Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Day 105 another good day but hard work

Overnight they were reporting 8 cms of new snow although driving to the hill you could see a snow/rain line about half way down so we guessed it would be a case of wet snow up top and rain affected snow lower down. On the way to the hill it was +2 and during the day the base temps got up to about +5 and at the White Pass load it was +2 by mid afternoon. It was +4 as we drove away this evening.

The effect of these temps and the conditions was that at the top of the hill we had soft fresh snow which skied really nicely. Lower down the snow turned to mush in the warm temps but below that where it had rained and not snowed there was a thin soft layer on yesterday's firm based caused by the atmospheric warming which skied very nicely indeed - almost like corn snow.

During the day it started to snow with wet snow but this turned to rain pretty quickly at the base. The rain line went up the hill all day so that by mid afternoon when the precip stopped it had reached a little way up from the White Pass load. I don't think it actually rained at the top of the hill but the snow certainly was very wet.

We went to the New Side to get as high as possible above the rain line (a bit of a no brainer) and immediately saw that in Lift Line under Timber Chair the couple of skiers that had been down had trashed the slope totally in the heavy wet snow - our assessment had been right. We went into Currie Bowl and found the Reverse Traverse was open so we headed for the Big Three. Unfortunately yesterday's closure sign line was still in place at Currie Creek. It was only a timing issue as we were sure that the line would be lifted but rules are rules so we dropped Currie Creek which was great untracked skiing.

Next loop up we dropped into Corner Pocket which was so mellow that we took it in three GS turns and then had a great untracked run underneath in powder which got a bit heavier the further we went down. The exit on Easter Bowl was heavy but by the time we reached Freeway we were on the firm base with a thin soft top coat which was excellent mellow skiing.

We revived our initial plan to hit the Big Three next and found Skydive untracked as were all the Big Three. It was exactly as described in three sections, first great powder, next heavy mush and finally "corn" snow. We continued our loops with Stag Leap (lightly tracked but a bit heavier) and Cougar Glades - only one track which disappeared left so we had untracked all the way down.

After lunch we continued with a Decline (still some untracked lines) and Window Chutes which were untracked in the trees at the top and firm enough in the chute to make for a very mellow drop. Looking for something different I went to Gotta Go as the High IT was about as easy as I can remember. There were only two tracks ahead and the snow was soft but getting heavier in the wet snow/rain but it was a great run down trying to beat your own slough. Bootleg which was the next stage was also good and soft.

Still looking for something different we tried Low Saddle which was soft easy skiing taking and edge and the Chutes on skiers right were soft and mostly untracked. We cut across to Spinal Tap which was trashed as a result of a couple of tracks but still pretty good soft skiing. We needed to kill time in White Pass so looped the Knot Chutes which were soft and only lightly tracked.

Last run of course was Skydive which just as anticipated skied well in the top, mushy in the middle and very well indeed in the final pitch with the snow still soft on a firm base. It was a great day but hard work in to sometimes heavy snow. Worryingly they are calling for freezing temps tonight and given the state we left pretty much all of the hill in tomorrow could be challenging at least to start with.

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