Monday, March 19, 2018

Day 108 Perhaps the most first tracks ever ?

Today I may have had more untracked skiing than on any other day ever. That is not to say it was the best (although it was pretty good) but possibly the most. I think the reason was that it was a late season Monday with not enough new snow to trigger the 20 cm crowd and the few vacation skiers here had no idea of where to go to get the good snow.

Overnight we had 10 cms of new snow and the temp on the way to the hill was -2 so it came down as full on winter snow all the way to the base. During the day we had snow showers off and on, quite heavy at times. Even though it got warm (+4) and the bottom of the hill got very sticky in places late afternoon the snow when it came was always snow albeit rather wet low down. The snow was not deep enough to cover the hard icy death cookies on the south facing slopes which have been so badly affected by the sun over the past week but on the north facing slopes and even those not directly facing the sun the covering was good enough to give soft powder skiing.

We went to the New Side and found the Lift Line area and associated trees good soft lightly tracked runs which stayed that way all day. Polar Peak and the Knot Chutes were closed all day but the Reverse Traverse was open so we headed out to Easter Bowl. We cut the side step up to the top of Easter and had first tracks all the way down. It was a good 10 cms on a firm base and the only downside was the light getting very flat half way down.

Next time up there were no tracks in any of the Big 3 and we were doubtful what they would be like. Decline skied soft in the top and while we had feared a hard lower section the new snow seemed to have blended with the lower layers forming a soft crust under the 10 cms of new snow which made it feel much deeper. There were no tracks in the trees above Stag Leap so we hit them next time. In the run itself there was one tight line down the right side so we had the rest of the run untracked to ourselves and it skied just like Decline before and Skydive later.

We were undecided what to do so we started to drop Skydive and were amazed to find that all the tracks in the top went to Decline and we had first tracks down Skydive as fourth run of the day - unbelievable. Skydive had the same soft undercrust making  for great skiing in the powder on top. As there had been no tracks in Skydive I figured that next time the Brain would be untracked but I was wrong. There were tracks and I had to cut some very tight lines to get untracked snow. When I got to the Megasauraus I could see that 4 boards had been in there ahead of me but they then all chose the creek bed. The right shoulder was untracked most of the way down but there was one set of tracks that came into view from time to time but there was enough lines to get untracked skiing which was good powder.

It was warming and we decided to extend the morning while the snow remained good. Final run was Cougar Glades which as usual had a couple of tracks in the top which disappeared and I had untracked snow all the way down in the tight trees on the left and in the left exit chute where the snow was so soft it was starting to sun ball.

After lunch we were back up the New Side and dropped very scratchy Gun Bowl (despite the new snow) on the way to Anaconda. I dropped Anaconda 2 and then Diamond Leg trees and there were untracked lines in both on the north facing winter snow. Next we went out to Nameless Trees which were just great tight tree skiing. The top of the creek bed was untracked and deep but the creek bed itself got mushier as you went down and in the end we bailed into Stag Leap just before we got to the dead fall. We just had time for another Anaconda (3 this time) and Diamond Leg Trees which were just as good as before. By this time the lower hill was ugly sticky and at one stage we had to pole across the Meadow - it was that bad.

Final run was Skydive which was good winter snow until the final pitch when it became very soft spring skiing to the base. So ended a day when I skied more untracked snow than I can ever remember and hardly saw anyone when we got clear of the main runs.

It was +4 as we drove away from the hill and is still +3 even at this hour of night. The forecast is ambivalent on the subject of new snow but we are getting some disturbed weather over the next few days so we can live in hope.

I had to leave the bar early as I had been demoing the new DPS Alchemists and had to take them back to Straight Line. The guys had transferred the bindings from my rock skis to my everyday skis so I was ready to go. Unfortunately I loved the new skis so they have a set on order for me but this time with Marker Jester bindings which everyone tells me are indestructible, we will see. With any luck the whole package will be available for me to pick up in about a weeks time as a late season present to myself.

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