Thursday, March 8, 2018

Day 97 Eating humble pie

Yesterday I confidently predicted that we were seeing the start of the spring warm up and that today would not be a great day. Well, it turned out as very good full on winter day with possibly one more to come tomorrow so I was wrong. That having been said I think it is just a case of delayed execution and by next week we will be getting significant plus temps with all the attendant problems. In the meanwhile we need to make hay while the sun shines or more accurately in this case while the snow snows.

We had 4 cms of snow overnight and the morning temp on the way to the hill -5 and it was snowing, It snowed all day before it petered out in the afternoon but not before we got about another 10 cms on top of the overnight accumulation. Temps rose at the base during the day so that it was +1 as we drove away this evening although it remained a few degrees below zero up top.  On the way home we had a light drizzle but nothing to get too worried about and the overnight cooling should make sure that the greater precip that is forecast should come down white ready for tomorrow.

The result was deep fresh untracked snow on top of the already deep snow from the earlier snow cycles. There was hardly anyone on the hill so we got fresh tracks all day and apart from a few of our regular ski buddies we didn't see anyone in the places that we were going to ski. The result was about 38,000 ft of awesome powder skiing which makes for one good day. As the temps warmed the snow at the base got a little heavier but with conditions overcast (and particularly socked in a White Pass top) we had none of the destructive effects of direct sunshine and to all intents and purposes it was a full on winter day.

We decided to go to the New Side and just have a day of New Side loops to see how much powder we could get. Drops from Timber Top to White Pass Load were always variations of Lift Line and particularly the trees between Lift Line and Big Bang which were full of soft snow and a real hidden gem of powder.The loops were -

Decline - we got first tracks and had considered dropping Window Chutes but the soft powder was so good that we just stuck it out all the way to the bottom and it was great.
Stag Leap - this was also untracked and if anything deeper powder than Decline.
Skydive - just to show that we don't only do this last run we completed the Big 3 with this run and although there were a couple of tracks ahead of us there were plenty of untracked lines.
Touque Chutes/Spinal Tap - there were a few tracks in the chute but the snow there is so deep that it was probably the deepest snow on the hill. The trees above Spinal Tap were very deep and the creek bed seemed untracked to us and very mellow skiing.
Cougar Glades - Our final run before lunch was on the left side of the glades where as usual you could find untracked lines in the tight trees. The lower pitch was also very soft and deep and even the old logging trail is starting to get most of the deadfall covered.
The Brain - after lunch first stop was the Brain where I just beat a load of boarders in and stayed ahead on the right shoulder for another great run of untracked powder tree skiing.
Nameless Trees - if I thought The Brain was soft and deep then Nameless Trees left it for dead. It was so good you could pretty well fall line the trees even in the tight sections. The open area above the creek was spectacular and the creek bed itself was an easy ski. The exit in the trees to the left down to the cat track was just nice tight tree skiing.
Lone Fir/ Easter Bowl - I linked up with a buddy and we hiked up to Lone Fir. The chute was super deep and about the easiest skiing I have ever had in there. The fan underneath was just awesome deep snow and the ski down through Easter was not much worse.
White Rabbit - unsurprisingly after the first couple of turns in the top of the bunny it was untracked and the snow was so deep that when in a tight spot you just had to push your skis into the fall line. This was the run of the day for me.
Skydive - after a quick White Pass rip it was time for the usual Skydive blast with just 4 of us today. I had the spirit in me and hit the run right on the edge of control (and in truth some of the time over the edge) for what must have been my fastest run of the year. A great way to finish a very good winters day.

We had to leave the bar early to go and pick up my skis from the ever excellent and reliable Straight Line. I had left them there for a service last night and they decided that they needed to keep them in for observation. The verdict is that the skies don't have much life left in them and we had to replace a base plate on the heel binding as the spring had broken - it wouldn't be a proper ski season if I didn't smash at least one heel binding. This meant that today I had to use my rock skis (I only have one pair of good skis) which are pretty ripped up on the base. Luckily the rock skis are the same as my good ones (DPS Wailers 184 L 112W) the only difference being that good ones are the Pures (pure carbon fibre) wile the rock skis are Hybrids.  Looks like new skis sometime soon.

Maybe more snow tonight, fingers crossed.


  1. The Griz once again will pay homage to the pay for powder gang. Saturday lines will be shredded. New side and old side will be our salvation

  2. Sid the squid along with Glen the squid will not be in the Fern this weekend
    Watch out for the Chocolate Thunder in the valley. It could rear its ugly head anywhere