Monday, 28 March 2011

Ski Day 33: Crowder

Vert: 7,185 m;   YTD cum vert: 274,440 m
Runs: 12;   YTD cum runs: 525

Crowder: What you get when fresh powder attracts the crowds
The hill said there was only 7 cm fresh today. They missed it by over 100%. Several times I tested the snow depth with my pole and got between 10 cm and 30 cm, and it was deeper than that in protected spots like trees. In fact, the deepest I tested all day was at 2:30 PM in Barner's Bowl, where it was over 30 cm. 

The morning looked poor at home but as is so often the case it was nice and mostly sunny up at Sunshine. I took my time getting to the hill; mistake. It's Spring Break here, and at 10 AM I was parked farther back today than we were on Saturday. There was at least 8-10 cm in the parking lot. This was what was waiting up on the hill.
There were lots of first tracks to be had, but the crowds had most of the easy lines skied out by noon. To get freshies, I played in my favourite trees, got first tracks on the traverse between Gold Gladerunner and Gold Scapegoat to more first tracks, took the Cleavage traverse to more first tracks, and got to the lower section of the Farside chutes before I found the "crowds" (okay, 2 guys) over here (actually, the Wildside chute had about a dozen people in it, was very tracked up and had huge bumps, so I crossed it).
The sun stuck around till around 1 PM or so, but was never strong enough to affect the snow quality. Even at 1 PM, while the busy sections were chopped up pretty quick...
...less travelled places like the North Pocket still had fresh lines.
Around 1:30 a cloud deck showed up and got lower and lower. I was turning laps in Bye Bye Bowl and got socked into a whiteout, so I couldn't see the exit points. I waited a few minutes for the cloud to break as it had done the previous 2 runs, but it didn't so I had to guess my way out. By 2 PM it was socked in to treeline and it had started snowing. By 2:30 PM it was just dumping and the viz had gone to near zero so I decided to bail (it's laundry day). Here's Barner's Bowl on the way out. You can barely make out the Tee Pee Town chair at the bottom of the Bowl.
The lower left corner of this picture was where I tested a fresh snow depth in excess of 35 cm.

As I was driving away, everybody coming in was flashing their lights. They were trying to warn people that on a blind corner, a herd of bighorn sheep were standing in the middle of the road licking up the gravel and salt, and you had to drive gingerly past them.
Since getting home at 3:45, there have been at least 5 snow showers in Canmore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"crowder"??? I don't think it'll make the dictionary.
"Crowdier" - maybe
"A whole lot much more crowdier"- for sure