Saturday, February 17, 2018

Day 78 Busy but still pretty awesome

We knew today was going to be ugly busy as it is the start of Alberta Family Weekend and also Presidents Day Weekend in the US. In the event it wasn't too busy in the parking lots although we did arrive before 8:30 as a precaution and on the hill we only had one significant line up at Haul Back just before lunch. The day lodge of course proved to be totally not up to the job and we had to grab our sandwiches at lunch sitting on the bench by our lockers. It seems a strange business model to me where your day lodge facilities are fine on the low traffic days when you are losing money but are totally in adequate on the busy days when you are making money - but then what do I know about business.

It was -10 on the way to the hill with a promise of snow to come. The snow reports were rather enigmatic and changed during the morning. My own take was that we had well over 25 cms yesterday and not much overnight but there was a bit of wind sift. Once again I would hesitate to contradict the official reports, after all, what do I know, I was only there skiing it.

We hit out to the Old Side and had loops on Snake Main ( lovely soft snow up high and down low but a bit scratchy around Gorby Gap) Gorby Bowl x2 ( it was great untracked skiing but as always a bit sketchy through the waterfall area) and Steep and Deep which really lived up to it's name. We filled in between the loops with lines in Boom, Boom Bowl, Bear Chutes and Buck Shot all of which had plenty of soft snow on top but breaking through to the ice base from time to time.

All loops of course we completed through Kangaroo which was soft snow on hard icy bumps. Last run through we followed a group of boarders who side slipped the whole first section. Why do they do that ? It can't be any fun just to stand up and side slip and there can't be any bragging rights from taking a run that way - we have a rule that anyone who side slips has to buy a round. All it does is trash the slope for everyone else.

After lunch we headed for the New Side and dropped Low Saddle which skied ok in poor light. We cut hard right after a couple of turns and got really soft deep chutes and then cut into Easter which was well on the right side of ok. Next loop was Stag Leap which was also soft and deep and starting to fill in.

We had been promised snow in the afternoon and it started to snow with a light fall at around lunch time. During the afternoon it just got harder and harder and by the time we left the hill it was a full on winter storm in -11 and that is continuing outside as I type this.

In the increasing snow we headed out the White Rabbit and had the most awesome run in untracked lines through the trees and snow that was chest deep in some places as you jumped the big air off the dead fall rolls - we thought run of the day, or possibly any day. We then looped Touque Chutes and Spinal Tap both of which had filled in and were giving face shots all the way down.

We decided we had time for a White Rabbit loop before Skydive and so we took it and it was even more awesome than the time before with bigger jumps and drops and deeper landings. Our plans didn't work out due to a chair stoppage last time up on Timber (not the first time today) which meant that we got to the top of Timber just too late to make it down to White Pass for final chair. We went out for one more time down White Rabbit which was no bad second prize and by pushing hard into the trees on the left of the creek bed found even deeper and steeper lines than before and with snow deeper than anyone would believe if I wrote about it. That bought to an end what might just be one of the best afternoon's skiing of my life.

We went to the Griz Bar and as it is my Irish guests final night I made the exception and had a drink. Lynda drove us home in a full on winter storm which is still raging. After I have dropped the guys of at the airport first thing tomorrow it looks like it could be a very good day.

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