Monday, February 27, 2017

Day 82 it snowed all day, kind of

In the sense that we had white stuff falling from the sky from the time we arrived at the hill until the time we went home it is technically correct to say that it snowed all day. The truth was that the snow came down so light at times that there was no accumulation on us during a full chair lift ride while at other times we an ok accumulation. I would imagine that the final daily result was the 3-5 cms that the forecasters were calling for which just freshened up all the skiing surfaces.

Overnight they were reporting 3 cms of snow in the last 24 hours but only 1 in the last 12. This felt about right as we didn't see much of anything down here in the valley overnight and the flurries on the hill yesterday created a light covering. It was a lot colder with temps of -15 on the way to the hill and -5 as we drove back. Things stayed cold all day and mid afternoon we had temps of -4 at the base and -9 up the hill so everything stayed in great shape. As you would expect with snow falling it was mostly overcast with flat light but later in the day we did get some hazy sunshine as the snow became much lighter.

Everything was open so we went to the Old Side to see what we had missed there yesterday. Overall my impression was that there was slightly more snow on the Old Side than the New but the snow quality on the New seemed to be a bit lighter and fluffier - lets call it a draw for time being. We skied all the usual places off Boomerang Chair - Cedar Ridge (soft tracked powder) Boom Ridge ( soft bumps and very deep if you stayed skiers left) Boomerang (soft easy skiing all the way down) Linda's (a little scratchy in the top getting very soft lower down so the creek bed in the Private Parts was an easy ski for the first time this year). Kangaroo was always the return route and as usual it was hard challenging bumps but taking an ok edge so it was good skiing if you were prepared to work at it.

Two things are worth special mention. The first is that the trees to skiers right of Boom Ridge at the bottom were open for the first time this season. It had lots of deep untracked lines but as always deadfall was a problem and you had to be careful. The second was our long loop out where Lynda hit Steep and Deep and I hit Gorby Bowl. Because of the uncertain exit Gorby remained very lightly tracked with super deep snow all the way down to the water fall. The exit with a left right shimmy was a bit icy and easy to miss so you had to pay attention. Lynda said that Steep and Deep was good and lived up to it's name.

We went for a quick loop on the New Side and decided not to go up Polar Peak due to the socked in viz, Instead we went to Decline where I found the best snow of the day. The bumps at the top were rather icy and the first few turns a bit ribby but after that things just got softer and deeper all the way down. My theory is that the other two of the Big Three (let no one dare call them the fingers), Skydive and Stag Leap get more traffic the further down you go as tree skiers bail and come back into the open. On Decline as you go lower skiers tend to drop off into Secret Chutes, Window Chutes etc so the traffic become less and the skiing improves. Whatever the reason the skiing below the Megasauraus was sensational with face shots all the way down.

After lunch I did something I don't normally do, I just kept skiing the same runs over and over as I figured I had found the best snow on the hill. Each loop comprised a run off Polar Peak (the viz much improved in the hazy sunshine) down Grand Papa Bear back to the chair. With the wind now blowing in the more usual direction of lookers left to right the snow had filled in on Grand Papa Bear and it was soft and deep. Next I hopped the shoulder between Papa and Mama Bear by the bent tree and dropped the little chute just over the shoulder which was completely untracked and soft snow all the way into Mama Bear which was also super deep and soft. The loop was completed by hitting out to Decline - see earlier remarks for just how good this was and it remained that way all afternoon. I managed 4 loops of great deep powder skiing and didn't feel that I had missed anything by restricting myself in this way.

Last run of course was Skydive where we only had 5 of us today but we hit it at speed and it was about the fastest run down so far this year. After the icy bumps in the top it just got better as we went down, rather like Decline but in truth not quite so good. Temp on the deck is -6 and we have light snow falling. They are calling for a moderate accumulation tonight but then that was what they were calling for two days ago when we got 35/40 cms. Here's hoping.

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