Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Day 117 Flat smooth soft untracked powder

Actually I could just leave tonight's report at the heading as that is what we got today everywhere we went.

The start was delayed today as after the gym I had to go and see the dentist about my toothache. I have to say that they did a great job and after an x-ray and two fillings I was back at the house at 10 o'clock to pick Lynda up and head for the hill. The temp on the way to the hill was +2 and as forecast we had a sun/cloud mix all day but with the sun part winning out most of the time. We fully expected a mushy spring warm up but for whatever reason that didn't happen much and the wind seemed to keep even the south facing skiing surfaces in ok condition right through to the end of the day. This was surprising as driving home the valley temp was +7 although I imagine it was about 5 degrees cooler up top.

We decided to go to the New Side which may not have been the best plan as a buddy who arrived about the same time as us went to the Old Side and got a couple of awesome untracked Steep and Deep loops although it was only the Hut Traverse that was open so it involved a fair bit of side stepping. The official report only gave 1 cm in the last 24 hours and all of that overnight so I guess we just imagined the snow that puked down all of yesterday. In all seriousness the issue was the wind which obviously blew the new snow off the snow plot before it could be measured - Island Lake Cat Skiing were showing about 17 cms and that seems about on the mark to me. The other great effect of the wind was to wind groom pretty well all of the hill so everywhere was soft smooth jersey cream powder and filled in so well that it was as flat as a pancake.

The hill wasn't busy with mainly Non Stop groups and vacation skiers not many of whom were interested in skiing the places that interested me. The whole Big Bang area from Mitchy Chutes to Lift line was one big flat soft powder bowl and we dropped that every time on our way to the White Pass load. We started our New Side loops by dropping High Saddle which had been closed for a couple of days. The chute was about as mellow as I can remember and full of soft snow but below the chute it was soft deep snow with untracked areas all the way down to Easter which was similarly soft smooth wind grooming.

High Saddle had been so good that we did a straight repeat which is something I only rarely do. Next was Low Saddle which had a couple of technical turns in top and then was easy soft snow. Perch Chutes were untracked and Easter was just as good as before. Last run before lunch we hike Lone Fir which only had about half a dozen tracks in it so we came down in a series of GS turns which we just continued into the awesomely deep fan underneath. We tracked across to Spinal Tap which only had a couple of tracks and was soft down to the last few turns which were a bit crunchy.

After lunch the New Side loops continued and I hit Gotta Go and then Cobra Rock which were both very lightly tracked and exited each time through Diamond Leg Trees which were also very lightly tracked. The problem with today was that everything was so easy in these conditions even when you took what were usually tough lines. With this in mind I hike up to Lone Fir and went one chute on to Easter Meadow which skied the easiest I can ever remember and the fan below into Easter was just like the Lone Fir fan.

I decided to try a quick loop into White Rabbit and was not disappointed. After the Sib Ridge choke that had so much snow in it I could take the skiers left side I cut right into the trees. It was totally untracked although I did occasionally see a track off to my right. It was awesome powder down to the deadfall band where it started to get a little crusty so I moved right to shorten up the run and came out at the bottom of Fall Out - run of the day.

Last run was Skydive and I made the final chair with a minute to spare. For the first time in months I was on my own in Skydive but that didn't matter as it was just like everywhere else smooth soft powder with not too many tracks. It got a bit crunchy in the final few turns but that was price well worth paying.

We sat out on the deck at the Griz and enjoyed the evening sunshine although it was rather nippy. When we got home we enjoyed what will probably be our final hot tub of the season as the guys are shutting it down at the end of the month. It seems every day we go to the hill not expecting much and every day we have a pleasant surprise - let's hope this continues tomorrow.


  1. Thanks for the daily blogs! They get us pumped before we visit Fernie and they help us to navigate the best runs once we are here.

    - the whole family loves your blogs!