Thursday, April 5, 2018

Day 125 The season winds down

Today definitely had the feel of things winding down although that may just have been that it was Hot Dog Boxing Day and everyone had a massive hang over. This was a pity as the conditions remained good winter powder and with the lack of serious skier traffic over the past 24 hours there was deep untracked snow to be had if you knew where to look for it.

Our own season end plans have now been finalised and we have decided to make next Wednesday our personal final day of the season in anticipation of flying down to the Galapagos on the Saturday. The New Side closes after this Sunday and the official web site confirms that for the final week all we are getting are the Elk, Bear and Deer Chairs. Strangely the site says that the terrain that will be open will be decided on a day to day basis based on conditions and then goes on to say what terrain will be open - no, I don't get it either. It seems we will get Lizard Bowl and as much of Cedar as is possible to ski and run back to base via Cedar Trail, in other words very limited. My season will be 131 days and the fact that I will miss 4 days of very limited skiing will not cause me to lose any sleep.

There was only 2 cms of snow overnight but as I have already said the significant snow fall of the past few days was largely untracked due to the lack of skier traffic on the hill. It was overcast and -3 as we arrived at the hill which gave some pretty poor flat light to start with which improved as the morning wore on. It was -2 in the valley as we drove away tonight and Lynda (who decided to take the day off) said that it never got any warmer in town all day than zero. So overall we had yet another good winter day where the snow stayed in great shape from top to bottom.

The Cedar High Traverse was open so having heard good reports yesterday I headed out towards Snake Ridge. I actually had to cut the low traverse off the cat track which was quite a piece of work and a good cardio work out. I went all the way to the fence and dropped in the Gorby Bowl only to be carried away by a big slab on the Curved Ball shoulder and carried a good 100 ft down the hill in the slough. Steep and Deep was rather sun affected and scratchy and I definitely got the feeling that the juice hadn't been worth the squeeze.

On the way out to Steep and Deep I had skied past Snake Ridge which looked pretty good and I felt I might have broken the first rule of powder skiing - never ski past good powder looking for better.  I had got it wrong as Snake was just awesome deep powder with many untracked lines to be had. Even the lower part about which I had been warned skied soft and mellow with only a few hard chunks to deal with. I looped Snake 4 times as it was so good which made for a very late lunch. Every exit was via Kangaroo which was hard and icy in places but with some soft snow to be had - I hit it 5 times. The loops were always completed through Boomerang or Bear Chutes both of which were soft with many untracked lines and great skiing. Last run before lunch we dropped off the Goat Trail into Buck Shot which also appeared untracked and was ok with one or two icy bumps.

After lunch and with not a whole lot of time available we went to the New Side and hit Gotta Go which had been so good yesterday and was in much the same shape today. It was soft and deep in the chute and below the snow was untracked and awesome. Diamond Leg Trees were also lightly tracked with some good lines. Next loop which involved a hike into Mitchy's (soft and deep) we hiked up to Easter Meadow which was pretty well untouched and the fan underneath was super deep. We tracked across to Spinal Tap which had a few tracks but was so deep with the folded in snow in the creek bed that it was very mellow.

We decided that the Fraser Tooth would be a good bet and we were right. The only problem was slough management in what seemed to be mostly untracked steep tree skiing. For a change we exited by going to Lower Sib Ridge and then continuing into the trees for about 100 metres. This placed us in some very mellow untracked trees off to skiers left of White Rabbit, to reflect all of the above we have named this area Baby Bunny.

We were a bit tight on time but looking at the clock at the top of White Pass we figured we had time to drop Cobra Rock and push back round Trespass Trail in time to catch the last chair up for Skydive. We missed the chair by less than a minute and it emerged that the problem was that the clock at the top of White Pass (that we had seen) and the one at the bottom (by which they close the lift) differed by over 5 minutes which was very annoying. Come on guys, getting the clocks to agree on the same time (whether it's right of not) is not exactly rocket science. We ran to base through Black Cloud which was still pretty good soft snow skiing.

There was a surprisingly active crowd in the Griz tonight considering how much was drunk yesterday although we all dispersed quite early with lots of talk of getting early nights. I need to have one of those if I am going to get to the gym tomorrow and then hit the hill for what I suspect will be another good winters day of skiing.

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