Saturday, 27 December 2008

Ski Days 2 & 3: What a Difference 24 Hours Makes

Ski Day 2: Dec 26
Vert: 11,035. YTD Vert: 19,200
Runs: 17. YTD Runs: 34

The Boxing Day Sales and the cold weather (-18° on the hills) kept the people away; probably no more than 2,000 folks were at Sunshine. Lot A wasn't even full and there was no one parked in Lot B.

They all missed a nice day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, there was no wind to speak of, and the snow was very, very nice, faster than last weekend. The photos say a lot. Notice the lack of folks on the chairlift, or anywhere else for that matter.

We chalked up over 8,100 m (25,000 vertical feet) before lunch and never saw a lift line all day. We could have done more but bailed at 3 PM.

Ski Day 3: Dec 27
Vert: 9,190 m YTD Vert: 28,390 m
Runs: 15 YTD Runs: 49

We left Dead Man's on time, but I realized at Canmore that I had left my pass a home. This put us to the parking lot at 9:20 instead of 8:55. I have a rule of thumb that as long as you hit the parking lot before 9, you're OK.

So our late arrival meant we ended up in row 52, right at the back of Lot A. So far back that we caught the bus to get to the Gondola line. When we got to it, the Gondola line went past the Creekside, curled back past the bus drop off area, and snaked around the unloading zone. By the time we got to the Gondola -- and we "cheated" by using the single line -- it completed surrounding the loading zone, and and headed down the road about 8 rows of cars. I have nbever seen the line that long, and neither had any of the Sunshine staff. By the end of the day, cars were parked 3.5 km past the gates at the end of Lot B. It was a zoo, with over 6,000 people on the by noon.

Still, by sticking to Goat's Eye in the morning, heading down to the Creekside at the parking lot for lunch, and only heading up to the village at 2 PM, we saw virtually no lift lines. So the lost vert was the result of getting our first lift ride yesterday at 9:20 vs today at 10:15.

Yesterday was sun; today was the opposite. It was windy & cloudy with light snow all day, though not enough to accumulate anywhere. Though it hit -12°, the wind made it feel colder than yesterday. In addition, the wind away blew the nice snow that we skied yesterday, so there was a lot of very hard pack and scraped areas, far more than yesterday. The weather sucked so much that I didn't even try to take any pictures of the gray.

Amazing the difference 24 hrs makes. Welcome to the mountains.

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