Monday, March 27, 2017

Day 110 full on spring skiing

Today was the first day of this season that could be properly described as full on spring skiing all over the hill. I am no great fan of spring skiing but today we managed to get some ok runs although it got to be very heavy hard work by the end of the day.

The temps on the way to the hill was +3 and during the day the base temp rose to +8 falling only to +7 as we drove away tonight. Up the hill at the White Pass load things started at about zero but by mid afternoon they were +4 so everything was softening fast in atmospheric warming.

Overnight we had 7 cms of snow at the snow plot which raised the base to back over 3 metres again at least for a day or two. The snow line was about half way down the hill and even at the top the snow was wet and heavy and forming sun balls and pinwheels as you skied it right from the first run. As I was in the gym doing my daily 10 km run I didn't make a super early start so things might have been better then but I seriously doubt it. The top of White Pass was socked in with thick cloud which made the viz about as bad as I have ever seen it all the way down the Gun Bowl and meant that Polar Peak was not going to open today. Later in the day the cloud lifted giving some brief sunny periods which just had the effect of softening the snow even more. In the better light we could see the result of ski cutting on the Currie head wall and Polar Chutes and it was very messy with loads of slide debris and not a pretty sight.

It was always going to be a New Side day with all of us trying to get as much skiing above the snow line as possible  We went out to Skydive which skied ok in the top but just got heavier the further down you went. By the final pitch it was very mushy slow motion skiing and the ski out of the groomers below was messy stop, start skiing on a very soft patchy surface - this condition continued on the lower hill all day. Next we hit Cougar Glades which just like Skydive was ok on the top getting softer and turning to mush in the last few turns.

By way of a change we tried Gotta Go which was soft even in the choke and good spring skiing down to the cat track. Bootleg Glades were mushy and by the bottom were pure elephant snot. Last run before lunch was a drop down Corner Pocket where the tires were just starting to show. The rope in the chute was the usual pain and it's annoying to have this always in the way when a bit of shock cord on the end through a pulley block would pull it out of the way every time after use. The skiing under the chute was good but soft and the Easter/Freeway exit was soft to begin with turning to pure elephant snot by the end.

After lunch I had another run through Gotta Go and Bootleg which was just as for the morning but with the slush line further up and the lower parts even softer. Next was High Saddle which showed some signs of side slippers (don't get me started) but was still good enough to ski pretty well. Under the chute and in the Easter/Freeway exit it was also as it had been in the morning but getting softer. The next loop was perhaps not one of my best ideas when I had started with a10 km run and skied all day in heavy snow - I side stepped up to Lone Fir. It actually skied ok in the chute and was only lightly tracked but below it was an even softer Easter and Freeway exit than it had been earlier in the afternoon.

Last run of course was Skydive Which since our morning run had got way softer. The good skiing held to just about the Megasauraus Trail but after that it got mushier and mushier until the last pitch was very slow motion skiing. I just about managed to do it in one but it was a very hard call with all that had gone before in the day.

We are now torn between wanting things to stay warm to which means that we will get more spring skiing and wanting things to cool down to get more snow which may mean a few days of very ugly ice skiing. Whatever happens I will be there.

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