Monday, March 12, 2018

Day 101 Getting a lot warmer

First of all apologies for last night's blog. Yesterday being day 100 and a drinking day turned out to be a big day in every sense of the word from the great conditions to the lines hit. Unfortunately the evenings celebrations did rather get out of hand - why do shots of J├Ągermeister always seem like such a good idea at the time ?

Yesterday was a bluebird day and today was a straight forward rerun except that it got way warmer in the strong sun shine. On the way to the hill it was -10 but obviously warming rapidly. Since the clocks changed for daylight saving the warmest part of the day has moved back to late afternoon so around 3  we had temps of +6 and a lot warmer (probably double digit figures by my guess) in the direct sun light. On North facing slopes and in the shade the snow stayed in good winter conditions but in the sun everything started to soften and even up top of Polar Peak things were soft if not mushy.

Yesterday having been such a big day things got off to a bit of a slow start and I decided to have a fairly quiet day and concentrate on slower technical skiing rather than just ripping it. We went to the Old Side and started with a warm up down Bear. After that we spent the morning looping the North Facing slopes of Bear Cave Chutes, New Lift Line, Cedar Ridge (several ways) and King Fir. All of these skied much the same with nice soft winter snow which had formed bumps taking a good edge. We interspersed the loops with the odd run down Boomerang Ridge with was lovely soft bumps to just over half way down and then got progressively harder and icier as you got near the bottom. Returns were through Kangaroo which was it's usual hard icy bumpy self in the top but smooth enough to be ok skiing. The lower pitch of Kangroo was just ugly refrozen crud which hadn't had enough traffic to be smooth - rather like skiing a frozen ploughed field but not so much fun.

We drifted over to the New Side and just like yesterday the trees to lookers left of Lift Line provided some great firm skiing and was my route from Timber top to White Pass load for the rest of the day. Of course Polar Peak was open but only on the Coaster side so we dropped Crusty Chute which was nowhere near as good as it had been as it was rutted and variable but was the only interesting line available so we took it every time. Traversing under Tower 6 and dropping down to the Reverse Traverse we found the surface was getting soft and sun affected but was in ok shape. Our run to base was through Easter Bowl which was North facing soft winter snow and very nice indeed.

Lynda decided to swim in the afternoon so I headed out to amuse myself. The Fraser Tooth had been good yesterday and was good again today with perhaps the best winter snow on the hill. Next was a trip up Polar followed by Low Saddle which was still skiing ok and the snow immediately under right cut was as good as anywhere. The exit through Easter was as good as the morning. I did another Polar lap and then hit Touque Chutes all the way down which having a similar aspect to Easter skied just the same. Next I took the High IT which was soft but ok out to Gotta Go and hopped into Google Earth this was good soft winter snow as was the snow in Diamond Leg Trees which we took afterwards and which still had some untracked lines.

I just had time for a White Pass loop so I dropped the Tight Knot which was very soft and mushy in the direct sun. I went out to Anaconda 4 and again had a good drop in winter snow before skating back round Trespass Trail in time for last chair. Last run was Skydive and as none of us had tried any of the Big 3 today it was an unknown quantity. In the event after a few firm bumps it skied as soft and good winter snow all the way down to about two thirds of the way down the final pitch when it went to refrozen crud. Some might have called it ugly but after lower Kangroo this morning it was a stroll in the park.

It was a lovely sunny evening to sit out on the deck drinking (non alcoholic drinks) and watch the sun set over the Lizard. Looks like a couple more days of this then it cools and we get precip. We are all hoping for snow but I am seriously worried that we will be getting some liquid powder before the snow sets in.

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