Sunday, April 8, 2018

Day 128 A disappointing day

Over the past few weeks we have had a number of days where we thought it was going to be pretty crappy conditions on the hill but when we got there things actually turned out to be pretty good. Well, in the ying and yang of life today was day when we went to the hill with very high expectations of the conditions but they turned out to be rather disappointing.

Those of you who follow the blog closely will remember that our expectations were raised last night by a heavy snow storm that started in the afternoon yesterday and continued into the night. They were further raised by the snow report today of 22 cms of fresh snow but as I have said so often the numbers without qualitative information do not tell the whole story and are all but useless.

As it was the temp rose overnight so that it was +1 on the way to the hill and raining. As we arrived at the hill it was just turning to snow but it was clear that last nights snow had come down at warm temps and was not going to be powder in any conventional use of the word. The snow was so heavy and unstable that it was 10 o'clock before they allowed us to load the Timber Chair and at that time they were still not loading Bear and Boomerang although I understand that they started to do so shortly afterwards.

We went to the New Side as it was the last day of lift operation there and found Lift Line and Big Bang closed, Currie Bowl Closed and Anaconda Closed, and all stayed closed all day - this gave a very limited New Side opening for it's last day. That having been said the reason was obvious as the snow right to the top was heavy mush which was prone to slide with very heavy sloughs. During the day the temps up top got up to +5 so the snow just became heavier and more prone to slide as the day went on. Viz at the top of White Pass was very poor and remained that way all day except for the last run where things became just about ok. We had precip off and on all day which fell as rain at the base (very sticky lower runs) and wet snow on top which never really amounted to an accumulation.

In terms of runs the day was very boring, We looped White Pass all morning (well, we weren't going to run to base in the rain) alternating Gun Bowl, Surprise Trees, Pillow Talk, the Dilemma, and all points in between. After the first couple of runs which were untracked it was the same everywhere with thick heavy mashed potato snow churned up by the skier traffic making for very hard heavy skiing. In the odd places that there had been a lot of skier traffic and particularly on the traverses it was hard rubbery snow which was a challenge in it's own right. The run to lunch was through Triple Trees which were tough mushy skiing down to the final pitch where it just became too sticky and at one time I had my skis in the fall line in there and they weren't moving !

The afternoon was a complete rerun of the morning with temps getting a little warmer and the snow getting a little softer but with the light improving at the very end of the day. Last run was Triple Trees again but this time I didn't make the same mistake and ducked out of the final section. And so ended a very ugly, heavy day of skiing elephant snot in real ACL tearing conditions - not the best way to say goodbye to the New Side after such an awesome season.

Tomorrow we start the final week with just the Old Side open. Reports from buddies who skied it today suggest that it is pretty crappy but on the other hand it didn't sound any worse than the New Side today. I will be up for a late start tomorrow as the Jeep is in for a service first thing (an example of real life starting to intrude on our winter existence) and I am not sure how things will pan out. Nothing very interesting in the forecast so I don't think I will be very much deprived.

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