Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Day 103 Change is on the way

After an extended period (far too extended in the view of winter skiing fans like me) of hot bluebird days today showed the first signs that things are about to change.

It was -5 overnight which is a fair bit warmer than of late. No new snow of course but as we got to the hill it was sort of blue bird but with some high hazy cloud. The cloud thickened all day and by early afternoon we even got some very light snow flurries in strong gusts of wind, a sure indicator of an incoming weather system. As we drove away the temp had warmed to +4 and we had some very light precip in the form of misty drizzle at the base and we have to hope that it was coming down white up high.

The result was that without the direct sunlight the south facing slopes which had set up over night after having turned to slush yesterday afternoon didn't soften anything like as quickly as had been the case over the past few days. The north facing slopes stayed in ok shape but things had got so hot yesterday that they had been affected and so were not quite the good winter snow that they had been. For the first time this year we started to get atmospheric warming later in the day which meant that the lower slopes softened even if they were not in the sun. The good news on this is that a lot of refrozen crud actually skied quite well, the bad news is that it will all turn to refrozen crud overnight giving us a bigger problem tomorrow.

We went to the Old Side and like yesterday only half of the Bear was groomed so we had several good runs in the icy bumps along side the main bump course. I would congratulate the hill on this enlightened policy of providing some more bump terrain for the public except that I discover the only reason for this is that they are two cats short at the moment.

We did our usual Bear Cave Chutes, New Lift Line, Cedar Ridge, King Fir North facing loops which skied ok but were just that bit firmer after yesterday. These were interspersed with Boom Ridge loops where the top section was good soft bumps but becoming very hard and icy for the lower half. Kangaroo was big icy smooth bumps in the top section and was still tough refrozen crud (but a bit better than it has been) in the lower pitch.

We dropped a very mellow Boomerang which was soft bumps and headed over to the New Side. The Fraser Tooth has been a bit of a go to run just recently and today was no exception. It was good steep North facing tree skiing on good winter snow and stayed that way all the way through the tight chute by North East Glades. We ran to lunch down a very mellow Decline and then Window Chutes where the snow was deep and the atmospheric warming had made it soft all the way down to the cat track.

After lunch I took the High IT out to Gotta Go and it was a bit slick and crusty. Gotta Go was good in the top but very sketchy in the choke but back to good again below. Diamond Leg Trees still have plenty of soft snow and so much you can now just drop through what was the deadfall zone. Next loop was Touque Chutes which as always were great if a bit chunky low down and then Spinal Tap which skied just like Window Chutes and was very mellow.

We were tight on time for the next loop so I dropped the Knot Chutes (Fraid Knot) which was a weird mix of crust and soft snow and actually skied quite well. Anaconda 1 was soft and deep and Diamond Leg Trees were just as good as before. We were just in time to take the trees to lookers left of Lift Line ( now my favoured line every time) to drop in good snow to White Pass just in time for last chair. Last run was Skydive which was guod skiing all the way down as even the very bottom had softened in the atmospheric warming. It was my buddy Rod's last day of the season so we said goodbye with a good old Skydive rip.

On the way home we had the valley drizzle and the whole town was looking pretty sorry for itself. Over the next few days we have some ok precip forecast but with temps right on the edge it could go either way - lets hope its snow.

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