Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Day 116 If you don't go you don't know

I have said so often that you should never rely on conditions in the valley and it is always worth going to the hill just to see what it's like. Today was perfect example of this where indifferent conditions in the valley persuaded quite a number of people to stay at home and as a result they missed out on an excellent days skiing in wild winter weather.

The snow we were promised last night never materialised and the snow report showed no new snow overnight. It was +1 driving back from the gym and +2 as we drove to the hill. We had light precipitation in the form of rain/sleet in the valley and you could see that the top of the hill was well socked in. I guess you couldn't blame people for thinking that it wasn't going to be a very good days skiing.

As we drove up to the hill the precip changed to icy snow and graupel. Further up the mountain it was full on winter snow although rather icy and stayed that way all day. The precip at the base did get wet by mid afternoon but just about stayed white all day and you didn't have to go very far up the hill for it to turn to winter snow. The temp at the base hung around the +2 mark most of the day only getting warmer late in the day to about +4 in the valley. Up the hill the temps stayed just below zero but the main feature was the wind that was howling particularly at Timber Top and was blowing the new snow into smooth creamy wind groomed powder which made for the best ever skiing surface. The result of the wind and the new snow all day was that we got untracked snow everywhere we went even though we knew that several of the runs had already been skied, sometimes by us.

Because if the conditions there were very few people on the hill and the Non Stop groups and the vacation skiers were not really interesting in the places we were going so all in all it was a very quiet day. I was trying my new DPS Wailer Alchemists which are a carbon fibre structure, perhaps with a couple of gold bars thrown in if the price is anything to go by. They actually skied more or less the same as my old Wailers which is great as I loved those skis with the only difference being they seemed a little stiffer in the tails. That's me set with my one pair of skis for the next two years.

We decided to go for New Side loops on the basis that if it did turn wet down low we could always shorten up the loops later. As it was we never needed to change out plans and the day was just one New Side loop after another. Our initial drop from Timber was Lift Line which set the tone by having all the bumps filled in by windsift and the run being creamy powder all the way. A ski patrol buddy saw us at the White Pass load and advised Alpha Centauri/Concussion "even though it is not on your regular beat". It was a good call and was smooth untracked powder all the way down.

The order of service for the rest of the morning was to get to Timber Top and then get off it as quick as possible because the wind made it just a wild winter storm up there. We then headed out in Currie on the low traverse where the wind was also howling and viz was very poor in the blowing snow - each loop our tracks had been filled in from the time before. We did Decline, Stag Leap, Cougar Glades, Skydive and The Brain. There is no point in reporting these runs individually as they were all the same soft deep flat untracked powder. By the end of the morning the final couple of turns were a little heavy but still skiing well. Somewhere in there I took a hock of Hollywood Rock (bringing my success rate this season to 14/18) just to show the new skis what is expected of them.

After lunch we went back up and hit Decline/Window chutes which were just as described above and slough management was the main problem in the chute. For a change we hit out along the High IT in almost no viz and dropped Gotta Go and Cobra Rock both of which were soft smooth and deep and exited both time through Diamond Leg Trees which were just as good as the rest of the hill.

Skydive was not an option for last run as Currie Bowl had been closed. We went out a dropped an untracked Tight Knot which was full of soft snow and totally awesome. We then traversed to the top of Triple Trees and had untracked lines all the way down through all the sections, even below the Timber Chair. Not our usual finish but still a great way to end the day.

There was good crowd in the bar and we met up with buddies in the pub for wings night so it was a good evening as well. The moral of today was no matter how scabby it looks in the valley go and try the hill, it might just be awesome - in fact it was. Tomorrow will be a late start as I have been having trouble with a tooth and I am at the dentists at 9 to get it fixed which I will be able to do between the gym and going to the hill. The outlook promises some more winter weather and I say bring it on.


  1. Wolf Eyes is coming to trash the powder. First tracks belong to me.

  2. Wolf Eyed Sid. You should try the new DPS Wailers. Happy Howling.