Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Day 125 and the good skiing continues

Normally in the second week in April you are grateful just to be sliding around on snow and are quite prepared to accept some pretty poor conditions as being par for the course. Today we had a day that gave us skiing as good as many we get during the winter and indeed better than some. This season is continuing to hang on in there for us.

Overnight there had been about 5 cms of fresh snow but as we were going to the New Side which was closed for filming yesterday the new snow added to the fall in the previous 24 hours meant that we had a fairly good covering of deep powder to play with. It had frozen over night but on the way to the hill it was +2 and warming fast. The day was sunny with a few clouds coming and going so eventually the temps at the base rose to +7 and even at the White Pass load it rose to +4. As we drove away tonight it was +6 on the hill and had warmed to +9 by the time we got down town.

The effect on the skiing was that things started to soften pretty quickly on the south facing slopes in the sun. Later in the day it set up a little and the clouds as they came and went prevented the surfaces from getting anything like super mushy. On the north facing slopes the snow stayed in good winter conditions most of the day and with the two days accumulation it was soft deep powder.

Initially we went up into White Pass and did White Pass loops through the Gun Bowl, Knot Chutes, Pillow Talk, I bowl etc all of which were good soft skiing and  as they are mostly south facing we wanted to ski them in the morning before they got too soft. After a while and with the White Pass loops starting to get too soft we headed out along the Reverse Traverse to find some north facing slopes.

Our first drop was Corner Pocket which was a bit icy in the chute but ok once we got the rope out of the way.  Below the skiing was as good as anything we have had all year in good deep winter powder and the lack of skier traffic meant that there were many untracked lines. Easter Bowl was also soft, hardly tracked and deep and even Freeway was ok although getting a bit soft an a scratchy base. We had noticed that Decline appeared to be untracked as we skied under it so we gave it a go. There were a couple of tracks in front of us by the time we got there but the skiing was ok and mostly untracked although lower down it got soft on a scratchy base but pretty good all in all.

Last run before lunch we struck out to Gotta Go and although the snow was a bit mushy on the ridge line it was soft and very lightly tracked in the run itself. It was in fact so soft and deep that there was a lot of snow in the choke which is quite unusual and so the skiing all the way down was soft deep and untracked and this was definitely the run of the day. Bootleg Glades in the trees on skiers right were untracked and deep. Lower down it got a bit soft but was good skiing all the way down to Gilmar Trail.

After lunch we went back to the New Side and did Saddle loops of Low Saddle, High Saddle and Low Saddle again. Just like the morning the snow under the chutes was soft deep and mostly untracked and therefore great winter powder skiing. Just once we struck out to Spinal Tap for an exit and found it was nice and deep with just one track in front of us. There was debris in the creek bed but as long as you stayed on the right shoulder the skiing was good and soft although a bit scratchy for the last few turns.

Last run of course was Skydive which was good. In the top section the snow was fresh and deep with far fewer tracks than I expected. Things got a little crusty for a couple of turns in the mid section before settling down to good soft spring skiing on a hard base for the final pitch.

We sat out on the deck after skiing and watched a few head wall skiers who had boot packed up the Lizard Head Wall (Polar Peak had been closed all day) have what might be the last run of the season off the head wall. Just off now to the Pub for wings night and then an early night as it looks like we might be getting some more new snow over night. Surely we can't have another great days skiing tomorrow

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