Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Day 89 Yet another awesome day

Today showed to me why a site like mine is needed. When I looked at the official site this morning it showed 30 cms of snow in the last 24 hours but all of it coming yesterday and none overnight. As it was puking snow from when I left the hill last night until I went to bed this didn't make any sense. Furthermore the snow base was showing as 331 cms which is exactly what it was showing yesterday so the snowfall apparently didn't add to the base. By the time I was leaving for the hill the figures had been revised to 23 cms but all overnight and none during the day which was equally incorrect and the base remained unaltered at 331 cms. How anyone is supposed to understand such random (mis) information is a mystery to me and convinces me of the need for an independent view. Of course the more important reason is that on a ski hill web site, and here I mean any ski hill, what you see (with the exception of the date and road reports) is all advertising by another name and as we all know in advertising as in war truth is the first casualty.

It was -5 on the way to the hill and clearly had snowed. As we moved around the New Side during the day the new snow depth varied with aspect and terrain but I would accept that it was in the 20-30 cm range. During the day it was overcast and we had few flurries, some quite hard off and on giving a minor accumulation. During the afternoon things brightened up and we had some brief sunshine but fortunately not enough to damage the skiing surfaces. Temps rose briefly to above freezing but quickly dropped back and on the way home it was -1 in the car and forecast to go much lower tonight.

With my new found interest in stats I estimate that today was a really big day with over 40k ft of vert. I skied from just after 9 when I arrived on the hill to 4 with no breaks of any kind so a big day was to be expected. We stuck to the New Side and did loops all day. With Currie Bowl closed at first we had to cut back through Anaconda but straight after that Currie opened and the Skydive Traverse was open from the Polar Sink all day. This meant that the Saddles were never going to be an option but the Big 3 and similar runs would be available all day. The snow of course was soft deep and untracked in most places due to the usual mid week lack of crowds.

In keeping with tradition I started with a jump off Hollywood Rock which I landed with a bit of a hip check and after that this is how the day panned out -
Slim/Anaconda 1/Bootleg Helter Skelter/Gilmar Gully - A great first run in deep hero snow so you could just snake the tight chutes. The Helter Skelter was untracked and the gully only had a couple of tracks in. Officially an awesome start.
Decline - one track in front of us but once again about three tracks came in from the left in the final pitch. face shots all the way down
Cougar Glades - tracks in the top but untracked lines as you worked left and the straight drop into the left hand exit chute was very deep and untracked.
Nameless Trees - great untracked skiing and super deep snow at the start of the creek. Followed the creek much further than usual which was very skiable in this much snow before cutting out into lower Stag Leap.
White Rabbit - the snow in Sib Ridge was so good that I could ski the left face of the choke before cutting right into the Rabbit. As always it was soft thigh deep untracked snow which got better as you moved left of the creek bed to extend the run.
Touque Chutes/Spinal Tap - Lynda's favourite run and with good reason as the snow is so deep in the chute. Spinal Tap was only lightly tracked and today could be the last time we get under the fallen tree at the bottom as we all had to duck big time to make it.
The Brain - as I expected there were tracks but with so many different lines available it was deep untracked tree skiing most of the way.
Google Earth/Don't Lose Me Trees - This is a chute to the left of Gotta Go which you can access by hopping over a shoulder and it was untracked, very steep and totally awesome. The DLMTs to the right of Bootleg were lightly tracked and soft snow which sloughed hard all the way through.
Cougar Glades/Logging Trail - I stayed very hard left in Cougar Glades where the trees are tighter and therefore it have less traffic. In the lower section I took the pitch between the left exit and Stag Leap which was mostly untracked and got into the old disused logging trail that spits you out just above the First Aid Trail. Awesome soft deep snow and the first time I have hit it this year,
Nameless Trees - I linked up with some buddies and as this had been so good I had to take them there. They were not disappointed as the trees were still untracked in many places. This time we held the creek bed further than ever and I am thinking that the next dump will allow us to clear the last bit of dead fall and take it all the way down.
The Brain - for much the same reasons I showed off the Brain which was still in great shape and with some minor variations on the morning still had untracked lines.
White Rabbit - The funny thing about this run is that it is so vast and complex that you never take the same line twice and the quality of the lines do vary. This time I found a great untracked fall line with tight trees, thigh deep powder and not much dead fall. It was way better at the end of the day than it had been earlier.

We just had time for a ripper loop in White Pass before heading out to Skydive for last run. There were 9 of us today as despite the fact that Lynda said she was going to have a short day she stayed on tempted but the powder. It was great run and everyone admitted that their legs were screaming by the end of the non stop rip.

We went to the Griz where everyone was pumped up by another great powder day. The forecast is for loads more precip between here and the weekend but temps are rising and few of us are getting nervous. Time to get out the prayer mat.                                          


  1. I hear your lament re the "Official" website info. It's 2300hrs, and I just checked the Griz Cam before I head to bed. It shows 40cm of fresh, but from Ridgemont, I have been able to see the lights on the hill all evening (Top of Timber, Bear and the snow cats grooming). I'm guessing that they "forgot" to clean the slate at closing time. But I could be wrong. Maybe there will be 40+ of fresh in the morning??? They keep us optimistically guessing.... Hoping and praying. Such are the tormenting, mental cogwheels of ski bums.

    1. Yes I also saw the webcam Wednesday evening and felt something was amiss, always best to just go skiing and have your own personal take on the conditions

  2. Your guess is right Johnny. This morning the banner is trailing 55 cms of new powder. Even though the snow report is only claiming 11. Incidentally the 11 on top of yesterday's base of 311 now gives a base of 363. Math was never my strong suit but even I can see this doesn't ad up - what a joke.