Monday, 27 December 2010

Ski Day 6: Heavy Weather

Vert: 6,315 m YTD Cum Vert: 47,350 m
Runs: 9 YTD Cum Runs: 89

While it clearly snowed over night, it didn't dump a whole lot. There was 3-6 cm everywhere, with more in some sheltered spots than others.

The problem was with the rest of the weather. It was blowing pretty strong, reducing viz to zero in a snowy white out in spots like on Sunshine Coast near the top of the traverse. In addition, it was repeatedly socking in then clearing up high, while continuously snowing down low.

It's tough to show how hard it was snowing; snow doesn't show too well in photos, but here's an attempt.

So the new snow was nice but the viz was a challenge some times, and despite the snow, it was easy to find windblown icy sections, especially in places like Old Chute. Enough snow fell to hide the hazards, but not enough to bury them, as you can see in the photo above of the routes below Cleavage. So spots like the steep pitch on Rolling Thunder looked fine at the beginning but were in fact still hazardous, and once a few folks had been down, there were piles of fluffy moguls with exposed rocks between them.

And then there was the problem of the crowds. As expected, it was really busy today (cars parked 3.2 km down the road past the gate), so anything nice and accessible got tracked out very fast, and we were glad we started early. In fact, despite it snowing the whole time we were there, the continuous tracking by the crowds meant not many fresh lines after 10:30.

So we skied the morning at Goat's Eye, headed to the Creekside for lunch, and bailed - after taking advantage of the 40% off everything sale in the shop at the base.

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