Monday, 16 February 2009

Ski Day 12: Yet Another Ski Day

Vert: 10.510 m YTD Cum Vert: 111,310 m
Runs: 20 YTD Cum Runs: 202

Yet another blue sky day.

Yet another day when it didn't snow and we need more. Yet another day with the great nephew.

Yet another day of forcing ourselves to go endlessly up and down in great snow. Yet another day where it was a might bit chilly (-18°) in the AM. Yet another day where there were no crowds on Goat's Eye, or even that many at times on Divide.

Yet another day where there were crowds on Standish, and the miscreants who ride there don't understand the common courtesy necessary to line up peacefully or ride with due care and attention for others.

Yet another day in paradise.

Even if we could use more snow.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Ski Day 11: Touring the Great Nephew

Vert: 9,040 m YTD Cum Vert: 100,805 m
Runs: 19 YTD Cum Runs: 181

We had the privilege today of hosting KC's great nephew Justin. He's a boarder, though I don't hold that against him (much). Between that and needing to pick up KC's new boards, we headed straight to the village to start the day -- reminding me why I avoid the village in the morning. I'm used to no lineups on Goat's Eye. There's lineups in the village. They suck.

It was a really variable day, weather wise. It started pretty fine, -10° in the village, but seemed to get colder, dipping to -15° before recovering. It started sunny (it was supposed to be cloudy all day), then got cloudy around noon, then cleared a bit and started snowing. The morning was very pretty, all sunny and groomed.

We had to cover virtually the whole mountain, including 2 rides on each of Wawa and Standish, to give Justin a truly good tour. I also, therefore, got reminded why I don't ski off either lift that often. The snow's great, the terrain's wicked, but there's no vert, and there's serious crowds. Tragic, that.

Justin seemed to enjoy his day.

And Karen really liked her new skis.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Ski Day 10: Valentines Variability

Vert: 11,185 m YTD Cum Vert 91,765 m
Runs: 18 YTD Cum Runs 162

It started cold (-22°) at the base of Goat's Eye at 9:15 AM, but at least it was clear. We had a few hours of cold sunshine, but alas, it would not last.

For a while, it was "warm" (-13°) up top and cool at the lift base. Then it all mixed. Then clouds crept in. For a while it was even foggy in the middle, but eventually it just settled into this constant blah of gray and -12°. The snow was OK. The groomed stuff was great, in particular the early AM runs on Rolling Thunder. After a while the ungroomed switched from brittle to actually quite nice, with highlights being Ecstasy, Bye Bye Bowl, the Assiniboine Flats and anything in the trees. In all, it would have been a pretty average day, except...

Salomon was running a Demo Day tent in the village. I just bought new skis (though I have not got them yet). KC needs new skis. So she tried two, and absolutely fell in love with the Mai Tais. She tried the Lady, too, but no matter where we took the Mai Tai, she raved about it. Now, the Mai Tai is a park & pipe twin tip ski. KC is not a park and pipe girl. But she kept talking about them. We had planned to go home early, but the Mai Tais were calling her (the skis, not the drink). So at the end of the day, we asked what the skis retailed for, and one of the reps told us, but he also suggested we ask about the price of the demo skis themselves. He named a price, and we were hooked.

So KC got new skis today, and she picks them up tomorrow morning on the hill.

Not a bad day after all.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Ski Day 9: More Sunny Days

Vertical: 10,175 m YTD Cum Vert: 80,580 m
Runs: 20 YTD Cum Runs: 144

As a result of missing yesterday's snowfall, I did not have high expectations for the day. In truth, we need snow, and lots, and soon. Sunshine is claiming 19 cm in the last 7 days, which isn't a lot. Still, we followed our new regime and got to the parking lot at 8:45, and once again, we boarding the Goat's Eye Chair at 9:10 AM.

To blue sky, calm winds, no crowds, and -5° temps. Paradise.

That was taken at 10:30 AM. No one on the slope, no one on the chair, and hardly any clouds in the sky. And it got better.

And this is looking back up to South Divide and Bye Bye Bowl. I could 3 people in this photo, and they're all way up at the top.

It was one of those days where you could see clear to Vancouver. And it warmed up to about 0° in the afternoon. The snow, despite no significant fresh stuff, was just fine. A few scraped bits (I have learned to avoid Red 90 like the plague), but if there was texture, you could carve it.

We arrived early, so opted for an early lunch, which gave us an unusually long afternoon. Still, we broke 10,000 by 3 PM, so left early.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Chasing Wildlife at the West Wing

We were supposed to ski both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, and Saturday was shaping up to be a good day. On our way out on Friday night, we drove through a big blizzard and arrived to find about 5" at the West Wing. We had to get there early because we had some of KC's friends from CTV over for dinner. But to quote a post I made back in April 2008 regarding the Junos:

These things I learned: Don't party with the CTV folks.

It was just as true Friday as last April, and while my dinner was fab, we didn't get to bed until almost 2 AM, meaning no skiing on Saturday.

Instead, we went for a wander around Dead Mans Flats and we tracked wildlife. We found tracks of lynx, coyote, fox, rabbit, squirrel and birds who were hunting mice. We followed a coyote for a while; he seemed to be following the tracks of a lynx, and seemed to have a sense of purpose.

We went down to a meadow where I know elk winter, and yet the one set of tracks we did not see were two toed ungulates. No deer, no moose, no elk, no nothing. But the mountians were nice.

Back at home, we watched a lot of birds. The Pine Grosbeaks were out... were the chickidees, including Mountain, Boreal and the more traditional Black Capped.

I think it would have been better to have been skiing, but we needed the rest.

Darn CTV folks...

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Ski Day 8: All By Myself

Vert: 10,775 m YTD Cum Vert: 70,405
Runs: 16 YTD Runs: 124

KC had to work the Superbowl today, so I was all by my lonesome. Based on the last few times at Sunshine, I decided to beat the crowd and get there "early" so arrived at the parking lot at 8:45 -- and was loading onto Goat's Eye at 9:10. Accordingly, with one short mid morning break, I broke 10,000 m by 12:45, so decided to go for an late lunch and to call it a day.

It was a nice day, though chilly, with -15° to -12° all day. The sun was out much of the morning, and it was starting to sock in as I left. I spent the whole day on Goat's Eye, as TP Town was down and didn't cherish the thought of the gondola uplift. Based on reports from others, I can't say that was a dumb decision. Pretty much everywhere, the above tree line stuff was like Norquay yesterday, all ice and hardpack. Below that was great, with the best being Rolling Thunder and Wildfire, both of which had stashes of the 40 cm that has fallen her in the last week.

I heard Standish was down since mid-day yesterday. Apparently some guy was riding it single in the strong winds, and was sitting on the side of the chair instead of the middle. The chair struck one of the towers and bent badly. Not sure when it will be fixed.