Sunday, March 18, 2018

Day 107 Another eventful day

This time the eventful day was not due to an in bound class 3 avi like last time but just some personal reversals which I will talk about later.

No new snow over night and starting temps of -5 which meant that everything got hard and cold overnight and in need of some softening today. At first it looked like we were going to get a bluebird day but the sun was hazy and by the end of the day the cloud cover had moved in and it was socked in up top. The forecast was for snow/showers this afternoon but in the event we didn't get any precip during the day and it is only now, late in the evening, that we are starting to see some snowfall in the valley.

With no direct sunlight the temps didn't get to anything like they have over the past  few days. We did get some atmospheric warming so that temps rose to about +3 on top but this was nowhere near enough to soften the surfaces that had been affected by the sun yesterday and frozen hard over night. The hill closed most of the refrozen south facing slopes such as Knot Chutes, Polar Peak and the Reverse Traverse, unfortunately this had the effect of closing many north facing areas which would have been very good skiing such as the Saddles, Easter Bowl and Cobra Rock. My own view is that they must work on warning us about the bad stuff while keeping access open to the good stuff - a little more effort is needed in this area.

We went to the Old Side, not because we thought it would be particularly good but just for a change. The icy Bear bumps were a good work out and we hit them several times. The North facing stuff off Cedar Ridge like Bear Cave Chutes and New Lift line to name but two were ok winter skiing. Kangaroo was just about ok in the top but the bottom section was ugly refrozen crud and the worst skiing on the hill - something we thought each time we skied it.

Very late morning we went to the New Side and the trees to lookers left of Lift Line were getting a little worn but still very good. After that I jumped into the top of a very icy Gun Bowl and found myself falling with a ski in my lap. On the way down I actually had time to notice that it was yet another broken heel binding that had bought me to this state. Ski Patrol were great as they sent a snow mobile to the Keno Flats to pick me up and take me to Timber Top where I could down load to base. It was about lunchtime so I had my sandwiches and formulated a plan. The plan involved skiing the afternoon on my rock skis so after lunch we went up the New Side to do that.

When I got out after one run down 1-2-3s and Diamond Leg Trees on the rock skis I had a rethink as with most of the hill closed and the conditions pretty indifferent I thought it was probably a good day to get my skis sorted. This is the third time in three years that my Look bindings have failed and every time it has been a fracture in the metal side walls in the heel bindings. It occurred to me that if this failure had happened in..... well, let's just say somewhere a lot steeper, then this might have had serious, if not life ending consequences. I will not be buying any more Look bindings ever.

I ran off the hill and went back to Straight Line who as you would expect looked after me well. After two years I couldn't expect a warranty claim but they took the bindings off my rock skis (which are almost new as they were a warranty claim on last years breaking heel bindings) and put them on my good skis which now become my rock skis. They also fixed me with a demo pair of the new pure carbon fibre Wailers which  are now called Alchemists - it's about time ski manufacturers stopped this nonsense and grew up, we don't need the same ski reinvented every few years by the marketing department thanks very much.

I got back to the hill just in time for a couple of runs before giving the skis a real test tomorrow. With so much of the hill closed we just had time for Anaconda 1 loop and then a quick run back through White Pass before dropping 1-2-3s and Diamond Leg Trees as the final run of the day. My impression of the new skis was that they were the same as the old except they were a bit lighter and more lively under foot and there was a bit more life and power off the tails of the skies, whether through less rocker or a stiffer tail I don't know.

A disappointing day for a whole range of reasons but as I type this it is +2 on the deck and snowing so who knows what tomorrow will hold.

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