Saturday, April 8, 2017

Day 122 an excellent day's spring skiing

As we skied the Currie Head Wall today I thought I would start with a nice pic of the Head Wall and the Wimp Chutes, which is the line we skied, slightly to the right of centre of the pic. The more observant of you will notice that the pic is dated a few days ago and was in fact taken on Tuesday which was the day the Head Wall opened for the first time and when I skied the Wimp Chutes three times but as conditions today were more or less the same today I have taken liberties in the name of art.

The reason for this explanation is that the trolls are out and about again. A number of these pathetic little individuals are putting it about that I don't actually ski what I say I do in my blog and an inconsistency like the pic would be just what they need to "prove" their point. I have a huge number of witnesses who ski with me and also read the blog (Rob, Rod, Kevin, Brad, Lynda, Dan etc) who know I only print the truth but that doesn't matter to the pathetic little trolls. I repeat my offer made before to them - select any day from the archive where you think I couldn't ski what I say I did and join me (as long as the conditions are similar) and I will ski everything all over again. I am also prepared to take a bet on it with no upper limit as it just depends on how much they want to lose. Of course they won't take me up because that would take balls which seem to be sadly lacking in these people.

Today the hill were reporting about 5cms of new snow overnight on the upper hill. The temp on the deck as I drank my coffee was -1 so we decided it wasn't worth rushing to the hill until things softened up a bit and even though it was a Saturday the parking lot was only about half full as we rolled up just before 10. It was +4 at the base and mostly sunny with the odd cloud. We decided that the surfaces should softening in the direct sunlight so we went to the New Side to test this. During the day temps rose steadily until it was +9 as we drove away from the hill.

As anticipated the skiing surfaces softened but mid morning some cloud and haze came in which stayed until late afternoon when things cleared again but the high haze did persist. The result was that south facing surfaces softened but didn't get super soft or mushy and didn't start to set up late in the day. The north facing slopes took longer to soften even a bit but by the end of the day they too were an ok skiing surface taking an edge.

We spent the first part of the morning looping White Pass and found great spring skiing conditions everywhere with particularly good skiing in the Knot Chutes ( we dropped several different chutes) Pillow Talk and the I bowl. Polar Peak had opened so we went up and had great soft skiing in the Papa and Grand Papa Bear chutes. Currie Head Wall had also opened so I hiked out the Wimp Chutes and found that like before you had to drop air to get in, land in a steep icy surface and bang out one icy turn and then it all skied very easily. I went back to looping the Polar Chutes which were all getting a bit soft but were skiing very easily. We dropped to an early lunch through Concussion which actually was smooth and soft and untracked in the parts where we were.

After lunch we went back up Polar and ran through Barely Legal and then Mama Bear which were getting less soft in the hazy sunshine but still took a good edge. This time we ran to base through High Saddle which was good edge to edge jumping in the chutes and firm but taking an edge in the fan. Easter and Freeway were patchy at first but got softer the lower you went and in the end were very mellow spring skiing. Next loop after a few runs through the Knot Chutes which were soft I hiked Lone Fir and found the chute a little firm but again good edge to edge jumping all the way through. The fan was just bit too hard on top to be easy but as you got down in to Easter and Freeway it was as described before getting softer and easier.

As the north facing stuff seemed to be softening I went to Gotta Go and found it a little firm in the chute and choke but taking a nice edge and great skiing. Lower down things got a bit tougher with a mass of avi debris and huge death cookies which had to be carefully navigated and the surface was more like soft breakable crust - it was tough skiing.

Last run was of course Skydive where we met up with a bunch of buddies, and their daughters, and some girls from FAST - probably the lowest average age of any group of Skydive skiers this season. The surface was a bit crusty in the top but it just got better and softer in the mid section before becoming firm with a soft surface in the final pitch. A really good run to finish a good day.

So overall it was great day where the overnight freeze was softened by the sun but not so greatly that it turned to the ugly elephant snot that we have been experiencing lately. This to my mind was spring skiing at it's best with no horrible sticky surfaces to catch you out. They are calling for snow tonight, who knows ?

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