Saturday, March 10, 2018

Day 99 A pretty good crowd for a Saturday

Apologies to Billy Joel for nicking a line from his "Piano Man" but I seriously doubt he is reading this. What I mean by a good crowd is that there were enough people to keep the hill happy but not so many that things became ugly busy. In fact after an initial small line up at White Pass before they opened Currie Bowl we were straight on every chair (except Polar Peak) and didn't really encounter anyone much in the area we were skiing.

Before I start I need to get my excuses out in advance. Tomorrow is Day 100 of the season for both me and the hill and this just happens to fall on a Sunday. Now those of you who follow the blog will know that Sunday is the one day of the week when I have a drink after skiing so it looks like the planets are aligning to make for a pretty heavy night tomorrow. This may mean that my blog will be very late, non existent, long and even more rambling than usual, very short, totally incomprehensible, or some combination of all of the above. No worries normal service will be resumed on Monday - but on with the show.

It froze overnight and starting temp on our deck was -6. The official web site reported no new snow in the last 24 hours which seemed strange to me as after checking yesterday's blog and am fairly certain that we were skiing around in puking snow for at least some of the day. Of course the official version must be right so maybe yesterday I was skiing in a parallel universe. It was blue bird most of the day with just a few bits of patchy cloud and mist. Temps rose particularly at the base but strangely the skiing surfaces did not seem to get too affected (even in the direct sunlight) so that at the end of the day as things cooled there were not a lot of places where it was setting up with refrozen crud. On the way home it was +2 in the valley and it's forecast to go to -8 tonight so we are really into a typical spring freeze/thaw daily cycle. Looks like this will continue for a few days before we drop back into an extended winter snow cycle around next Thursday.

As we arrived at the hill they were taking advantage of the conditions to heli bomb the ridge lines - at least I think it was heli bombing. This meant that things would take a bit of time to open fully as they had to assess the results and get their sign lines in place. We thought this may mean that we were going to get Polar Peak so with this in mind we headed to the New Side.

Like yesterday the snow in the trees to skiers right of lift line was particularly good and deep and was my favoured drop to White Pass all day. Currie Bowl was closed so we looped Knot Chutes and Surprise Trees both of which were great soft snow. In the chutes it was great fun to ride the shoulders before dropping into the chute for the last couple of turns and we hit them from Tight to Jim. Late morning Currie opened and we ripped out on the Reverse Traverse and went for Concussion before it softened too much which is always a danger there. We had an awesome run in wind sifted snow and took the chutes all the way down with big GS turns. Gilmar Gully was also great and only became refrozen crud right at the very end.

Next time up White Pass Polar Peak had opened but we noticed it was only the Coaster side and there was a huge line up. We decided that there was better skiing to be had and we were right, we hit Lone Fir and the fan all the way down through Easter and it was as mellow as I can ever remember it with deep soft snow in the chute and even deeper softer snow underneath. The line up a Polar had died down so we went up and had a few loops where the initial part was soft bumps, the Crusty Chute was soft after a technical entry and the run back to the lift from tower 6 was chunky wind affected snow. When lunch time came we dropped the newly opened High Saddle which was also very soft and mellow and the skiing underneath was deep powder untracked in most places. The exit was through Spinal Tap which appeared to be untracked sift and only became crunchy in the last few turns.

After lunch we did more Polar loops and then dropped Low Saddle for only about the second time this season. I expected the usual ice slide in the top but it too was soft easy snow and the chutes to skiers right were deep and mostly untracked. Easter remained excellent skiing on the way out. We did some more Polar loops then went out to Decline which was very mellow skiing down to the Megasauraus. We dropped into Window Chutes which were very deep and the snow even remained good in both chokes only turning to crud at the very end. Lynda decided she had had enough but I pressed on.

I was quite tight on time so I cut back into Anaconda and found chute 3 with only one track in it and the snow was in good shape. Diamond Leg Trees were only lightly tracked and I found good lines on the way down to Gilmar Trail. Last run of course was Skydive with 5 of us and it was very good all the way down to about half way down the final pitch where it turned to refrozen crud just to remind us that the current conditions can be very flattering to your skiing ability.

By the time we got to the Griz Bar the line up had disappeared so we dropped in for few (non alcoholic) drinks with friends. Daylight saving time starts in Canada tis weekend so we lose an hours sleep and as tomorrow looks like big day it's time for bed.

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