Friday, April 6, 2018

Day 126 January the 96th

That was the joke going round the hill today because the weather is just like a January day although when it was told to me they said January 94th so I guess someone forgot that January and March have 31 days.

On the way back from the gym it was -8 and stayed that way on the drive to the hill but a patroller buddy of mine told me that their starting temp up the hill this morning was -15. That isn't a cold day for April, that's a cold day at any time of the year. Temps came up slowly during the day so that by the time we were driving home this evening is was +1 but we have yet another cold night forecast for tonight.

They were reporting 3 cms overnight but as seems to have happened recently it started to snow as we arrived at the hill and although it didn't last that long I would have thought that we would have got about another 2 cms out of the cycle before it stopped. Actually what we had was very deep valley snow which more or less petered out by the time you got to White Pass top. For a while the sun came out high up and it looked like we might get some sun affected snow but a cold wind kept things ok until it clouded over later morning and then we just had the gentle atmospheric warming after that.

The parking lot was almost empty when we arrived and this was reflected on the hill where there was hardly anyone to be seen. We went to the New Side and had a couple of loops of White Pass with untracked lines in the Gun Bowl and Pillow Talk and the Dilemma totally untracked. The snow had firmed up a bit in the cold temps and the new snow only partially softened it. There had clearly been a major wind event last night and windrows and slabby snow were evident everywhere.

We headed out to the Big 3 and cut first tracks to the top of Skydive. We could have had any of them untracked and chose Decline which was ok but firmer of late and scratchy in the final pitch. I decided to try High Saddle which after getting over a huge windrow in the top was bit trenched for the first couple of turns but settled down to nice edge to edge jumping in the chute. Underneath was awesome deep untracked powder and the exit through Easter was soft bumps. Lynda had hit Concussion and said it was very soft and mellow all the way down.

Next loop was Touque Chutes which true to form were untracked and awesome deep snow. We traversed into Spinal Tap but found it a bit more tracked up than we expected and rather scratchy after the dead fall. Last run before lunch we hit Gotta Go which had soft snow in the chute and was the deepest and softest snow of the day all the way down to the cat track. Diamond Leg Trees were still soft snow and great skiing. Lunch was in the ever excellent Big Bang Bagels.

As we were near the Old Side we decided to go up and give Snake Ridge a try and we were glad we did. We looped Snake twice finding at least some deep untracked snow both times particularly as we worked our way over to KC Chutes the second time round. Kangaroo was good both times if you like hard ugly icy bumps - I do. Boomerang was soft bumps and Bear Chutes was still mostly untracked even that late in the day. We made our final exit to the New Side via Buck Shot which was mostly soft bumps with the odd icy patch to keep you on your toes.

I decided to hike up to Lone Fir and found the chute just as soft and mellow as it has been for weeks and the fan underneath was of course awesome soft snow - Easter remained just as good as the morning. We just had time to take loop of the Fraser Tooth off Timber and found is great soft steep tree skiing. As usual we dropped the thin chute to the skiers right of North East Glades which was full of soft snow - must try and discover if it has a name sometime.

Last run was Skydive which we made in good time as the clock problem at White Pass was address this morning at my suggestion. There were 5 of us making the trip tonight and it skied very nicely with lots of soft snow in the mid section only getting really rattly about half way down the final pitch. The Griz Bar was quiet tonight but there was strong local presence so we had a very good time.

The forecast is for it to get cold and then warm up a bit with quite a lot of precip. What that precip comes down as depends on when exactly it arrives so we are all crossing our fingers.

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