Sunday, 16 January 2011

Ski Day 12: More Snow, but No Viz

Vert: 6,820 m YTD Cum Vert: 99,390
Runs: 11 YTD Cum Runs: 178

Another 10-15 cm overnight plus a little bit of windblown made for excellent AM turns. While not as epic as yesterday, it was still possible to explore and find some deep relatively untracked stuff. The trail crew was working hard on Goat's Eye yesterday and today and has almost got Gold Alfterburner open; the removal of the fences made traversing possible to more of those waist deep spots in the glades.

Avi bombing in the south side chutes (Far Side, Wild Side, etc) triggered a Class 3 to base that ran pretty much the whole slope. Today was avalanche awareness days, and the reason this avi went to ground was obvious at the demonstration test pit. They demonstrated one of those compression tests where you cut a 30 cm square block to ground and whack on it with your hand. The thing failed at the really awful weak layer right at the base, dropping a fully competent block of consolidated snow that was 1.2 m tall.

It snowed all day and the downside for the day was the miserable viz. We braved one shot at Hill 205 and it was completely braille; even staying near snow fences didn't help. You had to stay lower than the OS Pitches to see anything. So not long after checking out the test pit, we bailed, because although the snow was good, you couldn't see it.

The 789 Club

Yesterday, we ran into a couple of guys having a huge amount of fun. There were a lot of people having fun yesterday, but these dudes were particularly stoked. They were members of the 789 Club, which has apparently been in existence for 40+ years. Among their other feats, the club is (allegedly) responsible for extending the hours at Mad Trappers to 10 PM. Trappers used to close at 6 and re-open at 8 for the hotel guests; they would park their butts at 5:45, order a LOT of beer, and sit there. They claim to have built a 20 person lean-to in the Goat Chicken Glades. And the 789 part? Their goal is to break the alpine responsibility code's rules 7, 8 and 9 every time they are out. In case you have forgotten, these rules are:

7. Observe and obey all posted signs and warnings.
8. Keep off of closed trails and area.
9. You must not use lifts or terrain if your ability is impaired through use of alcohol or drugs.

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