Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Day 73 Life in the Freezer

Actually today's heading is a bit of a misnomer. The average household freezer is kept at a temp of -18 and as we left for the hill this morning the thermometer on my deck was showing -25. Even by the end of the day as we drove away it was only showing as -15 so all in all it was a very cold day.

It was a typical arctic high day with clear bluebird skies. Initially there was no wind but this picked up on the ridge lines in the afternoon and by the end of the day was blowing quite strongly to half way down the hill further adding the to feeling of cold. Needless to say there was no new snow so conditions remained much the same as they have done over the past few days, hard, icy and brutal.

Lynda and my Irish guests decided to take the morning of and wait for things to warm so I was left to my own devices for the morning. I decided to have a look at the Old Side and found that more had been groomed than a couple of days ago and the grooming was way better and less slick than it had been. There was very little ungroomed that was open but I did drop Bear Cave Chutes which were ok (and so they should be as they are the highest skiing on the Old Side) but only for half a dozen turns down to Alpine Way where everything below that was closed.

I expected lower Cedar Centre to be a slick ice track as it is often that even in good conditions but to my surprise it had actually groomed ok and was taking an edge. Taking the advice of Mr Anonymous from comments on last night's blog I dropped Kangaroo and found it to be rock hard ugly icy bumps with death cookies skiing really badly even by Kangaroo's standards and with no sign of any wind sift. Perhaps Mr Anonymous was not a well wisher as I had thought but was really trying to get rid of me - no, thinking like that leads to paranoia.

I went to the New Side as there didn't seem to be anything on the Old Side that was going to be much fun. Just like yesterday Puff Trees were hard icy bumps to get to White Pass. I went into Knot Chutes where yesterday's wind sift seemed to have turned to hard pack which made it all a bit more challenging although the High IT remains in good shape. The only place where the snow was soft was in the Gun Bowl where we had flat wind grooming which remained very mellow right through to the end of the day.

The top of 1-2-3s was disappointing as last night the groomers had push a load of cat debris into the top of 1 although after that they were in good shape but a bit firmer than yesterday. The run to base was through Lower Barracuda and Gilmar Trail which were both hard and icy but at least skiable with care. Currie Bowl remained closed at the County Line although I did see a couple of patroller buddies testing Concussion. When I spoke to them their comment was "it sucked" which I took as an indicator it wouldn't be opening any time soon.

I whiled away the morning in the Knot Chutes hitting out as far as Jim and back. Fraid Knot was the run of choice being flat with some sift on the surface. I ran to lunch as before through 1-2-3s and they remained in ok shape.

After lunch and joined by Lynda and friends we went back up the New Side. I had been told that Currie Powder was worth a go so after a few Knot Chute loops we tried it. On balance it was ok although the hoped for soft snow by the fence didn't really materialise. One very encouraging sight was Polar Peak chair spinning which has to mean that we nearer to getting the Polar Chutes. On the Coaster side we got the first really good look at the avi that let go a few days ago. It is one massive slide that has taken out all of Shale Slope and the surrounding areas and I an told that the average height of the crown is 160 cms so as I said one huge avi.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in Knot Chutes trying every possible variation in the chutes and shoulders which made for some very interesting skiing. Our final run was down 1-2-3s which skied just as it had earlier in the day. We had hoped that Anaconda might open but the Glades remained closed all day. It was a tiring day as it always is when your body is burning so much energy just to keep warm.

We are just about to enter the next snow cycle with the promise of a reasonable accumulation. The problem is that temps are forecast to stay low so any snow we do get will be light with a low moisture content - let's see.


  1. Low moisture content is usually a good thing, isn't it? Is it that dry snow is more easily wind swept away when right now we need a sticker fresh base coverage to start over on?

    1. Yes - when you have a hard ice base you need a good covering of heavy high moisture snow so that you don't ski through to the ice and it doesn't blow away. When we have that to ski on then low moisture blower powder is what we want next

  2. My kangaroo suggestion was definitely not an attempt to end the blog- I genuinely did find Kangaroo lovely on Sunday, albeit lovely large ice moguls with enough snow to keep your speed in check. Maybe not quite as lovely as on a 35 cm powder day. . .

    Thanks for bringing the blog back - much appreciated!