Saturday, April 7, 2018

Day 127 Even more snow

I don't often include pictures in the blog but tonight I have made an exception. My buddy Kevin took this at the top of Skydive tonight and I think it shows just what the conditions are like and how the snow just continues to puke down. On a different topic there is good news. The hill have had a change of heart and it now looks like we will be getting a full Old Side opening for the final week and not just the very limited opening advised to me by the Calgary Office of RCR in their email to me of last week.

It didn't get as cold as they were forecasting overnight so it was only -2 as we arrived at the hill and a few degrees colder up the hill. It was overcast all day and at about 2 o'clock (a couple of hours later than forecast) it started snowing and has been snowing hard ever since. The temp did warm in the middle of the day and as we drove home it was -1 in the valley so what we got was once again full on winter conditions.

The ski surfaces had hardened up a bit over night so we had to poke around with mixed success to find some really good skiing although everywhere was well on the right side of ok. The snow came too late to have that much effect but the last couple of runs were greatly improved but more of that later. Light was a problem on the early runs with the top of the hill socked in but this improved during the day before socking back in at the end of the day as the snow developed.

This is the final weekend for the New Side which shuts down tomorrow for the season. With this in mind and as they had mechanical problems on Boomerang we decided to have a New Side day where we just did loops of anything that we thought would be good. The loops were -

Gun Bowl/Anaconda 1/Diamond Leg Trees - it all skied fine although the light was very flat. The top of Anaconda was scratchy but it got quite soft as you went down and Diamond Leg Trees were still soft.
Cougar Glades - on the advice of a buddy I tried Cougar Glades and found them very lightly tracked so there were some great untracked lines. They were crusty in the last few turns of the left hand exit chute.
The Brain - great untracked skiing in the trees as usual in soft snow but scratchy in the final pitch.
Decline/Window Chutes - Decline was soft bumps down to the Megasauraus  Window Chutes were in great shape and even in the choke there was more soft snow than was usual.
Gotta Go/Diamond Leg Trees - The High IT was just about in ok shape and the drop through Gotta Go was deep but not quite as soft as yesterday. In the Trees we worked hard right across a couple of chutes and skied the low trees almost all the way down to the end of Gilmar Trail, it was great untracked tree skiing.
Touque Chutes/Spinal Tap - There was good untracked deep snow as long as you stayed tight on the trees in the chute. Spinal Tap actually skied surprisingly well although it was of course very hard and icy after the dead fall.
Barracuda - I didn't intend to ski Barracuda but on Skydive Traverse I found a guy sitting with only one ski, the other one having disappeared down Barracuda. I dropped in and had a poke around and eventually found the ski which I carried out into the open, stuck it in the ground and pointed at it. Having done this good turn I expect the snow gods to reward me with some great powder lines tomorrow. Barracuda was just about ok but was very hard refrozen lumps underneath and in fact the best bit was Gilmar Gully which skied ok.
Nameless Trees - This was where I had been heading and it was obviously a good plan. There was good soft snow in the trees and the creek bed was in ok shape all the way down to the dead fall where I bailed right on to the final pitch of Stag Leap.
The Fraser Tooth - By now the new snow was starting to have effect and slough management was an issue but by moving about the chutes things stayed in control. Great soft steep tree skiing.
Skydive - Last run of course was Skydive but with only three of us there. By this time the snow was really starting to build up and it skied soft and mellow all the way down.

It was a good Saturday night in the Griz with just the right numbers to make a crowd but not too busy. The snow continued to fall and even as I am typing this at about 8:30 it's still coming down hard. Tomorrow is forecast to warm up in the afternoon so it looks like and early night and an early start for us.

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