Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Day 103 a picture is worth a thousand words

I don't usually put pictures in the blog but this one taken today by my buddy Dan sums up the day perfectly. We had a bluebird day, the hill had a large number of avalanches visible which happened in the wet snow over the past few days and after the hard freezing conditions overnight everything was boiler plate.

Overnight there was no new snow and on the way to the hill it was -5 and unsurprisingly everything had frozen even more solid that yesterday. During the day temps rose at the base to about + 3 but up the mountain things remained at or about zero. Just like yesterday the snow softened but only in the direct sunlight and then only late in the day. For the most part everything else stayed rock hard all day.

We went to the Old Side and spent the first part of the morning running down groomers in Bear, Arrow, Bow, Cascade and Dancer. We regularly tested the ungroomed areas in between the runs but they remained very hard and icy. None the less in the absence of anything else we skied them as best we could on rain dappled ice. China Wall was only semi groomed and was about the most challenging run we could find.

We then dropped over into Cedar Bowl ad tried Cruiser and Cedar Centre which skied ok with some hard ice grooming. Of course I had to try Kangaroo which was beyond doubt the ugliest piece of icy bump skiing I have ever experienced. We looped out again into Cedar Bowl and went to the far side where they had cut a track through some huge avi debris which made for interesting skiing. This time we dropped Wallaby which was actually starting to soften in the sun.

I had to run to base as I had a doctors appointment down town (nothing serious) so we took Sunny Side shoulder which had only just opened and it was softening ok despite yesterday's traffic and was far and away the best run of the morning.

When I eventually got back to the hill there was just time for a very quick afternoon on the New Side. We looped out into Currie Bowl and dropped Concussion which was softened but was just starting to set up. It was not as good as yesterday but on a day of very limited opportunities off the groomers it was ok. We had a couple of loops up White Pass and found that although the Gun Bowl and the I Bowl had softened they hadn't softened much and for the most part we were skiing hard refrozen crud.

With the Reverse Traverse closed at Currie Creek we had no chance of Skydive so went out and did Concussion one last time which if anything was more set up and getting a bit scratchy. Over all things were a bit like yesterday but with the stuff that had softened already having been skied and the surfaces just a bit harder and icier. After skiing the decks were sunny and the Griz Bar was well attended.

Tonight they are calling for freezing temps again and tomorrow we may not have so much sunshine so we could be in for another hard icy day's skiing.

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