Sunday, April 9, 2017

Day 123 full on winter skiing

Just to confirm what I said in the heading this was the top of Skydive a 4 o'clock tonight after a very full on winters day of snow.
We got a slow start today because our summer lives are starting to impinge on our winter lives. I had to go to the gym to run 10 kms on the treadmill and there was work to do in connection with some sailing events that I am judging in the summer. What with one thing and another I didn't get to the hill until just before 11 which was a pity as we had about 8 cms of fresh snow. In the event I needn't have worried as there was no one at the hill and despite our late arrival we parked in line 1 of lot 2, that was how few people were here.

When we arrived it was snowing with wet snow at the base and you could see the snow line starting just a couple of towers up the hill at about half way down the Meadow. It was +2 on the truck as I drove in and a similar temp as I drove out tonight. At the White Pass load it was -1 and stayed that way all day although my impression was that it warmed up a little on top later on giving a softening surface. It snowed all day so we had a significant accumulation in White Pass (I would estimate at least 10 cms) and even after we had finished a large graupel storm hit the base while we were in the Griz looking out.

The result was that up in White Pass the snow was soft full on winter conditions. On the lower parts of the hill it became soft snow on a crust base which skied ok and full on grippy elephant snot at the very lowest ski outs.

We went to the New Side and hit out to the Big Three where we found two tracks in front of us, both of which dropped Skydive so we hit Decline untracked. It was good powder skiing on a firm base with the lower sections starting to soften to take an edge on the surface under the new powder - great easy skiing, particularly as first tracks. Next we dropped Cougar Glades which was also untracked and very deep and soft on a firm crust base.

It was obvious that the best winter skiing was the full on winter conditions in White Pass and that is where we looped for the next few times. All the Knot Chutes were deep and soft as was Surprise Trees with many untracked line still available. Last run before lunch we hit Stag Leap which only had one track in front of us where the skier had stayed tight on the left hand trees so we had untracked skiing for the two of us all the way down.

After lunch we were back up White Pass doing loops of Knot Chutes (Slim, Jim and Tight as I remember) and Surprise Trees all the way across all of which had become deep and untracked in the snow which just continued to pile up during the day - the biggest problem as it had been in many places today was trying to avoid being taken out by my own slough. We ran to base through Easter Bowl which was great soft deep snow on a firm base but the viz was deteriorating fast. By this time all the Saddles had closed although they had only been open for a short time in the morning and Polar was closed as it had been all day.

We went back up White Pass where the temp remained at -1 and the snow was still coming down and did more Knot Chute/Surprise Tree loops. Last loop I went all the way out to the top of Triple Trees and found that it was totally untracked in what by that time had become quite deep snow all the way down to Trespass Trail. Last run was Skydive which was still remarkably untracked at the end of the day and although it was a bit heavy in the top it became easy soft skiing in fresh snow from about half way down. The ski out was ugly sticky crap as it had been all day.

It was a nice quiet drinking night in the Griz as we celebrated a full on winters day skiing. Tomorrow they are shooting the movie Hard Powder on the hill so lets see how much fun that provides.
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