Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Day 82 Not as good as yesterday but still ok

The light dusty snow I talked about yesterday continued throughout the night and tapered off mid morning. The total accumulation was 1 cm which more or less says it all but as I said yesterday at least it added to and didn't take away from the existing snow and made everything look pretty.

The temp on the deck was -20 and only forecast to get into the mid teens at best on the hill. The forecasts worked out about right although the wind particularly on the New Side made the "feels like" temps stay down in the 20's. As we drove away tonight the valley temp was -11 and forecast to fall so all in all things stayed rather nippy. The cloud cover hung about all day giving some patches of poor flat light and the top of White Pass got quite socked in before clearing at the end of the day. It was never going to be a great day either in terms of the snow surface or the weather.

While looking at the official web site I came across and interesting item advertising the fact that a beer garden would be opening on certain days at the Bear's Den. This seems to be an interesting policy change by the hill who up until now have taken the view that the consumption of alcohol on the hill was something to be discouraged on safety grounds. I wonder what the good folk of the Senior Risk Management Team (who were so interested in my activities earlier in the season) make of this change as I am unaware of any research that suggests serving alcohol in an environment involving high speed travel and personal judgement is a good idea. I also speculate on how this will affect Hot Dog day when in the past security guards have been employed to search us and remove alcohol on the grounds that drinking on the hill was not permitted, surely we couldn't have a situation where alcohol is being confiscated at the Elk load and served at the Elk top.

We decided to go to the Old Side and again decided not to put in the effort to get out to Snake and beyond. We did a morning of interlinked loops of Bear Cave Chutes, New Lift Line, Kangaroo (many times), Boom Ridge, Linda's, Boom, Buck Shot, Cedar Ridge, King Fir and Bear Chutes. The skiing was pretty much the same all over it was firm bumps covered in a layer of soft snow with some tufted soft snow on the edges and the occasion ice patch in between the bumps. A buddy who went all the way to Snake said it was much the same out there so it was really what you would expect a few days after a snow cycle after a bit of skier traffic had pounded it in.

After lunch we headed up the New Side as Lynda was keen on hitting a Concussion loop before heading off to the gym for the afternoon. We saw that Polar was turning but closed and assumed that it had been open earlier but later it seemed that it had been on standby and given the poor viz I don't think we missed much. I had anticipated having a gentle afternoon on my own but unfortunately (well not that unfortunately actually) I fell in with bad company in the form of Brad and Kyle and we went for a rip.

The Reverse Traverse was skiing ok and with the repairs to the bridge it was a mellow slide out to the Big 3. The loops we did were -
Decline - good wind sift had filled in a bit and the low section was soft and ok.
Cougar Glades - a bit chopped up but good lines with lightly tracked snow if you poked around on the left.
Touque Chutes/Spinal Tap - the first few turns were scratchy but things got better the further down you went. In Spinal Tap the snow was surprisingly good even through the tight creek bed.
Stag Leap - the trees at top were a bit chunky but one in the run itself to snow was probably the best and softest on the hill particularly on the left side.

We even got in a skier cross race where I managed to get a 3rd out of 3. After that we just had time for a White Pass loop and I hit the Tight Knot where everyone was saying that a huge windrow looked to have appeared in the chute. Everyone was right and made for an interesting drop before we hit Surprise Trees which just like yesterday were soft sift with little traffic.

Last run of course was Skydive where Rod and Dan joined us for a final non stop rip which was good in the top, scratchy on the final roll and ok everywhere else. As usual the bar was jumping and we had a good time talking skiing with like minded folk. Doesn't look like there will be much change tomorrow with the exception that things may be a little warmer, here's hoping.

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