early afternoon I noticed it was about +1. Luckily it was overcast so with no direct sun light the snow was not badly affected and stayed in pretty good shape higher up and even lower down it was a bit mashed potato but nothing too serious. There was also some low cloud/fog which came and went although for the most part viz was a bit flat but ok.

Just like the last few days we went to the New Side with a view to getting as high as possible where we thought the snow would be best. Currie bowl wasn't open but Anaconda was so we dropped in and found only one track in front and it was very good. Bootleg Glades were also good so I hit the near side chutes and also found only one track in there as well. It was all great powder skiing.

Next loop up we lined up for the fence drop on the Currie bowl in full Chinese Downhill style. I had word that the Reverse Traverse wasn't open so I dropped 1-2-3s and got untracked lines. Actually I drooped 1, traversed 2 and dropped the far side of 3 which was all good powder. The run to base was via the trees to the right of Bootleg and the left Diamond Back which I don't think have a name. There was a bit of cat debris in the top but once through that there was seriously steep untracked tree skiing all the way down to Gilmar Trail.

Next loop Timber Chair broke down with us on it. We were slowly run to the top and then looking back we could see the chair had stopped. I was told at the top of White Pass it was only going to be a 15 minute problem so I ran to base through Skydive which was tracked but deep soft snow. Actually the break down lasted for over 2 hours with regular updates telling us it was only going to be 30 minutes - not good customer communications. I went to the Old Side and did a couple of Boomerang/Boom Ridge loops which were all soft deep tracked snow. Having been told that Timber was running I went back only to find it wasn't - I went for an early lunch.

As I came out after lunch I was told that Timber would be down for at least another half hour but when I got to the lift they opened the gate and I was on the first chair up. I headed to Polar Peak which I knew had been opened and had been looped by about a dozen lucky bunnies who had been "stuck" up there when the Timber Chair had broken down. Actually things worked out ok as the snow on Polar had been pretty slabby and wind affected so the little skier traffic that had taken place had broken it up into soft deep snow rather nicely.

The afternoon was spent looping Polar Peak (Shale Slope, Grand Papa Bear and Papa Bear several times) and all the chutes were soft deep broken up wind slab higher up and some interesting and rather slabby powder lower down. I had intended to run to base through Mama Bear and Lone Fir but when I got to the top of Cornice Chute it was totally untracked and I couldn't resist but to drop it and track out to the Big 3. I ran down the Brian which had huge untracked areas and although a bit heavy lower down took it all the way to the cat track.

I went back up Polar for a few more loops and it was still skiing soft and deep so I did one more drop through Spirit Bear which was hardly tracked and Concussion which was tracked up but soft. Last run of course was Skydive which was nice and soft down to the last pitch where it got quite heavy but nothing too bad.

So in summary a pretty good day with temps just a bit higher than ideal and of course a load of unwelcome lift issues. The forecast is for cooling temps and a few flurries over the next day or two. looking out a bit further it looks like we will get some serious snow next week with temps staying well below zero so all in all I am pretty optimistic.

No comments:

Post a Comment