Friday, March 16, 2018

Day 105 Hottest day yet

Yesterday the weather forecasters were confidently predicting heavy snowfall during the day and more snow overnight. In the event we got about 3 cms during the day yesterday which seemed a bit deeper as it was sifted in the wind and nothing that I could detect overnight. This was all the more galling as reports say that Lake Louis got 31 cms which would have made huge difference to us.

Overnight it didn't cool as much as expected so on the way to the hill we were getting zero degrees as the temp. They were calling for a sun/cloud mix but early in the day the emphasis was very much on the sun although it did become more cloudy and cooled slightly later in the day. Temps climbed and we were getting well over +10 all over the hill and more in the direct sunlight. Even at the end of the day we had +7 as we drove away from the hill and everything was in full spring melt.

We decided to go straight to the New Side and once again every loop dropped from the Timber Top to the White Pass Load through the many chutes in the trees on the lookers left of Lift Line. These trees have been some of the best skiing on the hill of late and provide some surprisingly steep and tight skiing in soft north facing snow.

Bearing in mind what a buddy had said yesterday we tried High Saddle and found it slightly bumped in the chute but good edge to edge jumping. Below the snow was soft, mellow and untracked and certainly qualified as powder of a sort. The exit through Easter was good north facing soft bumps down to Freeway where things got a bit scratchy, in fact it was so good that this was the only exit route we took all day when dropping the Saddles and associated lines. I then did something that I only rarely do, I skied exactly the same run over again, yes, it was that good.

To ring the changes we next hit Low Saddle which had a couple of bumps and rocks in the top but after negotiating them the chute was very mellow. We cut into Perch Chute which was soft and untracked before exiting through Easter. Polar Peak was open so we felt obliged to go up but only the Coaster side was open and the only decent skiing was in the Crusty Chute and then down to the Reverse Traverse in one of the early fans. We then decided to hike up to Lone Fir and were amazed to find that late in the morning ours were the first tracks into the chute. It skied so easily with soft deep snow that we could go anywhere in the chute and the fan down to Easter was deep and untracked.

Final run before lunch I hiked up again and hit Easter Meadow. Actually I hit the chute to the right of it and was tempted to try and find a new line in the trees but in the end I cut back into the usual exit chute which is skiing easier than any time I can remember it.

After lunch they had opened Knot Chutes which had been closed all morning so I went out to try Cobra Rock which was closed which didn't make any sense. Rules are rules so I dropped down and had a great run down Anaconda Chute 1 and the Diamond Leg Trees both of which were good north facing snow. Next time up White Pass I queried the closure with Ski Patrol and went off for another High Saddle loop (yes, it really was that good) while they figured it out.

Next time up Patrol had worked out that someone had forgotten to flip the signs so I skied out with a patroller buddy while he went to do the deed. I never got past Gotta Go which was obviously untracked when the sign was lifted and I hopped over into Google Earth which was really soft and smooth - Diamond Leg Trees remained in great shape. Figuring that no one would be going out on the High IT I eventually made it to the still untracked Cobra Rock and dropped the steep chutes on the right through the trees - it was a case of Diamond Leg Trees again.

Last run of course was Skydive where we were down to just 3 of us. The run skied well down to the final pitch and then it became very scratchy but if you hit it fast enough it wasn't too bad. So a day which had looked like it was going to be a bit of a disappointment actually played out rather well due to spending it in the tight north facing chutes that the hill had to offer. It was made better for me as I had one of those days when I was on fire and anything I tried worked. We all get about half a dozen of those days a season and I have learned to enjoy them while I can because tomorrow will probably bring me down to earth with a bump.

No snow forecast and I am getting the horrible feeling that the season is over and all we are going to get is the leavings for the final three weeks. I hope not but I fear the worst.

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