Sunday, February 18, 2018

Day 79 Greater love hath no man that.......

Of course the full biblical quote is "Greater love hath no man that he gets in his SUV and drives his Irish buddies to Cranbrook Airport to catch their plane on a powder day so he misses the first two hours of skiing on the hill". Actually it is something of a comment on the season that we are having that I am happy to miss a morning of powder skiing. In a normal season my response would have been "Screw you, find your own way to the plane."

We got back to the hill at about 11 and decided to go to the New Side. This may not have been the greatest decision as buddies who skied to Old Side said the snow was way better and it was warmer. The downside was that Cedar high traverse was not open so the skiing was limited. As we lined up at Timber we heard that the Reverse Traverse and Anaconda had only just opened so maybe we didn't miss that much after all.

It was -12 as we arrived a the hill and my guess was that it was several degrees colder up top but in the absence of thermometers this had to be a guess. Official reports called for 16 cms in the last 24 hours which feels about right although I would have some problem with what is claimed to have fallen last night and what fell yesterday. As we drove away from the hill tonight it was -15 confirming that nothing warmed up today.

What was evident was that there had been a massive wind event on the hill last night so that the snow was blown into huge windrows which could really ambush you, and the fact that the wind had dried the snow out so that it was very slow and grippy and technically "interlocking dendritic crystals" or what we peasants would call "squeaky snow".

We went out on the newly opened Reverse Traverse which was cut in a most unusual manor to hit Decline. The conditions on the traverse were brutal cold winds with a cutting edge that made frostbite a real possibility. The run was ok with untracked wind slab on the rolls and super soft snow in sheltered areas. Next loop working on the basis that trees would protect the skiing surface we hit Cougar Glades which had great deep soft untracked lines and the drop into the left hand exit from right above was awesome deep untracked snow.

We had under estimated the cold so went to lunch to layer up via Stag leap which skied ok with tracked up soft snow proving a fantastic final pitch. After lunch we headed back out with full face cover, and extra fleece layer and an extra pair of gloves. Thanks to these precautions the afternoon went very well.

Touque Chutes/ Spinal Tap proved to be deep after a couple of scrappy turns in the top and the creek bed was particularly deep. I then bumped into a buddy at the top of the Brain (Lynda having had enough) and we hit The Brain all the way down. It was awesome with good tight tree skiing and some deep tracked snow and not a few untracked deep areas.

After that I hit Nameless Trees and continues on through the creek bed below and into the trees on skiers right, all great lightly packed powder. It was a great line to hold down to the lower section of Stag Leap. I just had time to hike up Mitchy's at the top of Timber for more deep soft snow before heading up White Pass for the last run.

Final run of course was Skydive but I was on my own - perhaps payback for not making it yesterday. The traverse at the Bridge above Currie Creek was very interesting with a steep lip that launched you even at slow speeds. The Griz Bar was jumping and it was more like a Saturday than a Sunday which kind of figures given that it is a holiday weekend. No new snow forecast but a cooling temp which with the wind forecast should give us a "feels like" temp for tomorrow of around -30 for most of the day - time to wrap up.

In the forecast we are looking for a few clear days followed by another snow cycle later in the week. This may actually allow them to give us Polar Peak for the first time this season in the next few days with any luck - we shall see.

No comments:

Post a Comment