Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Day 126 it got better as the day went on

There was no new snow overnight and as we headed to the hill it was overcast and the temp was a mild +4. We had no great expectation of really good skiing and at first it looks as though we were right although as the day progressed things did get better.

We went to the Old Side and poked around all morning not really finding anything very good all along Cedar Ridge. Probably the best snow was just in Bear Cave Chutes which was deep soft winter powder but it was only a few turns down to Alpine Way and below that it was a bit crusty and mushy. Kangaroo was actually ok soft bumps although lower down it was slow grippy snow. We decided to head to the New Side and went via Sun Up which was a bit variable and China Wall which was soft and mellow skiing.

As we arrived on the New Side at about noon it was starting to snow quite hard on top and continued all afternoon, sometimes rather spring like but at times full on winter conditions with some reasonable accumulations.  Temps at the White Pass load got up to about +2 but the precip came down as white all the time and even at the base it either petered out all together or was at least wet snow - only at the very end of the day did we get rain at the base.

The warning signs on the New Side told us that all of yesterdays south facing sun affected snow was ugly refrozen crud (they didn't use exactly those words but that's what the meant) and we should either stick to the groomers or look for north facing slopes. We tried some runs in White Pass but as that was predominantly south facing everything was hard ugly and icy. We ran to lunch by hiking up Lone Fir and found the Reverse Traverse really hard and rutted and we were not tempted by any of the south facing Currie Chutes. Lone Fir was a bit crusty in the top but got softer lower down and the fan was just great deep lightly tracked powder. The exit was through Easter Bowl which skied ok with lots of untracked snow and Freeway which was groomed for the first time in ages and soft.

After lunch we were back up the New Side and decided to try some big three loops. We hit Decline (really good untracked lines although rather slow in the final pitch) Cougar Glades (run of the day with excellent soft untracked lines all the way down and great skiing) and Stag Leap (sort of like Cougar but with no trees) and so had a much improved afternoon. The snow was accumulating although not enough to improve the traverse but the surface in the Big Three was starting to get quite wintery in the new snow.

Last run of course was Skydive which still had untracked lines in the top section and was soft and deep although the lower you went the more marginal it got until half way down the final pitch where it was very slow and grippy on a firm scratchy base.

So overall it was an ok day which got better. Any afternoon where you hit all of the Big Three plus Cougar Glades and they all ski well has to be good. Overnight they are calling for more snow and tomorrow is a mixed precip day so maybe the rubber gear will get one more outing this year.

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